South Africa: Bikers Anti-bullying Initiative Causes Controversy

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Riaan van Zyl

Gauging by the comments on Facebook, it seems that residents are divided over an event against bullying that took place at Laerskool Roodekrans on Tuesday morning (9 October).

Bikers against Bullies South Africa (BABSA) picked up a learner, who was allegedly bullied in the past, from his house, and escorted him to school that morning. The event took place before school commenced and the boy’s fellow learners waited for him and the group of more than a hundred bikers on the rugby field. The bikers, according to some residents, also had posters with anti-bullying slogans on them.

But some residents and parents were not pleased with the event, feeling the problem of bullying should not be addressed in this manner with some even stating that the bikers were now the bullies. Others claimed the bikers had no right to be there and that they intimidated the children. Others though lauded the gesture, saying they take their hats off to the bikers for addressing the problem. The post and its thread were later removed by the administrators of the Facebook page in question.

Reinier Ferreira of BABSA told the Record they had arranged with the school beforehand and did not just “pitch up and take over” as some implied on social media. He also said the school governing body representative who accompanied them was very pleased. It was clear that the children enjoyed the visit and at no time did he sense any child feeling intimidated.

The Record is still in the process of obtaining comment from Laerskool Roodekrans…

Culled from Roodepoort Record