- Janine Shamos
- Johannesburg, Gauteng
- South Africa
Reach for a dream
In loco parentis? Bullying as a tool for the abuse of power:
Beatings, social isolation, taunting - bullying is any physical or psychological intimidation that occurs repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse. Bullying is the most common form of violence and its consequences are life-long. But when a child is intentionally targeted by those in a position of power who blame and punish the victim, the devastation caused is so much greater. Too many schools perceive bullying as a non-issue. But by turning a blind eye, schools are in contravention of their responsibility to protect the children in their care. Too often parents take a back seat when it comes to the protection of their children at school, assuming they’ll “work it out”. They too seldom intervene in bullying. Bullying is a learned behaviour that can be examined and changed – but are we taking it seriously enough and are we teaching our children how to effectively cope? There are effective programmes that teach kids the resilience they need - why are these not compulsory at school?