The parents of an 11-year-old Grade 6 boy from Centurion are outraged after a teacher allegedly strangled him at school.
The boy, who attends Springvale Primary School, was allegedly strangled by the teacher, who also apparently stepped on his chest, after accusing him of stealing flavoured water from a fellow pupil.
Speaking to News24, the pupil’s parents, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, said the school counsellor called them in to brief them on Friday, following the incident.
“How true, what the facts are, how was it verified, I don’t know. But, to a certain extent, the teacher got so angry, and she decided to [allegedly] assault my son,” his father told News24.
“According to my son, she (the teacher) strangled him, pushed him to the ground and stepped on his ribs, and at the same time pulling both of his feet up, and that’s when he started to scream for help,” he said.
The father added that he was told that some teachers and cleaners had witnessed the incident and had provided statements which were in possession of the school.
He said they had since opened a case of assault at the Wierdabrug police station.
The boy was traumatised by the incident, his parents said. His dad added that, after initially deciding their child should attend school on Monday, they had turned back after learning that the teacher in question was on the premises.
“We decided, as parents, not to leave our son there. I will still check with the school what transpired today, so that my son can go back to school tomorrow.”
The parents said they were disappointed by the treatment of their son, who was supposed to be in safe hands at school.
They added that he had been complaining since last year about unfair treatment, and about being blamed when things went wrong. His father said he had tried before to address the matter with the school principal.
On Friday, the pupil’s mother took to social media.
Other parents then tagged Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on the post. Lesufi tagged his team as spokesperson Steve Mabona had alerted them to the query.
The father said it was interesting that other parents had come forward to say their children had experienced similar treatment at the school.
“My sense and simple analysis are that some educators don’t have any regards for any form of consequences of their actions. If what the other parents are alleging is true, it says to you that there is a particular way of treating kids at the school.”
He said his son had explained that he had bought the same flavoured water, which his schoolmate had said had gone missing.
“Seemingly, they bought the same water at the tuckshop. Even in the report I got from the principal, there is nothing tangible pointing the finger at my son.”
The father said he wanted to find out what mechanism had been used to prove that his son had stolen the water.
Acting Principal Asha Rajkumar told News24 that the matter had been referred to the department’s district office and that they were waiting for a directive from it.
Police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo confirmed a case of common of assault had been opened at Wierdabrug police station on Saturday.
Masondo added that no arrest had been made and that investigations were under way. News24 has sent questions to the department and its comment will be added once received.