A Grade nine St Cyprian’s Grammar School learner is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed with a pair of scissors by a fellow pupil.
The incident took place on Monday afternoon, in full view of the learner’s mother, who was waiting in her vehicle to pick up her son after school.
She saw her son and a friend walking towards the car, when another boy came up to her son and grabbed him.
‘When I saw this I immediately ran up to them and tried to pull them apart. More parents, who were in the area, also came to assist. When I pulled him away from the boy, I saw that he was bleeding in his neck. There was a gaping wound, which was apparently inflicted with a pair of scissors. I immediately rushed him to hospital, where the doctor said that if the stab wound was two centimetres closer, it would have punctured the jugular vein and my son would have bled to death,” the distraught mother said on Tuesday.
She added that her son had to receive seven stitches and that a nurse who attended to him was able to place the tip of her finger inside the wound.
Apparently the attack was sparked by a quarrel between the two learners earlier in the day.
The mother added that, although the school had been very supportive towards her son following the incident, she had decided to take him out of the school because she fears for his safety.
“I cannot let my child go back to school while his attacker is still there. Bullying in schools is becoming more and more commonplace. Parents are paying for their children to get an education, not to have their lives put in danger by bullies.”
The mother also said that she had opened a case at the police station against the alleged attacker.
Her concerns regarding bullying were on Tuesday further highlighted when a mother of a Northern Cape High School learner came forward, indicating that her son, a Grade 9 learner, had also been a victim of apparent bullying recently.
Her son was allegedly assaulted by a fellow Northern Cape High learner, apparently following racist remarks.
The incident, which took place directly outside the school’s premises before school started in the morning, was captured on cellphone by another learner.
In the video, a male learner, dressed in school uniform, is clearly seen verbally assaulting, taunting, pushing, hitting and rugby-tackling the boy to the ground, who remains passive and silent and only retaliates when he is fisted in the face by the other boy.
Numerous other learners, also dressed in school uniform, are seen recording the fight with their cellphones, while no attempts are made to stop the fight.
Cigarette smoke also wafts into view.
The mother indicated that her son had been the victim of racist remarks before the incident, with the learner involved in assaulting her son reportedly calling him a “k*****boetie” and “k**lie-maatjie” because he had black, coloured and Indian friends.
“After one of my son’s best friends, a black learner, died, my son was sent to a psychiatric facility because he was struggling to deal with the loss. When he returned to school the boy involved in assaulting him asked him ‘where is your ‘k*%#r-boetie’ now?’ and he became upset and they exchanged words.
“After this incident, which was captured on cellphone, he told me that the school was going to phone me because he had been involved in a fight with the boy. The two received exactly the same punishment. It was only later after I saw the video, that I realised my son was actually the victim, and not the instigator. When I approached the school’s headmaster, Henk Brand, with the footage and demanded a harsher sentence for the other boy, he reacted nonchalantly, saying that according to the school’s code of conduct, learners involved in a fight received the same punishment,” the mother on Tuesday said.
She has subsequent to the incident, also taken her son out of the school and is making other arrangements to have him admitted to another school.
“I think because this boy is a rugby player at the school, he is being protected. This while my son and other children run the risk of being bullied by him. I will not put my son’s life in danger by sending him back to Northern Cape High. Brand has not been forthcoming in finding a solution to this bullying problem. While I might have been outspoken in exposing this bully, other children keep quiet, fearing victimisation. It is about them that I worry and I urge other parents to monitor their children’s behaviour and intervene if they suspect bullying,” she added.
St Cyprian’s Grammar School headmaster, Reverend Marcellus Conway, said on Tuesday that he was not prepared to comment on the incident because the matter was still under investigation.
Northern Cape High School headmaster, Henk Brand, said he was aware of the incident at the school and confirmed that he had seen the video footage.
He did, however, deny that the incident was related to bullying.
“Both learners received the same punishment, as prescribed in the school’s code of conduct. Although the incident happened outside of the school’s premises and outside of school hours, both were dressed in school uniform and thus steps were taken. I would not call it bullying but rather just two boys fighting,” Brand said. - Diamond Fields Advertiser