IFP: Stop Bullying or Face Possible Jail Time

The IFP calls for a change of attitude among learners in KZN schools, so that they can avoid facing possible jail time.

A three-month prison sentence handed down to a Zululand pupil accused of bullying for failing to appear in court, should be a wake-up call to other pupils. They need to stop being bullies at school, as failure to do so could result in them being arrested, jailed and end up having a criminal record.

The IFP welcomes the court decision handed down to this school bully, as this will send a stern warning to other pupils that bullying is not tolerated. Although this sentence will negatively impact the future of the learner involved in the bullying saga, we cannot allow bullies in schools. Schools are supposed to be places where students feel safe and secure, and where they can count on being treated with respect.

Further, the IFP reaffirms its stance that the KZN MEC of Education, Kwazi Mshengu, must launch an Anti-Bullying Campaign designed to combat victimisation in schools. It is envisaged that the campaign will, among other things, create an enabling environment for learners to feel safe at school and, at the same time, create a culture of caring between learners, teachers and the community.

Further, schools should equip their staff members and teachers with intervention and prevention skills. Teachers should be trained to identify and respond to symptoms that indicate victimisation. Parents must also reinforce positive behaviour with regards to good interpersonal interactions. Parents are further expected to take notice of their children’s attitudes and behaviour.

Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, MPL
IFP KZN Education Spokesperson
079 114 3015 / 071 884 3844