Pretoria – Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has appealed to principals, educators and parents to take reports of bullying seriously.
This follows the MEC’s visit to King Edward VII School in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Monday.
The Provincial Education Department on Tuesday said MEC Lesufi met with the principal and district officials for a full briefing regarding the bullying video circulated on social media over the weekend.
“Four boys had a fight after one of them allegedly posted a nude photo of a cousin of one of the perpetrators.
“MEC Lesufi condemned the behaviour of the learners and discouraged the culture of bullying at the school,” said the department.
The department said all the perpetrators remain suspended for seven days.
“Bullying is outlawed and schools should adopt a zero tolerance approach in accordance with the Bill of Rights to protect children from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.
“We urge learners to treat each other with respect and refrain from acts of victimisation and bullying,” said the department.
As a result, interventions were recommended to assist the school in dealing with the matter.
It has been recommended that the School Governing Body (SGB) convenes a team to deal with the issue of disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrators; and that the department institute an independent investigation into bullying at the school where parents, learners, educators and the SGB will be interviewed.
It has also been recommended that the department provide psycho-social support not only to victims but to all learners who might need it, and the principal should update parents and learners on developments regarding this matter.