Pupils accused of attacking teachers

Johannesburg - Incidents of pupils assaulting teachers have been reported at a top Sandton high school.

Last week, pupils at Sandown High School allegedly locked a Grade 8 teacher in a classroom after complaining that the maths test she had set was too difficult.

Sandown High was one of the first schools to embrace the school twinning programme started by Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, inset. The plan aims to better foster sharing of resources and non-racialism. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya. Credit: Independent Media

“The teacher has been at the school for about two months and this was one of her first exams. She was shaken up badly,” said a teacher.

The Gauteng Education Department has disputed the allegation.

Spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said preliminary investigations had been conducted and it seemed it wasn’t a case of pupils locking a teacher in a classroom.

“The classroom door accidentally locked itself because of a broken door handle. Therefore, the educator and the learners were trapped inside the classroom.”

In another alleged incident, a pupil who was caught cheating during an exam allegedly kicked a teacher.

A teacher at the school said: “The female teacher was invigilating the exam when she realised the boy was cheating.

“She tried to take his exam paper away from him and a scuffle ensued. He kicked her in the waist.”

The teacher who was assaulted declined to speak to the Daily News's sister paper, The Star.

Bodibe said the pupil had been suspended and was set to face a disciplinary hearing next week.

Sandown High was one of the first schools to agree to Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi’s school twinning programme to better foster the sharing of resources and non-racialism in the province. The project’s intention is to pair well-resourced schools with historically poor ones, with a view to improving learning and teaching standards at disadvantaged institutions.

Sandown’s school governing body merged with Alexandra High School’s.

Last week, two pupils from Moletsane High School in Soweto were suspended after they were caught on camera assaulting a teacher in class.

Teachers and parents have accused the principal of not reporting the incident to the district office in an effort to protect the school’s image.

Bodibe said the department would probe the claims.

“The district officials will visit the school to investigate the allegations.

“We also urge parents who have information to report such matters to the district, and the department will not hesitate to act if there is any wrongdoing by the principal.”