TWO pupils from Groote Schuur High School have been suspended, and another, from a Lotus River school, faces disciplinary action after their bullying video went viral yesterday.
The girl from Lotus River, who was filmed threatening another teenager, has since apologised on Facebook. The YouTube video was shared thousands of times. It was posted on a local breakfast radio show's page yesterday, but was taken down a few hours later.
The response on Facebook was one of disgust as people attacked the girl for her language and for threatening another girl. In the video, the teenager insults the victim, ending off by saying the girl should get a police escort home or “I’m going to escort you to your grave”.
On radio yesterday, the victim's aunt said it all came down to popularity on social media. Her niece, 14, had used her friend's Instagram account. She changed her friend's status, but then apologised. On Saturday, she received bullying voice notes.
She retaliated, and it become nasty, culminating in the video, the aunt said. The victim and two of the girls are in the same class. The girl in the video is from Lotus River.
Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Jessica Shelver said the two pupils from Groote Schuur High in Newlands were suspended, and the third faced disciplinary action.
“Our officials are aware of the video, and disciplinary action will be taken against the perpetrators. Counselling and support will be provided for the victim,” Shelver said.
Yesterday on Facebook, the girl at the centre of the video said: “I just wanted to say sorry about my bad language and all the things I said in the video, I dunno (sic) how I could ever look myself in the mirror after everything going viral, but I just want to apologise to Facebook and everyone I’ve hurt with that video, and I want to give my sincere apology to the person I was talking to in the video,” the girl said.
Shelver said the department had zero tolerance for school bullying. She said tactics had developed with modern technology.
“Respect for human dignity is one of the values enshrined in our constitution, and bullying is a denial of this.”
To report school crime and abuse, the WCED’s Safe Schools Programme can be reached on 0800 454 647. Counselling and advice are also offered.