Rape victim’s school ‘didn’t follow protocol’


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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

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Cape Town -

The school at which a Grade R girl was allegedly raped by three Grade 2 boys appears not to have followed protocol on reporting the matter to the education district office.

Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the matter had been reported to the district office on Friday, 10 days after the alleged incident. It should have been reported immediately.

The girl’s father told the Cape Argus on Monday that the school had failed in its duties as it had not notified about the incident until he spoke to the girl’s teacher last Thursday.

The alleged incident happened while the girl was waiting for her transport home.

Casey said the Western Cape Education Department’s Abuse no More policy provided schools with guidelines on how to deal with all forms of abuse, including sexual abuse. She said the department was investigating the procedures followed and why the girl had not been accounted for in a designated area where pupils wait for transport after school.

The girl’s parents had been contacted and counselling had been offered. Arrangements had been made for a social worker to visit the school to counsel the alleged perpetrators.

“The department has also advised the school to take the necessary disciplinary steps against the pupils.”

Casey said the disciplinary procedure would have to be dealt with by the school governing body in terms of the school’s code of conduct.

The girl’s father said she had not gone to school on Tuesday as she was too afraid to return as the three boys were still at the school. He said he was planning to enrol her at another school.

Casey said:

“The department is concerned about these allegations and the well-being of these learners. We will continue to co-operate with the SAPS in this regard, as well as provide the necessary support in terms of counselling.”

Pupils can call the department’s Safe Schools call centre on 080 045 4647 to report abuse.

ilse.fredericks@inl.co.za

Cape Argus


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