1. bookVolume 71 (2019): Issue 1 (January 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2657-3628
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Can legal remedy be used to address bullying and cyberbullying in South African schools?

Published Online: 31 Dec 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 71 (2019) - Issue 1 (January 2019)
Page range: 66 - 80
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2657-3628
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Bullying is part of the reality of teachers and learners all over the world. While other forms of bullying are limited to the time when learners interact face-to-face, cyber­bullying follows learners via their electronic devices wherever they go. Bullying negatively affect victims and amongst others result in anxiety, low self-esteem and poor academic performance. In some instances, victims become suicidal. Prevent­ing and counteracting bullying requires interventions on several level, and one pos­sibility is to take a legal response. In this paper, the South African legal response is considered. There are several legislative and common law remedies available to victims, but these are not without challenges. Explicit reference to bullying is made in only one act, namely the Children’s Act but no definition of bullying or cyberbul­lying is provided. It is clear that while there are sufficient legal remedies available in the South African context, to address bullying and cyberbullying, particularly with the emphasis on Human Rights and the rights of children, the suitability of legal action is questionable.

Keywords

Aluede, O., Adeleke, F., Omoike, D., & Afen-Akapaida, J. (2008). A Review of the Extent, Nature, Characteristics and Effects of Bullying Behaviour in Schools. Journal of Instruc­tional Psychology, 35(2), 151-158.Search in Google Scholar

Burton, P., & Mutongwizo, T. (2009) Inescapable violence: Cyber bullying and electronic vio­lence against young people in South Africa. Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention IssuePaper No 8. Retrieved on from: http://www.cjcp.org.za/uploads/2/7/8/4/27845461/issue_paper_8.pdf (accessed: September 25, 2018).Search in Google Scholar

Copeland, W.W., & Wolke, D. (2013). Adult psychiatric outcomes of bullying and being bul­lied by peers in childhood and adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry, 70(4), 419-426.10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.504Search in Google Scholar

De Wet, C. (2005). The Nature and Extent of Bullying in Free State Secondary Schools. South African Journal of Education, 25(2), 82-88.Search in Google Scholar

DBE (Department of Basic Education). (2017). Select committee on Education and Recrea­tion. Poverty ranking of schools (Quintiles). Retrieved on from: https://www.google.co.za/search?q=Select+committee+on+Education+and+Recreation.+Poverty+ranking+of+schools+(Quintiles).&rlz=1C1GCEB_enZA772ZA772&oq=Select+committee+on+Education+and+Recreation.+Poverty+ranking+of+schools+(Quintiles).&aqs=chrome..69i57.2214j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 (accessed: September 26, 2018).Search in Google Scholar

House Committee on Education of the House of Representatives of the State of Washing­ton. (2002). House Bill Report SHB 1444. Retrieved from: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/200102/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/1444-S.HBR.pdf (accessed: September 25, 2018).Search in Google Scholar

House of Representatives of the State of Washington. (2002). Substitute House Bill 1444. Retrieved from: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/200102/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/1444-S.PL.pdf#page=1(accessed: September 25, 2018).Search in Google Scholar

Lets’opha, MM & Jacobs, L. (2017). “He doesn’t like it, but I do it anyway”: listening to the voices of learners who bully others. Acta Criminologica, 30(3), 87-102.Search in Google Scholar

Li, Q. (2008). A cross-cultural comparison of adolescents’ experience related to cyberbully­ing. Educational Research, 50(3), 223-234.10.1080/00131880802309333Search in Google Scholar

Mestry, R., Van der Merwe, M., & Squelch, J., (2006). Bystander Behaviour of School Children Observing Bullying. SA-eDUC Journal, 3(2), 46-59.Search in Google Scholar

O’Brien, N., & Moules, T. (2012). Not sticks and stones but tweets and texts: findings from a national cyberbullying project. Pastoral Care in education: An International Journal of Personal. Social and Emotional Development, 31(1), 53-65.10.1080/02643944.2012.747553Search in Google Scholar

Olweus, D. (1997). Bully/victim problems in school: Facts and intervention. European Jour­nal of Psychology of Education, 12(4), 495-510.10.1007/BF03172807Search in Google Scholar

Olweus, D. (1994). Annotation: Bullying at school: Basic facts and effects of a school based intervention programme. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35(7), 1171-1190.10.1111/j.1469-7610.1994.tb01229.xSearch in Google Scholar

Pyżalski, J. (2012). From cyberbullying to electronic aggression: typology of the phenom­enon. Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 17(3-4), 305-317.10.1080/13632752.2012.704319Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (1977). Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. Government Printer: Pretoria.Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (1996a). Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Govern­ment Printer: Pretoria.Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (1996b). South African School Act 84 of 1996. Government Printer: Pretoria.Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (1998). Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998. Government Printer: Pretoria.Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (2005). Children’s Act 38 of 2005. Government Printer: Pre­toria.Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (2008). Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. Government Printer: Pre­toria.Search in Google Scholar

RSA (Republic of South Africa). (2011). Protection from Harassment Act 17 of 2011. Govern­ment Printer: Pretoria.Search in Google Scholar

Reyneke, J.M., & Reyneke, R.P. (2011). Process and best practices at the Mangaung One-Stop Child Justice Centre. South African Journal of Criminal Justice, 24(2), 137-163.Search in Google Scholar

SAHRC (South African Human Rights Commission). (2006). Report of the public hearing on school-based violence. Retrieved from: https://www.sahrc.org.za/home/21/files/School%20Based%20Violence%20Report.pdf (accessed: August 5, 2018).Search in Google Scholar

Sullivan, K. (2011). The anti-bullying handbook, 2nd edition. London: Sage.10.4135/9781446289006Search in Google Scholar

Tłuściak-Deliowska, A, (2018). Using Technology to Prevent Peer (Cyber)bullying and Anti­social Behavior. International Journal of Pedagogy Innovation and New Technologies, 5(1), 32-43.10.5604/01.3001.0012.2137Search in Google Scholar

Walters, M., (2013). SA has a 77% social worker shortage - Mike Walters. Retrieved from: http://www.politicsweb.co.za/party/sa-has-a-77-social-worker-shortage--mike-waters (accessed: September 26, 2018).Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo