Parents of bullied children urged to take legal action against bullies

SEVEN cases of bullying against seven children from seven different schools were opened at SAPS in September.

These are just seven cases that have been brought to the attention of the RECORD, while there are still many other children out there being bullied.

According to Lt Col Gerrit de Fillet from the Alberton detective branch, parents and children do not want to report bullying and keep quiet out of fear.”Countless children fall victim to bullying, harassment and abuse at schools. We are not going to tolerate bullies anymore,” de Fillet said. “Going forward the Alberton detective branch will not drop the cases. Parents of bullies must remember that the days of them protecting their children are over. We will prosecute and children, whether under-aged or of age, will appear in court and will have criminal records should they be found guilty,” he said.

He explained to the RECORD that the aforementioned reported cases include cases from both primary and high school.

“There is just no more respect in schools and most of the bullies are under-aged, but something must be done and that is why I urge the community to lay charges against bullies at various police stations,” de Fillet said.

IM SCARED: Bullies have a negative impact on victims.

Be vocal about bullying

The RECORD posted a post on Social Media asking parents to come forward and the response was overwhelming. In some cases bullied children were so traumatised that they now suffer from medical conditions.

One parent told the the RECORD that because her child was bullied for months, they are now taking the legal route. “We are taking legal actions against the children, because they are breaking my child emotionally,” the mother said.

Another mother who wishes to remain anonymous said that her son, who is a Grade Nine learner, has been bullied by his ex-girlfriend’s brother. “The bully is in matric and he has torn my son’s school clothes twice. Then the school sends my son home. We did speak to the deputy principal about it, but nothing happened,” claimed the mother.

Another complaint was that one of the teachers at a local high school sprays water in children’s ears with a syringe if they are naughty. “My son has ear problems and it was very painful for him, ” said the parent.

Also Read: Residents share thoughts on bullies

Bullied children suffer

Stop Bullying.gov had the following on their website; “Children who are bullied can experience negative physical and mental health issues like depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood. Health complaints and decreased academic achievement and school participation were also cited. Bullied children are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.

“Being bullied by others has a negative long-term affect on the victims and even pushes them to commit suicide.”

What can be done if your child is being bullied:

  • Lay a criminal charge against the bullies at your nearest police station (Alberton SAPS or Brackendowns SAPS).
  • Take legal action.
  • Child Line South Africa is a toll-free crisis telephone counselling line which deals with hundreds of queries from children and adults. The Childline Toll free number receives approximately 60 000 to 90 000 calls per month across all the provinces. People who want to know more can contact them on 08000 55 555.
  • Visit The South African Anti Bullying Forum page on Facebook and try to get help there.
  • Report any form of crime at Alberton SAPS on 011 861 6800 or at Brackendowns SAPS on 011 617 5600.

The RECORD will try and make contact with the schools involved and speak to more parents during the course of the week. A follow-up will be published.

For free daily local news in the south, visit our sister newspapers Alberton RecordComaro ChronicleSouthern Courier and Get it Joburg South Magazine.

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  AUTHOR
Elzaan Pienaar

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