Aggression among teenage boys, and even girls, is a common occurrence at schools countrywide. Whether the act of sustained bullying or a once-off fraying of tempers, the level of violence displayed by the youth is alarmingly primal.
Roodepark School was the scene of another serious altercation on Wednesday, 29 January, which left a 17-year-old boy in hospital, reports the Roodepoort Record.
The victim of the assault arrived home from school with his mother immediately noticing that her son was not in a good condition. The boy had bruising on the side of his head, had difficulty walking and was generally disorientated. He was taken to hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit after an MRI determined that he had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
It is alleged that after a disagreement in the school courtyard, the victim attempted to separate a friend and his eventual attacker. After exchanging punches the boy was hoisted into the air and slammed into the concrete courtyard. Based on video footage seen by the school and the parents, the boy lay unconscious for several moments before being attended to by teachers.
The victim remains in the hospital and the attacker has subsequently been suspended. The parents of the attacker, however, claim that the altercation was instigated by the boy who now finds himself in hospital. A statement given to the principal by a witness seems to corroborate the claim. The statement alleges that the victim was shaking the other boy, two years his junior, violently from the neck thus resulting in the retaliatory outburst.
The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) is aware of the incident and issued a statement on Saturday, 1 February, prior to their meeting with the school this morning, 3 February.
“Indeed, we do not underestimate such incidents, especially bullying, which is a serious concern to us. We will launch an investigation [into the] surrounding circumstances of this incident, which will assist us to take decisive action,” said Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
The Department of Education’s psychosocial team will offer counselling to the families. The parents of both boys have opened assault cases against each other. The school has yet to comment but is believed to be in a lengthy meeting with the GDE.