Teacher pinched my son's ears, says father

Johannesburg - A parent of a pupil at an Ekurhuleni school is spitting fire after a teacher allegedly pinched his son's ears so hard that one ear was torn.

According to the parent, a teacher pinched the ears of the Grade 2 class at Sofunda Primary School and Creche in Dawn Park near Boksburg because they were making a noise.

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The parent's seven-year-old son was injured and is now scared to go back to school.

The father said: "The worst thing is that the school didn't tell me that the child was hurt. When I picked him up on Monday, I realised his ear was bleeding, and he told me it was because the teacher had pinched him."

Pinching pupils is considered corporal punishment and is not allowed in the school system. The father claims it wasn't the first time the teacher had used corporal punishment against the class.

"When the children misbehave, he always pinches them. We have complained to the school but they do nothing about it. Now my son is terrified of going back to school," he said.

The man said that when he confronted Zodwa Mbadu, principal of the independent school, he was asked not to open a criminal case or report the matter to the district office.

The school claims the assault never happened. In fact, Mbadu claims the parent didn't pay school fees.

"The allegations are not true. It is important to put on record that he is one of the difficult parents to deal with. He received a letter indicating that he is owing school fees for two months, and within no time of getting this letter, he went to his son's teacher, insulting him. He then went to the principal's office complaining that his son's teacher punished his son," Mbadu said.

The Gauteng Education De-partment said they were taking the allegations seriously, but their hands were tied when it came to dealing with the teacher as the school was independent.

"We will send district officials to the school to investigate these allegations," department spokesperson Oupa Bodibe said.