‘Be a hero, not a bully’

‘Be a hero, not a bully’

Article Written by: Naidine Sibanda – naidines@caxton.co.za

 Efforts to tackle bullying through creating awareness are in full force at local schools. Rosebank Primary School has certainly joined in these efforts through their antibullying campaign. During the launch of their anti-bullying week, deputy principal of the school, Yurisa Rugununan said the education department had designated the week to anti-bullying and expected to see awareness activities in schools

So we at Rosebank have decided to sign the pledge against anti-bullying to say that we support it and to encourage kindness and friendship amongst the children. Our motto for the anti-bullying week is ‘be a hero and not a bully’. With that we also have Superhero Day coming up. Rosebank Primary is a bully-free zone,” said the deputy principal.

She added that they had also put in an insert on bullying in the newsletter to the parents. Rugununan said, “We will be doing that for the next two weeks in order to inform parents so that they motivate children to become better leaders and to remind them of the school motto, ‘manners maketh man’ – to live by the strategy that education is the foundation for our future leaders.”

She added that by inculcating all these values in children, they were hoping to restrict bullying and also to eventually have bully-free schools.

One of the activities was the selling of friendship cards, for R5, which encouraged learners to pass on positive messages and a little chocolate with it. The learners could purchase these cards and give them to their friends to encourage friendship and to encourage them to do nice things for others; making people feel included and valued because all those issues link up to bullying.

So we want to move away from things that instigate bullying and create more awareness of friendship, harmony and peace. Learners also made posters, and even in their life skills lessons, teachers are doing activities to teach about bullying and what to do during bullying incidences.

She concluded, “The lessons also make children aware of various types of bullying, for instance cyber bullying, bullying in the classroom, media, and cell phone bullying because lots of children are on their cell phone these days. Verbal abuse can also constitute [bullying], so it’s not just physical fighting, there are different forms.”