Bullying in schools

School bullying is a type of bullying that occurs either inside or outside of school. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or emotional and is usually repeated over a period of time.

In schools, bullying occurs in all areas. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs during school breaks, in hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities.

Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of learners taking advantage of or isolating one learner in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. The following tips can help parents understand the problems their children may face when harassed at school.

Parents and educators must stay vigilant, look for these warning signs, and attempt to address problems quickly. Learners must feel safe at school; parents and other adults can help learners who suffer at the hands of bullies.

These are some of the warning signs victims of bullying might display:

1. Sudden decreased interest in school (wants to stay at home)

2. Sudden loss of interest in favourite school activities

3. Sudden decrease in quality of school work

4. Wants the parent to take her to school instead of riding the bus

5. Seems happy on weekends, but unhappy, preoccupied, or tense on Sundays

6. Suddenly prefers the company of adults

7. Frequent illnesses such as headaches and stomach aches

8. Sleep issues such as nightmares and sleeplessness

9. Comes home with unexplained scratches, bruises, and torn clothing

10. Talks about avoiding certain areas of the school or neighbourhood

11. Suddenly becomes moody, irritable, or angry and starts bullying others (e.g., siblings, children in neighbourhood)

12. Seeks the wrong friends in the wrong places (e.g., drug users, gangs, etc)

13. Talks about being sad, anxious, depressed, or having panic attacks

14. Wants to stay home on weekends

15. Talks about suicide.

By Education.gov.za

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