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Bullying Incident Targets Grade 5 Student at Bredell School




The victim’s father took proactive steps to seek intervention from the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) due to his profound dissatisfaction with how the principal had addressed the distressing bullying  situation. This incident casts a spotlight on the pervasive issue of bullying, a deeply entrenched social problem that continues to afflict schools and challenge societal efforts to combat it.

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Notably, the GDE recently became apprised of an alarming occurrence of bullying at Laerskool Bredell, drawing attention to a Grade 5 LSEN learner who fell victim to the actions of a classmate who engaged in bullying behaviours. The young boy, burdened by the ordeal, confided in his father about his distress, prompting his father to escalate the matter to the school’s principal and the GDE, hoping for a swift and appropriate resolution.

Regrettably, this instance of bullying was not isolated within the confines of Laerskool Bredell. Another parent, a mother whose child had also been bullied, expressed her dissatisfaction with what she perceived as the principal’s lackadaisical approach to addressing such a grave concern. The principal’s efficacy in fulfilling his professional duties has now been scrutinised, as the concerned father questioned his aptitude for handling the situation with due diligence. In his assessment, the father asserted that the principal’s response was marked by a failure to thoroughly investigate the incident and an absence of established disciplinary measures.

The sequence of events led to a pivotal meeting on July 28, where the father engaged with GDE officials and the principal to discuss the matter. Interestingly, the alleged bully’s parents and the school’s governing body members chose not to participate in the meeting, signifying the complexities of addressing such a sensitive issue.


During this meeting, it was revealed that the Department of Education conceded a lapse in policy adherence due to the principal’s perception that policy enforcement was unnecessary in this instance. While the department offered an apology, the principal remained steadfast in his position, refusing to acknowledge any guilt and maintaining his original stance.

The father’s motivation for involving the Department of Education stemmed from his unfamiliarity with the specific policies enacted by both the school and the GDE. In his assertion, he articulated his request for a comprehensive investigation into the conduct of the school and the principal, driven by a genuine concern for his child’s well-being and a broader commitment to addressing the plight of bullied children. The impact of bullying, as delineated by Childline Gauteng, extends beyond immediate distress, encompassing post-traumatic stress symptoms, diminished self-esteem, social withdrawal, and feelings of isolation. Academic performance, attendance, and long-term psychological well-being can all suffer, leaving victims with lasting scars.

In response to these concerns, the GDE’s spokesperson, Steve Mabona, emphasised the organisation’s recognition and concern regarding the bullying incident at Laerskool Bredell. However, he stressed that the principal’s fitness for his role had not been questioned previously. The school’s disciplinary committee took decisive action, instituting disciplinary proceedings and recommending an appropriate course of action to address the matter. Mabona reiterated that the Constitution mandates the safeguarding of the rights and responsibilities of all involved parties, necessitating a comprehensive and thorough disciplinary process in line with corrective measures.

Mabona further highlighted the GDE’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the capacity of school governing bodies, including teachers, in managing learner misconduct. To foster a conducive learning environment, the GDE initiated an awareness campaign through the quality teaching and learning campaign to mobilise communities and school stakeholders. This collaborative approach is intended to ensure that quality education occurs in an environment where all stakeholders are aligned with key objectives.

Moreover, the spokesperson confirmed that the GDE is committed to providing psycho-social support to affected learners and their parents, acknowledging the importance of holistic assistance during challenging times.


The narrative unfolds as a multilayered tale of a concerned father’s advocacy for his bullied child, a school grappling with addressing an ongoing issue, and a government department’s dedication to promoting a safe and effective learning environment. The objective and informative tone of the article serves as a vehicle for conveying the complexities inherent in addressing bullying within the educational system.

Source: Grade 5 learner bullied in Bredell

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