Fifteen minutes of counselling is allegedly all that a 12-year-old Wolmer boy got from his school after being assaulted by a fellow pupil.
His mother claims that days after he was assaulted by a fellow Suiderberg School pupil on a Tshwane metro bus, the school provided a counsellor for 15 minutes after a disciplinary hearing “and that was all”.
WB Nel says he is terrified of the 14-year-old boy who kicked him and hit him with a fist and a plank.
To make matters worse, he is now being teased by other children at school and those who travel on the bus home with him.
“I see him at school and on the bus. He always gives me terrible looks. Of course I am very afraid of him. The other children tease me and call me names. I have no friends so I’m all alone,” an emotional Nel said.
His mother Geraldine Potgieter says she is worried about her son’s emotional state after the attack.
It breaks her heart to see her son suffer. “He is already a very quiet child and on treatment, but this has had a massive effect on him.
“I cannot afford to send him for private psychology sessions but I know he needs it. The school is supposed to help but they just don’t care,” Potgieter said.
Nel was attacked two weeks ago on the way home from school – allegedly in full view of the bus driver who did not intervene. He has since been suspended.
The mother of the boy who attacked Nel admitted to the Pretoria News on Monday that her son had spent time on anger management and hyperactivity treatment.
She added that her son was regularly involved “in arguments with other boys. That’s just how boys are. They argue now and two minutes later it’s over and they are friends again”, she said.
She did not want her or her son’s name to be disclosed.
She also rubbished claims by Potgieter that her son’s motive was to kill Nel.
According to Potgieter, during the disciplinary hearing at the school last week, her son’s attacker pleaded guilty.
“He got so angry he started holding on to the chair and then said that. He was so angry he even cried,” Potgieter said.
The disciplinary hearing was a waste of time and a smack in the face for her and her son, she said.
“The entire process lasted 25 minutes. There were no consequences for what he had done to my son. All he was told was ‘please don’t do that again’.
“His mother was reminded to take him to hospital to get him back on his treatment,” Potgieter said.
The attacker’s mother said her son had gone off treatment two years ago so that he could play sport.
“The treatment made him very slow and thus he could not perform in sport,” his mother said.
Her son was suspended from school for five days and was sorry about the attack, she said.
Department of Education spokeswoman Phumla Sekhonyane said: “The school governing body – as required by the law where a learner has infringed the school’s code of conduct – has instituted and concluded the disciplinary hearing.
“The perpetrator was given a verbal warning.
“Trauma debriefing was provided to the assaulted learner. An assessment as to whether the learner needs further support will be conducted by the department’s social support unit.”