Anti-bullying FAQ | Western Cape Education Department

How do I tell if someone is bullied?

Sometimes bullying isn’t always as clear-cut as in this video, but there are a few signs to watch out for.

  1. A person can stop participating and withdraw themselves from the things they normally do.
  2. They’ll often miss or skip school, specific classes or drop out of activities at the last minute.
  3. They could start changing their habits, taking different routes or walkways to avoid the bully.
  4. Their name is used as the punchline to what seems like harmless jokes in class or on the playground.

What are the different types of bullying?

It’s not always as straight forward as someone getting pushed around, here’s what to look out for:

Physical – The more well-known form of bullying that involves physically hurting someone.

Verbal – Slurring racial, gender-based or homophobic insults or labelling and humiliating someone.

Social – Damaging a person’s social reputation by spreading rumours and lies or getting other groups to exclude them.

Psychological – Belittling, undermining or making jokes about someone to make them feel inferior. This often happens in friendship circles.

Cyber – Targeting someone with harsh messages, sharing, posting or adding to the bullying by painting the person in a negative light.

What are the ways I can stand up for my peers?

Rather than ignore it, use your voice. Here’s how:

  1. Intervene quickly. If you see it happen, get help or put a stop to it before it goes too far.
  2. End the rumours or gossip you hear about the person, don’t be a part of the chain.
  3. Let them know that they have your support. Don’t say things like:

    “Just stand up for yourself”, “If you ignore it, it’ll go away” or “You’re overreacting.”

  4. Get your friends on board, ask them for help and tackle the issue as a group.
  5. Keep asking the person if they’re okay, even if they give you the same answer every time.

Keep encouraging them to come forward. Remind them that what’s happening to them isn’t right.

Who can I talk to when I see it happening?

A coach, a teacher, human resources

Talk to someone on the faculty in confidence and let them know what’s happening.

An adult

You can speak to someone outside of school like a parent or social worker.

Your peers

Start in your own social circle. Have conversations with your peers and get their input.

A sidekick

If you feel too overwhelmed to say something, get a friend to support you.

You can also anonymously put pen to paper with a note dropped at the school office, or use the WCED Safe Schools toll-free hotline: 0800 45 46 47

What if it’s happening to me?

Tell someone

A coach, teacher, peer, an adult or someone outside of school should be alerted.

You can also call the WCED Safe Schools toll-free hotline: 0800 45 46 47

Don’t change your habits

Don’t give the bully the upper hand. The more you show the bully you’re affected, the worse it will get.

Build connections

Get the support you need from your peers and teachers by building relationships.

You’re not wrong

Whatever the bully tells you, you’re not the one in the wrong. They are. Don’t forget that and don’t believe what they say.