Bullying is frighteningly common in many schools and parents need to be able to spot the signs that children are being bullied.
Bullying can be physical, verbal or emotional and is usually repeated over a period of time.
It can occur in or around the school building and often occurs during breaks.
Perpetrators of bullying could be one person or a group of children who gang up against one child.
Forms of bullying could include fellow pupils calling your child names, making things up to get them into trouble, hitting, taking things away from your child, damaging their belongings, stealing their money and spreading rumours.
- Find out what happened, who was involved, and when and where it happened, and keep a record of this information;
- Assure your child that you will immediately investigate and report the situation to the school principal or senior teacher;
- Suggest that the school increases supervision in the high-risk areas where the child has to go or more closely monitor the child’s interactions with other learners;
- Encourage your child to talk to an adult, such as a supportive teacher, every day to provide an update on the mistreatment;
- Avoid being a 'fix-it' dad or mom by calling the bully’s parents. Most of the time, this action is not effective;
- Don’t tell your child to retaliate. It’s against the rules, and retaliation frequently makes the bullying worse and more persistent;
- Teach your child to be assertive, but not aggressive.
This information was supplied by the Department of Basic Education.