Free State education department investigating alleged racist fight at Welkom school
A week earlier, five other boys from the school were involved in fight.
Screenshot of video from X.
The Free State Department of Education is investigating allegations of racism, bullying and assault at Welkom Technical High School.
“This follows the harrowing video which is circulating on social media depicting three learners involved in a fistfight in front of the female teacher. It is alleged that during the brawl this teacher was biased towards the other learner,” said a statement from the department.
The department condemned all acts of ill-discipline, racism, criminality, violence and bullying in schools.
This incident happened just a week after five boys from the school were involved in a fight.
The five were found guilty by the school’s disciplinary committee made to clean the school for three consecutive days.
After seeing the video, Free State Education MEC Makalo Mohale expressed shock at the violence sometimes seen at schools.
“School safety is a societal issue. We need to… work together as parents, SGBs, teachers, learners and other stakeholders to stop violence at our schools,” Mohale said.
The department has sent officials to investigate the incident.
The district is also providing psychosocial support to the three pupils involved in the fight.
The father of the black pupil involved in the fight said there was a racial element to it.
He told City Press that he laid criminal charges and was in the process of suing the school for failing to prevent the assault on his son.
He opened a case of attempted murder at Jan Hofmeyer Police Station in Welkom.
He accused the teacher of only trying to stop the fight once his son fought back.
He said: “The footage shows that when he (his son) fought back, it was only then she intervened. Clearly, it’s racial. While he was attacked, she just stood there and watched.
“My son was strangled by a white boy, and she did nothing, but when my son got up to fight back, that’s when she got physically involved, but she just watched as my son was being assaulted,” the boy’s father added.
The school on Wednesday held a meeting with the parents of the pupils, during which the principal allegedly tried to convince them not to take the matter to the media and withdraw the case with the police.