Pupils at Portland High School in Mitchell's Plain launch an anti-bullying pledge. Photo: Supplied

Pupils at Portland High School in Mitchell’s Plain launch an anti-bullying pledge. Photo: Supplied

  • Pupils and staff at Portland High School in Mitchells Plain held an anti-bullying awareness day.
  • The awareness day was in honour of Lufuno Mavhungu, who was bullied by her classmates. She later killed herself.
  • If the pupils’ behaviour is inconsistent with the code of conduct, then disciplinary action could be taken against them, said the WCED.

Pupils at Portland High School in Mitchells Plain have put their hands up in an effort to stop bullying.

The pupils led an anti-bullying awareness day on Tuesday.

Bullying has once again sparked a nationwide conversation about the mental and physical safety of children in schools. Last week, it emerged that Limpopo teenager Lufuno Mavhunga had taken her own life after a video showing her being assaulted and bullied went viral.

READ | SAHRC probing claims Lufuno Mavhunga’s school principal used corporal punishment to deal with bullying

The girl shown bullying Mavhunga has since been arrested and appeared in court on Thursday to apply for bail. During the hearing, the Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court heard that the 14-year-old should be kept at a youth detention centre.

Camorin Du Plessis took the initiative to organise the anti-bullying campaign pledge at Portland High, with the help of other pupils and staff.

Speaking to News24, 17-year-old Du Plessis said Portland High had always been a school opposed to bullying.”We were raising awareness concerning the crime of bullying in honour of Lufuno Mavhunga who was bullied by her schoolmates,” said Du Plessis, who is in Grade 11.

WATCH | ‘Very challenging and tricky to address’: Local panel discusses school bullying

On Monday, a notice was issued to pupils to inform them of the anti-bullying campaign pledge. On Tuesday morning, as pupils, teachers and support staff entered the school for Covid-19 screening, they were invited to sign the pledge to show their support for the campaign. 

Candles were lit in memory of all the victims of bullying and pink ribbons were issued to create awareness. Pupils and staff wore the pink ribbons throughout the day. 

Many pupils and staff expressed their agony for all the young, innocent lives lost to bullying. The signing of the pledge, which is part of the Metro South’s anti-bullying initiative, served as a reminder to the school and residents of the long-standing fight against bullying at Portland High School.

Pupils at Portland High School in Mitchell's Plain

Pupils at Portland High School in Mitchell’s Plain honoured Limpopo teenager Lufuno Mavhunga by launching an anti-bullying pledge this week.

SuppliedPhoto: Supplied

A pupil signs an anti-bullying pledge at Portland

A pupil signs an anti-bullying pledge at Portland High School in Mitchell’s Plain this week.

Supplied Photo: Supplied

A pupil at Portland High School in Mitchell's Plai

A pupil at Portland High School in Mitchell’s Plain lights a candle in honour Limpopo teenager Lufuno Mavhunga who took her life earlier in April.

Supplied Photo: Supplied

As a victim of bullying, Du Plessis said he was “annoyed” when stories of bullying made the news – the scourge dies down for a while, only to resurface again.

It’s for this reason he took it upon himself to appeal to fellow pupils not to resort to bullying and to help create a safe space not only for the victims of bullying.

Du Plessis said:

Growing up in a community where bullying is seen as normal is heart-breaking, but I am so grateful that Portland High is an anti-bullying school. They do not tolerate such detestable acts.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said there were numerous anti-bullying campaigns at district and school levels.

She said the department offered counselling support and advice to pupils and parents.

“Schools must address bullying, including cyber-bullying, in their school code of conduct. Disciplinary measures against learners who distribute, film, or participate in events that put the school into disrepute or constitute abuse, assault or bullying – should be addressed,” she said.

The WCED has a cyber-wellness programme that focused on ensuring pupils and teachers were cognisant of their digital footprint and the effect cyber-bullying had on others.

 “If learner behaviour is inconsistent with the code of conduct for learners, then disciplinary action could be taken against them,” said Hammond.  


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