A Johannesburg mother's decision to act against bullying pays off

Johannesburg, 28 February 2016 - Avene Makana is one of millions of children who endure emotional and mental abuse at the hands of school bullies. She dreads going to school every day because she knows she will be the subject of ridicule. Video: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - After finding out her daughter was being bullied, a Johannesburg mother took action.

She reported the issue to the school and the matter was resolved - but not everyone is so lucky.

In some situations parents were advised to change schools.

Gcobisa Makana began noticing changes in her usually bubbly teen.

"I started seeing something in her books, I could see when she does her homework she was careless, even with her writing she was so bad and I shouted at her that day, that you know what I'm spending so much money for you to be at school,”Makana said

Her 15-year-old daughter broke down crying.

She confessed that she was being harassed at school.

Makana was helpless after the teenager begged her mother not to intervene fearing it would make things worse.

"That’s one of the many reasons children don't tell, they tend to keep very quiet about it until things get so bad they can't actually manage," said Gail Dore author of Bully Proof Your Child.

But Makana decided to approach the school without her daughter's knowledge.

She enlisted the help of the principal and teachers and were able to resolve the situation.

But not all parents are that fortunate, some are even advised to remove their children from the school.

That sounds to me like a school that doesn’t want to make the effort to change the climate. If there is a climate in the school that is conducive to bullying, it takes a bit of work to change that and schools couldn't be bothered,” Dore said.

But the education department says every school must have an anti-bullying policy, and no child should ever be asked to change schools. 

Click on the above video for more on bullying at schools.


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