By: Poelano Malema
Bullying is a major problem all over the world.
According to bullying.co.za, 57% of South African learners have been bullied at some point during their high-school careers.
Earlier this week, a video went viral showing a girl assaulting Lufuno Mavhunga, a learner from Mbilwi Secondary School in Thohoyandou, Limpopo. Mavhunga allegedly committed suicide following the incident.
After the video emerged, #JusticeForLufuno trended on Twitter, with many people calling for the bullies to be held accountable.
Lufuno Mavhunga was one of us being bullied and bullied as to fall, peace for teens matters and now she comitted a suicide. Rest in peace for her???
— Queen Dweba? (@QueenDweba5) April 13, 2021
I was bullied as a child. It’s just as hard to tell your family as it is to communicate issues of anxiety and depression even as an adult . It’s extremely debilitating. I feel sorry for Lufuno Mavhunga’s family.
— Kgomotso Moeketsi (@KGMoeketsi) April 14, 2021
Rest Easy baby girl???? Though I’ve never met/known you but somehow I feel like I failed, somehow I feel like I should have protected you against those that felt threatened by your beauty. REST IN PEACE Lufuno Mavhunga. #Lufuno #JusticeForLufuno Anele #Canceldiscovery pic.twitter.com/O3DdqXMIaS
— HŪLĪSĀNĪ??? (@huli_longtom) April 14, 2021
The police in Thohoyandou, Venda, have since arrested the 15-year-old schoolgirl who allegedly assaulted Mavhunga.
Signs of bullying
There are different types of bullying – verbal, social, physical and cyber.
There are also several signs that can show you if your child is being bullied.
Your child could develop emotional and behavioral changes such as:
– Sudden drop in grades or loss of interest in going to school.
– Not wanting to use the same school transport he/ she has been using.
– Faking illness in the morning.
– Having nightmares, wetting the bed or changes in sleep patterns.
– The loss of appetite or changes in eating patterns, or even coming back home hungry.
– Anger, mood swings or refusing to talk about what is wrong.
– Targeting siblings.
– Coming home with missing or damaged belongings or clothes.
– Appearing insecure or frightened.
– There could also be physical signs that show that your child is being bullied. These can include unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches.
How to get help for your child
– It is important to talk to your child and to win his or her trust so that they can open up to you about what is really going on. Make your child understand that it is not their fault that they are being bullied and assure them of your love for them.
– Report the bullying at your child’s school. Many schools have anti-bullying policies and they will deal with the matter.
– Get professional help. Bullying can damage your child’s self-esteem and affect their emotional well-being. It is important that you get them to speak to a professional.
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