Expert on school bullying returns for PE workshop

Gillian McAinsh

STICKS and stones may break my bones but words can wound forever, believes the Southern African Association for Learning and Educational Differences (Saaled), which is presenting a workshop on bullying this weekend in Port Elizabeth.

Johannesburg-based clinical psychologist and workshop presenter Judith Ancer will visit the metro for a talk on Saturday morning on the impact of bullying, aimed at parents, teachers and caregivers.

“It’s a huge topic and affects everyone, not only children at school but also adults in the workplace,” Saaled committee member Philippa Fabbri said.

“It’s gone way beyond ‘you have big ears’, and is found at all schools – including the elite and private schools.”

She said bullying often was petty but hurtful and if a child did not wear clothes the bully approved of, or have the latest smartphone or electronic equipment, they could be targeted.

Vulnerable children were particularly at risk.

Fabbri said she had seen this form of bullying at one Port Elizabeth primary school level, where, for example, “if you don’t have a BlackBerry, you are nothing”.

The prevalence of cell- phones and social media such as Facebook made it easy for bullying to spread and it was vital for parents and professionals to be aware of the distress it caused to children, she said.

Ancer spoke on this subject in Port Elizabeth last year.

“Judith is a very good speaker and although she was here last year we wanted to bring her back to expose her message to more people,” Fabbri said.

The workshop will be held at St George’s Prep school hall, in Park Drive, from 8am to 11.30am and costs R60 (R40 for Saaled members).

ýFurther information from Danny Ah-Hing, 082-4491682, or e-mail: hallack@polka.co.za

 

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