The Learner Support Unit at Sparrow Schools is actively busy with programs to combat bullying in the schools. These programs vary from individual therapy, group therapy, and class interventions. Bullying is a problem in most school settings and according to Gail Dore’s book, Bully-Proof, if it is not identified correctly or in time can lead to severe psychological and health implications. Bullying can take place in one or more ways such as physical, verbal, sexual or cyber bullying.
As a parent, guardian or educator you are not with the child 24 hours a day and might not always be able to see the actual bullying, but the following warning signs can assist you to identify if your child is being bullied. Some warning signs include:
- The unwillingness of a child to go to school and showing sudden signs of distress and fear.
- When a child is withdrawing from school activities and school involvement.
- Unexplained bruises obtained at school.
- Missing property, for example, lunch.
These are only a few of the warning signs reported by parents and educators. If you become aware that your child is at risk of being bullied or shows signs of being bullied it is important to discreetly discuss the matter with your child. It is important to inform an educator of bullying if it occurs in the school environment so that the educator can address the problem accordingly.
Words by Rizel Venter, Social Worker at the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust. Venter holds an Honours Degree in Social Work from the North West University, currently MSW in Community Development.
Rizel forms part of Sparrow School’s Learner Support Unit (LSU). The LSU is a multidisciplinary team of therapists who provide additional academic and emotional support across the organisation. Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy. Remedial Therapy and Counselling is provided individually or in small groups.