By: Lindokuhle Mnisi
“We are aware of bullying taking place in our school but it is not on the peak level,” said Amos Dimande, a school principal at Phumzile Primary School where a number of learners live in fear because of the bullying taking place in that school.
Learners go to school every day with an intention of learning but get traumatised by the bullying they experience. A group of learners from the primary complained about bullying they encounter every day in their school. Under fear of being attacked again, one of the learners who are victims of bullying at Phumzile Primary spoke to Rekord and pleaded not to be mentioned by name. He explained how he have been beaten on a countless number of occasions and got his money forcefully taken from him by an 18year old boy who is doing grade 5 in the school.
“Please do not reveal my name because Mavusana (real name Vusi) will beat me up again. He is known by every learner in the school that he is a bully,” said a learner.
“He forcefully took a R30 I was carrying for me and my siblings, then he beat me up... but I could not report to the teachers because he disrespects them too. If you report they do nothing to him then he comes back to beat you again,” the learner added.
Another learner spoke about a boy by the name of Nhlanhla Ntshinga who fought with a teacher in the school. According to this learner he also witnessed an incident where a gang of bullies locked themselves in a classroom with girls. When he heard the girls crying he walked in and the boys started beating him.
The school principal at the school acknowledged that bullying is their major problem but said they are dealing with it. “We deal with it through the school base support team. We also invite social workers and pastors but if it gets serious we involve our local Community Policing Forum (CPF) to come and give advice,” said Amos Dimande, school principal.
Dimande said some of the learners live in fear as they are scared to report if they become victimised. “Some of the learners are afraid to speak. Some of the things happen behind our backs so we cannot detect what is going on. We only deal with issues that have been reported,” he added.