Cape Town - A parent has asked Education MEC Donald Grant to intervene after his daughter was allegedly smacked by teachers at a Diep River school.
But the principal of South Peninsula High School, Brian Isaacs, has denied the allegation and said the child had been “brushed” on the forehead and on the hand.
The pupil’s father, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his daughter’s identity, said that on January 23 a teacher had forced his daughter to kneel during a lesson because she had left her textbook in a locker.
A few days later, the same teacher slapped his daughter because she “didn’t understand” her work.
The father said he contacted the school and asked Isaacs to contact him.
He claimed that on January 27 his daughter was slapped on the hands by the same teacher as well as another teacher, and that he then called the school again to ask for a meeting with Isaacs.
“At the meeting the principal said the school had its own rules. He said he was not afraid of the (education) department.”
Isaacs said there was no proof of an assault and no doctor’s report had been provided.
“As far as we are concerned the parent has been irrational about this.
“We will fight this with all our might here at the school. I support the teachers 100 percent. I will certainly not allow teachers to abuse students here and vice versa.”
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, said the provincial Education Department had received a letter from the parent and referred it to the department “for urgent investigation”.
“The department views cases of corporal punishment in a very serious light.
“Corporal punishment is illegal in terms of the South African Schools Act.”
She said the department provided training to teachers, called Know Your Rights, on how to manage discipline without resorting to corporal punishment.
“Sanctions, if an educator is found guilty, can range from final written warnings to dismissal, depending on the nature and frequency of the offence.”
Cases of assault or abuse can be reported to the Safe Schools call centre on 080 045 4647.