Marondera, March 30, 2014 – Officials at Zimbabwe’s most elite private school, Peterhouse College, have dismissed a bullying video that has gone viral on the internet saying it is an initiative by competition to discredit the school.
The video which former students and officials say was released five years ago and re-posted to put the school’s name in bad repute shows seven form one students slapping the living day lights out of each other under instruction from unidentified seniors.
The school has a strict non-bullying policy and students who violate the policy face suspension or expulsion,the Daily News on Sunday learnt yesterday.
“We are certainly not aware of any bullying at the school. The video in question is four or five years old and disciplinary action was taken when the video was discovered,” said Simon Hammond, the Peterhouse Board chairperson.
According to former students from the prestigious school, the video was once leaked before on social network site, YouTube, but it was removed.
Research has shown that bullying has some negative effects on the physical and psychological well-being of those children who fall victim to bullies.
Two deaths of students were recorded within a period of four months at Prince Edward School in 2012; the deaths were linked to suspected bullying.
The first death was of a student who was found dead in a swimming pool and another student was found lying dead in a basketball court.
Of concern is the fact that both these mysterious deaths were alleged to be a result of foul play by prefects and senior students at the school.
In a similar case at Chinhoyi High School bullying reports were also reported.
Former students at these single sex schools told the Daily News on Sunday that bullying is some sort of culture meant at initiating the “newbies” into the schools.
“It is a vicious cycle really; when you go there in form one you are subjected to bullying and naturally when you’re a senior you’ll do the same and the cycle goes on and on,” said a former St Ignatius student who preferred anonymity.
The video that received numerous shares and comments on social platforms yesterday alone gave the world a glimpse into the elitist life pupils are subjected to at some private single sex schools.
“We always take disciplinary action against bullying at Peterhouse. It is not accepted and all our students are happy,” Hammond said.