As a mom who has experienced both her sons having being bullied, this is a matter very close to my heart. Ash and Sky were both bullied within the first two years of starting Primary School. They experienced it again with the change in schools due to us relocating from Cape Town to Johannesburg.
Sky is a lover not a fighter and somehow managed to remain unaffected by the incidents imposed on him. Ash on the other hand hasn’t been that fortunate. The bullying he has been subjected to has had far-reaching effects that affects us daily. At the age of 9 he was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression. 5 years on and this is still very much our harsh reality. At the beginning of 2018 he started High School, the anxiety and fear of being bullied again, had him in an absolute frenzy. We have a course of action to help him cope but that’s a blog post for another day. All I am saying is bullying should never be underestimated.
So I was super excited when Go Speak Up Africa contacted me to help bring awareness to their app.
Speak UP!® is an international company that provides schools with an opportunity to address and hopefully reduce the incidence of abuse, bullying and other harmful behaviours. The focus is placed on the affects students both on the internet and in “real” life are subjected to on a daily basis. This oppportunity comes in the form of an app.
When students anonymously report incidents through the web or phone app, they are not only reaching out for the help they need, and helping the innocent victims of bullying, abuse and cyber-bullying. but they are also empowering themselves by standing up against behaviours that harm their peers and the school environment.
- Your child can report anything that concerns him or her regarding safety, well-being or any other matters the school should know about.
- Reporting anonymously.
- Quick and easy.
- Your child can unfortunately not make use of the app, unless their school pays to be enrolled in the Speak UP! Program.
- The app is available only for iPhone/iPad, Android and desktop.
So whether or not the app is the solution to the problem, I honestly feel we need to teach our kids that its okay to SPEAK UP. To speak up not only for themselves, but also for their peers. We need to help our kids grow into concerned and kind humans. They are the future and they can most certainly make a difference.