Western Cape Education hosts anti-bullying event at Fairmount Secondary school

15 May 2019

Spreading the message against bullying

This morning, the WCED Metro South District held an anti-bullying event at Fairmount Secondary school. The event was supported by Minister Debbie Schafer and radio DJ Carl Wastie.

The event highlighted the effects of bullying on learners, as well as to draw attention to the fact that learners who film, post or distribute videos are also participating in the bullying.

This forms part of a broader campaign by the WCED called “Raise your Voice, Not your phone”, which has gone viral through various social media platforms. Over the past weekend, the digital campaign was awarded a “merit” at the “One Show” awards in New York. The One Show is one of the most prestigious international awards competitions in advertising, design, interactive and branded entertainment. It also recently won a silver and a bronze award at the IAB Bookmark Awards.

Please see video presented below which outlines what the campaign entails and how it is being expanded into the school curriculum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxQtJUOrM_c#action=share

We are all aware that bullying is happening in many schools, both in Western Cape, the country, as well as internationally, in some shape or form.

It can be verbal, physical or via a third party through social media.

Any learner or parent of a learner who has gone through such abuse knows the pain and trauma it can bring. It can lead to depression, anxiety, self-harming and in some cases, even suicide.

The use of social media has heightened these risks. Learners are now using various social media platforms to either tease, embarrass, intimidate or torment other learners.

The sad reality is that it involves thousands of learners - who are either posting, sharing, or re-tweeting videos, photos or messages that damage the reputation or confidence of others.

With many of the incidents filmed and shared on Social Media for their friends to see, learners don't realise you don't need to beat somebody up to be a bully. We needed a way to help learners realise it for themselves.

The campaign first involves the filming of a fake bullying incident in a school yard. It ends with the simple message: “Raise your voice, not your phone”.

The viewer is then taken to 5 constructed questions that leads the reader to the realisation that learners are also participating in bullying by filming the incident, rather than intervening in order to bring an end to the abuse.

See here - http://www.wcg-antibullying.co.za/

A second video was then created, which involved the participation of random learners from schools across the metro, who were asked questions in an interview. A psychologist was asked to show each learner the first video and a number of questions were posed thereafter. They were not briefed on the content. Their reactions are all real.

Just see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBOr46mWHQs

The video exposes how learners don’t necessarily understand the implications of filming or distributing content across social media, and how their actions are just as bad as the bully concerned.

It is a powerful message that not only reveals the pain one can cause, but also the pain that many have suffered.

The campaign leads learners to various pages of support or advice on how to intervene when bullying occurs.

The campaign also provides tips on what one can do to help victims that are being bullied, as well as the types of support that are available for learners experiencing such abuse. 

Unfortunately, many cases of bullying go unreported and the WCED is therefore not able to intervene.  It is therefore so important to run advocacy and awareness campaigns such as this regarding the dangers of bullying, and how to combat it.

We are also delighted that the campaign has also been recognised by the IAB Bookmark Awards – winning a silver and a bronze award at the beginning of the year.  at the IAB Bookmark Award. Paxton Fielies have also partnered with us on this campaign. They certainly helped raise the profile of the campaign and drew much needed attention to the dangers and risks associated with bullying in our schools.

Enquiries:
Bronagh Hammond
Cell: 072 724 1422
E-mail: Bronagh.hammond@westerncape.gov.za

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