South Africa: Suicide of Limpopo Teen Highlights Urgent Need for a Social Media Policy for Schools


The suicide of 15-year-old Limpopo school pupil Lufuno Mavhunga, after a video of her being bullied had been circulated on social media, highlights the urgent need for schools to create a social media/internet policy that includes an intentional and aggressive strategy to deal effectively with incidents like this.

Three questions came to mind when I heard the devastating news that Lufuno Mavhunga from Nzhelele in Limpopo had taken her life because, seemingly, she had been severely and repeatedly bullied, assaulted and humiliated at school.

Do schools and teachers have adequate resources and skills to deal with bullying and the complex layer that social media has added to this form of violence?

What was going through the mind of the learner who was taking the video of Lufuno being assaulted?

Do we and the public understand the impact of resharing this video on social media, especially for Lufuno, her family and the child perpetrator?

As a parent, I want to start by addressing the issue of readiness of schools to deal with issues like bullying given the complex nature surrounding Lufuno's assault. It would be negligent of the school to deal with this incident as a normal bullying case. The taking...

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