Bullying rocks Ellis Robins School

A PUPIL at Ellis Robins School in Mabelreign was allegedly stripped of his shorts by prefects as yet another case of bullying has rocked Harare.

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The boy, according to some of the pupils at the school, was being punished by the prefects who asked him to lift his satchel with both hands.

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“While both his hands were still raised, one of the prefects pulled down his shorts in front of everyone,” one pupil said.

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The humiliated boy is said to have reported the matter to his parents who alerted school authorities.

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A few pupils were asked to narrate in writing what had happened, but they were later harangued by the prefects involved who wanted to know why they had agreed to write the report.

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“The prefects were boasting that no harm would come to them as they were very powerful and influential,” another boy said.

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There have been several reports of bullying at the all-boys school and the Form One pupils are mostly the targets for the prefects whom they are supposed to address as “sir”.

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The prefects are allowed to place the younger boys in detention and most parents are not amused by the daily detentions which result in most of the boys going home late.

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“Sometimes they make us sit under our desks for being noisy and they proceed to harass us verbally. This is a daily occurrence and we are used to it,” a Form One pupil from Dzivarasekwa said.

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The powerful grip of the prefects even goes beyond the school gate and pupils are not allowed to walk the same path used by prefects or seniors.
\nA parent who used to have a child at the school said she had to pull out her son because of the excessive bullying.

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Efforts to get a comment from Ellis Robins headmaster Cloud Nyambuya were fruitless.

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Two weeks ago, a Grade 7 pupil at Waddilove Primary School in Marondera hanged himself after a suspected case of bullying. The matter is still being investigated.

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Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora recently issued a stern warning to schools that tolerated bullying following
\na sharp rise in cases of bullying around schools in Harare.