Father of high school pupil 'called the k-word' wants teacher fired
The teacher, who allegedly sprayed the pupil with sanitiser and called him the k-word, has been suspended.
The father of a 14-year-old Johannesburg high school pupil whose female teacher allegedly assaulted him and called him the k-word, wants the educator fired.
The boy's father said on Friday that his son told him on Thursday that his Afrikaans teacher at Northriding Secondary School had assaulted him. TimesLIVE has chosen not to name the dad to protect the identity of the child.
“I got the wind of it later in the day. I called my son later in the afternoon to find out how his day was. He told me that his day was messed up because a teacher assaulted him and called him the k-word.
“He said they [he and a classmate] were talking in class and she came and started stepping on his toes and sprayed him with sanitiser,” he said.
He said his son walked away from the teacher to throw a piece of paper in the bin. She then followed him and continued to spray him with sanitiser.
The education department on Friday confirmed this version of the events, as it announced that the teacher had been suspended.
“She just went on a tangent. She was saying a lot of things. My son went to his English teacher’s class. The teacher who assaulted him followed him and continued to assault him,” he said.
The teacher, according to the father, slapped him and continued to verbally assault him.
She then called the other teacher the k-word.
“I went to the principal this morning [Friday] and he informed me that the teacher had been suspended. I asked on what grounds was she suspended. She should have been fired,” he said.
I am so angry that in this day and age we have incidents like this happening.Pupil's father
He said his son had been left traumatised.
“I am so angry that in this day and age we have incidents like this happening. I am also upset there are not processes in place at the school to address issues of racism. The school did not take action against the teacher immediately. They did not call us. The only person who engaged us is the English teacher,” he said.
He said he had laid a complaint against the teacher with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). He had also opened a criminal case against her.
In a video supplied by the Gauteng education department, principal Francois Oosthuizen said the school had suspended the teacher.
Responding to the father’s claim that the school only contacted him late on Thursday afternoon, Oosthuizen said: “That’s an unfortunate situation of school. That’s the nature of school. You get preoccupied and busy with a number of things at the same time, not nullifying the importance of it”.
He said the school would provide psychosocial treatment to pupils and teachers.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi welcomed the suspension.
“As a department, we are extremely disappointed about this incident. Racism will never be tolerated in our schools. Educators must always teach and guide learners, not fight them. We welcome the move by the school governing body to suspend the teacher with immediate effect while disciplinary processes are being finalised,” he said.
According to the education department, investigations revealed that an “altercation over noisemaking occurred on Thursday May 6 between a grade 8 learner and an Afrikaans educator”.
“The educator is then alleged to have sprayed the learner with sanitiser. He [the pupil] left the classroom to report the matter to another teacher in the neighbouring class. It is alleged that the accused educator followed and started to engage violently with the learner, further spraying the learner with sanitiser all over his body and allegedly calling him a ‘k****r’. The violence stopped only after the intervention of the other teacher,” said spokesperson Steve Mabona.
He said there were also reports that the same teacher “then had another altercation, in the next period, with other learners, where she started swearing at learners, allegedly calling them 'baboons, drug dealers and k****rs'.
“Subsequently, other teachers, the representative council of learners (RCL) and the principal intervened and calmed the situation down.”
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