Bullying probed at Pta school

Bruises on a child (11) who is allegedly being bullied at school by fellow learners. Photo: supplied

Bullying by teachers and pupils are being probed at a primary school in Pretoria, the Gauteng department of education said on Monday.

This comes after the mother of an 11-year-old boy complained that her son was repeatedly being bullied at the school.

The name of child, the school and the mother are being withheld to protect the identity of the child and other minors involved.

The mother said: “I informed the school principal and the deputy principal about my child being bullied but nothing was done. They only talk to the bullies and take no disciplinary action.”

The woman said the first time her son was hurt was when his Grade 2 teacher apparently hit him in the face with a tennis ball in 2013.

The mother reported this to the principal and the teacher apologised to her but no disciplinary action was taken against this teacher.

“When my son was in Grade 3 he was pushed down the stairs by a fellow-learner in the presence of another teacher,” said the mother.

The mother said the teacher initially said she would handle the matter but when she was asked about the alleged assault by the principal, she denied any knowledge of it.

The woman alleged the same bully then assaulted her son in September 2014.

“The boy’s father even promised to pay for my child’s hospital bills but that never materialised,” said the mother.

In October 2016 the woman opened a case of common assault at Sunnyside police station after her son’s head was banged on the floor, but nothing was done.

“I was told that nothing could be done to assist me because the bully is a minor. I felt so helpless. My son is even afraid to go to school because of the bullying,” said the mother.

Sunnyside police spokesperson captain Daniel Mavimbela confirmed that a case of assault was being investigated.

“You must bear in mind that incidents that arise during school hours require the involvement of various stakeholders as stipulated in the School Safety Policy, including the police. The police cannot be expected to handle child offenders as if they are hard core criminals,” Mavimbela said.

He urged parents to cooperate with the school and police on this matter.

Most recently, the mother said her son was bitten on the arm by a female learner.

“I was sent a letter from the school the same day to attend a meeting with the learner and her parents the following day, but they never showed up,” said the mother.

The boy’s parents were then advised to go to the deputy principal to address the matter.

“My husband and I declined to speak to the deputy principal because he was rude to us on a previous occasion,” the mother said.

Rekord went to the school last week Friday but management was not available for comment.

An enquiry was then sent to the department.

Acting departmental spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said officials from the department were sent to the school on Monday to start with a preliminary investigation.

“The officials will be identifying learners and the educators who were involved in this unfortunate incident. They will also find out why the principal failed to report this sensitive matter to the authorities.”

He said the outcome of the investigation would determine what action would be taken by the department against those involved.


Also read:

Indonesia demands ‘bully’ China hand over fishing boat

Shocking school bullying video emerges

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