By Mzukona Mantshontsho
Bullying in schools is a problem that is not receiving the attention it deserves.
Schools are a microcosm for society as a whole. Power imbalances of this kind flourish in societal systems that favour the strong over the less popular and the advantaged over the disadvantaged.
Bullying in schools continues to happen because of this, where the bullies have a field day over the more introverted, less high-profile learners that are guilty of nothing but being their unassuming selves.
Teachers have a hard time diagnosing the underlying issues behind bullying in schools because the perpetrators are often popular and master manipulators. Victims on the other hand, are normally passive and insecure with few friends or supporters.
Learners, teachers, parents and the community at large should stand up and fight against bullying so that we have safer schools and learners are able to learn in a conducive environment. I heard of a campaign called ‘Adopt a Police’, which involved police patrolling around the designated school and making sure schooling happens smoothly.
Unfortunately, bullying continues after school years- in politics, neighbourhood gangs, domestic violence in homes and in the workplace. Some of it is crude and blatant and in other cases it is covert and sophisticated.
Unfortunately, societal and organizational failure to protect victims against tormentors has often led to dire and regrettable consequences. Usually, reality is such that structures and processes that are put in place to deal with such occurrences are either dysfunctional or manipulated by those entrusted with implementation.
Things you should try:
Walk away from the TOXIC situation,
Find a solution to reduce the concerning issues,
Be willing to accept, apologise when you are wrong,
Seek mutual intervention and avoid taking sides, and
Anger management sessions are said to work!