17 February 2019 / 11 Jammad-ul-Thani 1440

SanSouci: Teacher, pupil open assault cases against each other

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Counter-cases of assault have been laid after a San Souci teacher was filmed slapping a pupil following an altercation.

In a video that went viral on social media, a teacher of the Newlands school is seen reprimanding a pupil for not having the correct book and for having her cellphone out in an incident that occurred on Tuesday.

The pupil backchats in a short exchange before getting off her seat and shoving the teacher, who in turn smacks her across the face.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed on Wednesday that counter-cases of assault had been opened for investigation following the incident – one on behalf of the pupil and another by the 33-year-old teacher.

In an interview broadcast by eNCA, the mother claimed to have run into the teacher at the police station as she was opening her case.

Asked how she felt about the incident, the woman said she was disappointed and upset. She said the school had informed her that her child should not come to class on Wednesday, but she wanted her child back at school by Thursday.

A group of pupils at the school, in a photo released by the Western Cape Education Department, made a stand in support of the teacher in the school hall on Wednesday. They held up a poster which read, “It’s not about race”.

Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said the actions of the teacher were unacceptable and that no form of corporal punishment would be tolerated in schools. A probe would determine whether the pupil would face disciplinary action too.

“Officials of the Western Cape Education Department visited the school this morning. An investigation into the incident is also under way.

“The investigation will determine whether the pupil will also face disciplinary action. Pupils in the class have been asked to make a statement regarding the events that led up to the incident. There is further video evidence that has been edited out of the version being circulated,” she said.

“As the teacher in the video is an SGB (school governing board) appointee, we ask the public to allow the SGB to investigate the incident before such conclusions are made.

“The WCED will support schools that ensure that the relevant disciplinary procedures are followed when it comes to any form of violence behaviour,” Schäfer said.

Yesterday the school’s SGB met and said they found the incident disturbing.

“We have initiated the remedial processes as prescribed by the School’s Code of Conduct and within the framework of the South African Schools Act.

“After due consultation with all stakeholders, both parties involved will be dealt with in accordance with the law in a fair and transparent process.”

The school made headlines in 2016 when pupils protested over “institutionalised racism” as the rules did not accommodate their natural hair or home language.

[Source: Times Live]

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