Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) calls on the Department of Basic Education to take tough action against the Principal of the Mbilwi Secondary School in Sibasa, Limpopo. Preliminary findings of the South African Human Rights Commission, have revealed that he failed to take appropriate action after the family of the late Lufuno Mavhanga alerted him to the bullying incident.
“What makes this even more tragic is that this is a result of suicide, following the bullying that Lufuno experienced at the hands of another child. If appropriate action was taken by the principal of the school, Lufuno would still be alive today. We hope that the visit by the provincial Department of Basic Education today will lead to appropriate action,” says SCSA’s Child Protection Programme Manager, Duduzile Skhosana.
Save the Children also notes that a 15-year-old has been arrested.
“Bullies are often victims of violence who look for soft targets to release their pain. Punishment alone does not help, we need to identify the source and address it, so that we are able to also help this child to heal and exercise responsibility,” adds Skhosana.
How to prevent and respond to bullying in our schools
School safety coordinators need training on how to identify and respond to vulnerable children who may be victims of trauma at home, in school or in the community.
Schools with high incidents of bullying and violence must reach out to organisations like Save the Children. We run programmes with children on children’s rights and help them see that bullying is a violation of children’s rights. We also help children and Educators find solutions for their school.
Schools play a critical role in preventing bullying. Parents need to work with educators to respond to their children’s cry for help.
To children: When you report a bully, you are helping them and preventing them from hurting more children, preventing incidences where a victim ends up taking his/her life to relieve themselves from unbearable pain.
For more information or to set up interviews contact: Sibusiso Khasa on 073 449 6871 or [email protected]
About: Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.
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