Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Churchill High in bullying scandal

By Arron Nyamayaro

Churchill High School has been hit by a bullying scandal that saw the police being called to the school for investigations.

Churchill High School
Non-playing pupils from Churchill High School cheer on their 1st XV rugby team as they play against arch rivals, Prince Edward School. The pupils mass on grandstands with their rivals only metres away, where they sing chant and taunt their opposites. The schools are based in Harare, Zimbabwe and this particular game attracted thousands of supporters, Churchill narrowly lost, 31-20. As is tradition the team are to perform their haka when they win agianst their opponents, today it was not to be. Picture: CORNELL TUKIRI © 01 July 2017

The cyber bullying case is reported to have taken place at the school on Tuesday and involves Form 4 and U6 pupils.

Parents said bullying is an everyday thing at the school and accused the school of trying to hide the severity of the problem.

“I am a parent at Churchill Boys High pachikoro apa pashata. The levels of bullying are scary. Forms 1, 2 and 3 pupils are being beaten up by the senior pupils. Apparently nezuro kwakawanikwa vana vaive nemapanga nepfuti; aive nepfuti anonzi P******,” said one parent.

Another parent to a Form 3 pupil who was threatened two days ago because he refused to be beaten actually reported the case at Rhodesville Police.

“My brother is Form 1 akarohwa zvekuti on Tuesday,”

“The headmaster went as far as saying nyaya dzekuchikoro hadziudzwe maparents,” said a parent who raised a complaint with the school.

Some students interviewed by H-Metro confirmed that bullying is common indicating that there is raging animosity between the day scholars and boarders.

“Today (yesterday) some students exchanged blows after challenging each other and most of the cases involve Form 6 students who want junior students to feel their seniority,” said one of the students.

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“The authorities need to find a way to unite day scholars and boarders because there is huge animosity between them. And if one student say a day scholar, is attacked, others unite against the perpetrator thereby waging a war between the two camps.

“Vamwe vanotoumburudzwa mumadhaga asi kana uchida kuswera warohwa ita mistake yekupinda muground revakomana vanotamba rugby.

“The name ‘home of the bulldogs’ actually is after how you will be treated by rugby players if you dare try to challenge them in the field of play or play with their hunting ground,” said the student.

However, the Churchill headmaster Patson Mugwanda downplayed the reports saying it is normal for outgoing pupils to misbehave at the end of the year.

He spoke about the incident that saw the police coming to investigate bullying allegations at the school.

“We received a report of a Form 3 student who had a misunderstanding with another student and one of the three students involved recorded one of the pupils saying he was after the other student’s blood,” said Mugwanda.

“The audio, upon reaching his parents, disturbed them and they took the matter to Rhodesville police station and two officers came and we discussed the matter.

“Upon thorough investigations it turned out to be a hoax.

“One of the alleged victim’s friend was the one who recorded the audio following a challenging statement reported to have been uttered by the alleged cyber bullying victim to a Form 4 student.

“The alleged victim is big bodied and is a Taikondo player so he was making fun of challenging his seniors and this is how it started.

“We involved our school disciplinary members and the alleged victim apologised for breaking rule number seven of the school rules that guides our students.

“We discussed the issue together with the parents and two police officers and I am sure they are continuing with investigations,” said Mugwanda.

Mugwanda denied allegations that some senior students might be bullying juniors.

“I cannot say there is bullying per-se but there is a tendency among some Form 4 and U6 students showing bad behaviour maybe as a way of saying goodbye but the school is up to deal with such behaviour,” he said. H-Metro