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Cape Town - Seven pupils have been suspended from the hostel of York High School in George after an apparent initiation raid which put a schoolboy in intensive care. They are to face a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.
Grade 8 pupil Andrew Searle, 14, is currently in a stable condition in Mediclinic George.
Last Tuesday, a Grade 10 pupil had allegedly hit Andrew on the head with a shoe inside a pillowcase and he was later rushed to hospital.
According to his father, Sean Searle, Andrew was on the road to recovery but it remained unclear whether he would recover fully.
“Recovery up until now has been good. The future is uncertain about long-term effects,” said Searle.
He said Andrew was still in ICU and was expected to remain there for the next day or two.
Searle, speaking from the hospital on Sunday afternoon, said the family had made the decision not to open a criminal case or take any action.
“We won’t be taking action against the boys, the school, or the education department. It was just a very unfortunate incident.”
He said their family was focused on Andrew’s recovery and on the way forward.
“We are still very stressed and tired.”
Searle had previously told the Cape Times that a group of boys had entered the school dormitory where Andrew was sleeping.
His son was hit once on the leg and once on the side of his head, he said.
“He was struck with what we are led to believe was either a pillow or a pillowcase and it had a shoe inside. It is what they call a dormitory raid. It was not sanctioned by the school.” Searle said about an hour later Andrew had experienced severe head pains and asked his friends to call the housemaster.
“After the housemaster came, he was taken to hospital very quickly.
“Fortunately the hospital is about five minutes away. He arrived there in a semi-conscious state.”
A neurosurgeon at the hospital had diagnosed Andrew as having bleeding on the brain, a subdural haematoma.
He went for surgery immediately and blood was drained, stabilising him.
Southern Cape police spokesman Malcolm Pojie confirmed no criminal case had been opened.
“There has been no criminal case reported as yet.”
Bronagh Casey, spokeswoman for Education MEC Donald Grant, described the incident as horseplay among grade 8, 9 and 10 pupils until things had got out of hand.
She said at the time that a Grade 10 pupil allegedly had a shoe in a pillowcase.
“Some children have been suspended from the hostel - not the school,” she said.