School bully caught on video set to face charges
THE Durban boy caught on social media violently attacking and verbally abusing a fellow schoolmate this week now faces assault charges after the video of his brutal outburst caused a social media storm.
In the video the teenager approaches a classmate outside the school.
He is at least a head taller than the victim and, with a single push, has the boy on the ground, shouting and threatening to put him “in hospital next time” and accusing him of snitching on him.
As the victim pleads to be left alone, a girl is heard laughing and saying “he’s crying”.
The incident took place outside a school in Hillary, Durban, and is the second public incident of bullying in the past two weeks.
In the first incident, which emerged on Facebook, a 16-year-old Cape Town girl recorded on WhatsApp intimidating a 14-year-old girl.
Swearing and cursing, she says, “I’m beautiful and you’re not”, and warns her target to “make sure police escort you to school or I’ll escort you to the grave”.
The girl, who has been suspended from school, has publicly apologised for her behaviour. Both incidents prompted outrage.
The Durban victim’s sister, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her 16-yearold brother, said yesterday he was “shaken up” but had “no visible wounds”.
“He wants this all to be over. He wants the bully out of his school. He loves his school and wants to go back, but he wants to be safe.
“He’s not angry, just disappointed that it had to go this far for things to be done.”
The school’s governing body said in a statement yesterday it had begun internal disciplinary processes and the offender had been temporarily suspended.
Lawyer Diana Schwarz, of PPM Attorneys, said the Protection From Harassment Act made provision for minors who were intimidated by other minors to lay charges against them.
The 2011 act says a victim of bullying may ask the courts for an interim protection order.
“Children under the age of 18 can lay charges of bullying or harassment against a bully.
“Children from the ages of 10 to 18 are deemed to be legally liable for their actions and can be sued for defamation civilly,” Schwarz said.
Professor Ann Skelton, from the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria, agreed cases could be addressed in terms of the Protection from Harassment Act.
“If the cyber bullying involves any sexual offences, for instance, sending revealing photos to other parties, these are classified as crimes under the Criminal Law
which involves Sexual Offences and Related Matters,” she added.
In another recent incident, pupils at a Plumstead school received trauma counselling after a 14-year-old Grade 7 pupil committed suicide allegedly as a result of being bullied.
The boy was allegedly ridiculed by teachers who targeted him for being a slow learner.
Last month Aldane Chetty, 18, from a school in Shallcross, Durban, ended up in the intensive care unit after six boys allegedly beat him with a metal rod during school hours after he challenged a classmate who was rude to a teacher.
This video, which caused a storm on social media, has led to the attacker being charged with assault.