MPs concerned about bullying incidents at schools
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MPs have warned against bullying in schools, emphasising it needed to be dealt with.
The debate in the National Assembly on Thursday comes after the death of 15-year-old Lufuno Mavhunga.
The extent of bullying endured by the young Limpopo girl led to her claiming her own life after a video showing a humiliating, violent attack on her by a fellow pupil did the rounds on social media.
She attended Mbilwi Secondary School. A 14-year-old learner was arrested for allegedly assaulting Mavhunga.
Chairperson of the portfolio committee on basic education Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba opened the debate by saying Mavhunga’s death is a reflection of the social ills which confront society.
“Many learners in our schools experience such humiliation and bullying. This humiliation was expanded by the violent distribution of the incident on social media platforms.
’’As much as social media platforms create ease, offering information, in this regard it served as one of the factors which contributed to degrading her dignity. Broadly in society, bullying is a prevalent issue, and cyber-bullying is becoming a prominent feature due to the fact that many South Africans use social media platforms to socialise and for economic reason.”
Mbinqo-Gigaba said parents and guardians should also take the responsibility to protect their children and raise them to be aware of such risks.
“The dangers of bullying is that the times our children are bullied, they hardly report the issues in their schools or the guardians. This bears a critical responsibility for children and their guardians.”
DA MP Bridget Masango said advances in technology and the rise of cyber-bullying have meant that this scourge has transcended school classrooms and sports grounds, sweeping through our homes unchecked.
“Regrettably, bullying not only affects children. Everyone in society is affected. It is a multi-faceted epidemic, and we need to work together if a dent in addressing this is to be made.”