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Progressive Principals concerned over school violence

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The Progressive Principals Association (PPA) has voiced their concerns about the increase in violence in at schools in the Mitchell’s Plain area. This comes after a learner was allegedly stabbed multiple times outside the school gate on Friday. The attack ensued after an alleged altercation during the school interval. According to reports, the learner was confronted by a group of eight learners with scissors and a screwdriver after school.

Rusha O’Shea, the association’s chairperson and principal of Tafelsig Senior Secondary, said violence on this level has become normalised in schools on the Cape Flats. She said children go to school with issues that started at home or in the community and these are manifesting in the school grounds.

“Community related issues play itself out on our playground. Due to a slew of problems in our community, violence is on the increase. This is leading to bloodshed,” said O’Shea.

Principals in Mitchell’s Plain have been discussing and trying to find solutions to conflict in schools.

“The executive of the Progressive Principals Association will be meeting today, and one of the topics we are going to be looking at is how we can assist our colleagues with ending violence at schools. Most of the teachers are not trained to deal with violence; it’s really your passion for your children that kicks in and assists in these violent situations. We need to intervene and get into the crux of the matter,” she said.

The Western Cape Education Department says they aware of the incident and are investigating the matter.
O’Shea says the extra cost burden of full time security at the school is another challenge as this comes from the school’s education budget.

“I had to have law enforcement stationed at my school. These funds could have used for extra teachers but we had to spend on security personal. It’s a challenge but I believe all the role-players should come to the party such as religious organisations and community clubs,” she concluded. VOC

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