Lesufi condemns 'violent conduct, assaults or bullying' at Gauteng schools

There is no place for bullying and ill-discipline at Gauteng schools, says MEC

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has called on parents to talk to their children about ill-discipline and violence. File photo.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has called on parents to talk to their children about ill-discipline and violence. File photo.
Image: Vathiswa Ruselo/Sowetan

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has called for swift investigations into an apparent spike in ill-discipline and violence at Gauteng schools.

Lesufi condemned recent acts of ill-discipline, after several reports of violent acts by pupils, some of which were captured on social media.

“First of all, I need to make it abundantly clear that our schools can never be sites of violent conduct, assaults or bullying. Violence has no place at our schools and we call on school management to work with parents and the department to ensure we bring these acts of ill-discipline and misconduct to a swift end,” Lesufi said.

Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona said during an incident on Thursday, a grade 11 boy from Anchor Comprehensive allegedly stabbed a grade 12 boy from Emadwaleni Secondary School in Orlando West.

He said reasons for the incident are unknown and a police case has been opened.

"The Gauteng education department is sending psychosocial support to the school to assist all those affected by the stabbing incident. The grade 11 learner has been suspended with immediate effect, pending a disciplinary process,” Mabona said.

Another video making the rounds on social media is of two pupils fighting in what seems to be the school toilets. In the video, one pupil is seen choking the other while she lies on the ground. The pupil continues to pull the other pupil's hair as she tries to hit back.

“The stabbing incident followed social media reports over the past few days showing videos where two grade 10 girl learners are engaged in violent conduct in what appears to be the school toilets at Dinwiddie High School in Germiston.

“Information at our disposal indicates that this incident took place on Monday April 12 and the school intervened immediately. After preliminary investigations on April 14, one learner was placed on precautionary suspension as per the school’s code of conduct, and the parents of both learners were duly appraised,” Mabona said.

Mabona said the pupil will face a disciplinary hearing by the school governing body on April 20.

He said other pupils at the school will be receiving psychosocial support while the school has initiated several measures to curb similar future incidents, including undertaking an advocacy campaign to educate pupils on bullying, assault and related offences.

Mabona said in another video of alleged school bullying, a group of pupils at Letsibogo Secondary School in Meadowlands were captured seemingly fighting another pupil.

“The incident is alleged to have taken place on Monday, where two grade 12 learners fought each other after school outside the school premises. Educators intervened and parents were called to the school on Tuesday.”

Mabona said one pupil was suspended, while the other is receiving counselling.

“Our schools should be the centres of excellence, not sites of violence and other antisocial behaviour. We call on parents to play their role and talk to their children, as well, about ill-discipline and violence as this is a societal challenge,” Lesufi said.

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