News / South Africa / Local News

Johané Turkstra
3 minute read
20 Sep 2017
1:29 pm

Boy, 14, dies after alleged bullying

Johané Turkstra

Three bullies allegedly kicked a soccer ball at his face, and the following weekend, he complained about a headache.

Louis de Jonge has died. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

According to the boy’s mother, Elmarie Bianchina, he and his brother were badly beaten by an unnamed learner while “the other two cheered him on”.

The incident allegedly took place on school premises shortly after the school closed for the day. After the alleged attack Louis complained about severe headaches, Benoni City Times reports.

His mother kept him out of school for a few days, but she said he was able to return to school.

On September 15, during the fifth period, the three suspected bullies allegedly kicked a soccer ball at him, which hit him in the face.

Over the passing weekend, he complained again about the headache and asked his mother to rub his neck.

On September 19, Bianchina received a phone call from her other son, 14, saying that his brother’s face was turning blue. She immediately alerted her landlord, who phoned an ambulance.

“When I arrived at home at about 1.30pm, my child was already dead,” she said.

A postmortem will be conducted today (September 20) to determine the cause of death.

Bianchina said her children have been bullied before.

“I addressed the matter in the principal’s office, I went to parent-teacher meetings, and I brought it to the direct attention of the teachers,” she said.

She acknowledged that teachers did “keep an eye”, but said bullies know when and where to attack without being caught.

“They are not properly punished, they are suspended for a few days, and that’s it,” she said.

READ MORE: Stop bullying, says Childline KZN

She said she received a letter from the school on September 13 stating that her children and the suspected bullies were in the principal’s office. According to her, the bullies admitted to attacking her children.

“It was also mentioned in the letter that the principal is aware of the fact that my sons have been bullied by the other three boys previously,” said Bianchina.

She said the school has not taken any disciplinary action against the learners.

Frikkie Smith, principal of Noorderlig Gekombineerde Skool, said the fight on September 4 did not involve the De Jonge boys and three other boys, but rather only one learner against the two brothers.

In the letter written to Bianchina the school admitted to being aware of the bullying.

According to the report, the incident unfolded when the older De Jonge brother refused to give right of way for a learner at school. The older brother then pushed the learner, who retaliated and slapped him.

Louis then intervened by hitting the learner over the head with a pipe from his school bag.

The principal said he was aware of the case, but the school follows a disciplinary policy when it comes to bullying.

Smith said learners are given colour-coded cards to indicate the severity of their offence. He said such cases are handed over to the school’s disciplinary committee, and they then conduct disciplinary hearings if they see the need.

Smith said he was not aware of any bullying after the initial fight on September 4.

READ MORE:

Stop bullying, says Childline KZN

– Caxton News Service

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