Bullying can lead to gangsterism and death, while it can also force pupils to drop out of school.
This was the stern warning on Monday January 29, when officers from Khayelitsha police station visited Matthew Goniwe High School, in Site B, where they cautioned pupils about the impact of bullying.
The police said they had discovered that bullying was one of the factors that led to group fights after school.
Site B sector commander, Captain Ntandazo Mncanca, of Khayelitsha police station, said they wanted to address bullying to fight and reduce crime.
He said in most cases, pupils did not report bullying and instead dealt with it on their own. That, he said, often led to gangsterism.
He said they were working tirelessly to empower young people with life skills so that they could make better choices.
Addressing the pupils, Captain Mncanca said: “If you are bullying other children you will be arrested and your fingerprints taken and captured in the information system of the police. You should by all means try to avoid that.
“And you could only do that by not involving yourself in any criminal activity. Having a criminal (record) at a young age could ruin your future. Don’t involve yourself in things that do not build you and make you a better person.”
Captain Mncanca said they wanted to build a strong partnership with schools and other community organisations.
He said they also wanted victims of bullying to come forward and report it before it got out of control.
School principal Mzuvukile Ngumbe said they had not experienced any cases of bullying, but did not dispute that it might be happening.
He said the school had been battling late coming and the smoking of dagga.
Mr Ngumbe also called on parents to deal with their children firmly to assist the schools with ill-discipline. He said parents were too lenient.
“It is Grade 8 and 9 pupils who are mostly caught smoking and involved in gangsterism. Today’s children are too experimental and do not fear the consequences of their actions. The community needs to play its active role in moulding children into becoming better people. Once a pupil has been suspected to be involved in gangsterism, he will be removed from the school until he is cleared,” said Mr Ngumbe.
Grade 8 pupil Phiwonke Mbingeleli said she was bullied in primary school.
She said a classmate would take her lunch and bully her. She said for some time she did not report the matter but later on decided to tell her parents.