Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday visited King Edwards VII School in Houghton, Johannesburg, where a learner posted a nude photo of a rival on social media leading to a fight, and announced a probe into the matter.
Panyaza also appealed to principals, educators and parents to act swiftly on reports of bullying.
Gauteng department of education’s head of communications Oupa Bodibe said Lesufi made his appeal soon after his visit to the King Edwards VII School.
“MEC Lesufi met with the principal and the district officials for a full briefing regarding the bullying video that circulated on social media over the weekend. Four boys had a fight after one of them allegedly posted a nude photo of a cousin of one of the perpetrators.”
Bodibe said Lesufi condemned the behaviour of the learners and discouraged the culture of bullying at the school. He recommended interventions that will assist the school in dealing with the matter.
“The SGB [School Governing Body] must convene a team to deal with the issue of disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrators and the principal needs to update parents and learners on developments regarding this matter.”
Bodibe said the department will institute an independent investigation into bullying at the school. Parents, learners, educators and the SGB will be interviewed. Psycho social support will be provided for victims and learners.
“All the perpetrators remain suspended for seven days,” said Bodibe, adding that bullying was long outlawed.
Schools should adopt a zero tolerance approach in accordance with the Bill of Rights, to protect children from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation.
“We urge learners to treat each other with respect and refrain from acts of victimisation and bullying,” said Bodibe.