The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is very concerned by the emergence of a video – which has since gone viral – of a recent bullying incident, allegedly at a Durban-based school, involving two learners.
In the clip, a female learner is seen repeatedly striking another female learner in the face and taunting her. This while the incident is captured on a cell phone camera by another individual.
The DA condemns all instances of bullying in no uncertain terms. There can be no delay in KZN Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu and his Department getting to work to immediately identify both the school and learners concerned and then take steps to provide psycho-social support for the victim.
The involvement of parents from both parties is also important while arrangements for reconciliation must be made if possible. Following this, steps need to be taken against the bully because such acts of violence must have consequences in terms of the law.
It is increasingly clear that a heightened awareness needs to be created within our schools when it comes to bullying. Prevention is always better than cure. This particularly relevant after it emerged that there was another shocking bullying incident at Centenary Secondary, also in Durban, yesterday – involving a learner who was bullied last year – who was allegedly so severely assaulted that she could not write her exams.
Furthermore, the sharing of such sensitive material on social media needs to come to a stop. Perpetuation of this latest video clip will no doubt have a severe effect on the dignity of the victim and her psychological wellbeing. We have seen from a previous incident, not too long ago in the Zululand district, where even the perpetrator tried to kill herself following the video going viral.
The DA urges MEC Mshengu to treat this incident – and any other of this nature – with the seriousness that it deserves and to report back on the matter to KZN’s Education portfolio committee on the findings of his Department.