A ten-year-old boy was allegedly slapped 16 times by a teacher who was offended when the boy made a comment about sleeping with another pupil in the school’s sick room.
The pupil at Lyndhurst Primary School in New Germany, was allegedly assaulted in October after the teacher, who is also the head of the Grade 7 department (HOD) at the school, questioned him about missing a history test.
The boy explained it was because he not well and in the sick room.
His mother, who did not want to be named because it would identify her son, said the teacher then asked him who was in the sick room with him.
He replied he was “sleeping with another pupil but not on the same bed”.
His teacher reported the comment to the HOD who allegedly took umbrage.
“My son was repeatedly slapped on the head until he was on the ground. The HOD waited for him to get up and continued hitting him again,” said his mother.
“My son told me he had needed to go to the toilet and while he was being hit he tried his hardest not to urinate on himself in front of the whole class.”
She said her son missed the test because he spent the day in the sick room.
“The week before the incident I noticed that my boy was a little flu-ish but I sent him to school. When he returned home he told me he had spent the day in the sick room and he then stayed home the following day. The next week when he went to school his teacher asked him why he had missed his history test.”
The mother said, “When my son tried to explain that he was asked who was in the sick room with him, the HOD said he was going to teach my son a lesson.”
The HOD was suspended last week by the Department of Education and the mother has also opened an assault charge.
Provincial education department spokesman Muzi Mahlambi said the teacher was suspended with immediate effect last week and an investigation was under way.
“It is inconceivable that a teacher, who has been entrusted to care for the child, can slap him 16 times. We will definitely deal with this matter. We cannot tolerate this.”
Principal Hilton Bremner declined to comment saying the education department was dealing with the matter.
Police spokesman Col Jay Naicker confirmed a 52-year-old suspect appeared in the Pinetown Magistrates’ Court. The case was remanded. - Sunday Tribune