Cape Town - A video on social media of a male and female learner fighting at Livingstone High Schoolin Cape Town has caused an uproar with many reeling in shock and horror at the footage.
In the 30-second video posted on November 7, a male learner can be seen assaulting the female learner with non-stop punches while one classmate is recording the video, and others are attempting to pull him away from the girl.
Eventually, their classmates intervened, the learners are pulled apart and the girl can be seen covering her nose. After the video went viral, many shared their thoughts in the comments:
Kathija Adams: "Woman abuser. I personally feel if they think they old enough to behave like this they should be charged for their actions. And expelled."
Ebrahim Aziz: "People are doing like things like this didn't happen in the past, I schooled all over the country and believe me worst things than these have happened in the past. I've had friends been killed, gang wars you name it. Only difference we didn't have cameras to record it."
Marianne Van Der Walt: "It is a policy problem...Children don't get punished for wrong behaviour...We can no longer hold them accountable for bad behaviour...They can disrespect us and say whatever they want to whom ever they want ..this children's rights and parents wanting to be friends with their kids is the problem here..." [Edited for length]
Western Cape Education MEC, Debbie Schäfer said that she has noted with grave concern the recent events at Livingstone High School, and is dismayed at the ongoing incidents of bullying at Cape schools.
"After seeing videos of some of the incidents at Livingstone, I immediately called for a report, which I received from the district," she said.
"A male learner was found guilty and has been punished with a penalty of a restorative nature. The school acted very promptly in this matter.
"Bullying incidents, however, are seldom one-sided. It is worrying to me that there are allegations that our schools are not doing enough, but I also want to appeal to parents to work with us in teaching your children what is acceptable behaviour, and how to resolve conflict in ways that do not involve violence.
Schäfer said that the department will continue to intervene at this particular school, and she has offered to meet with the girl who was the subject of this latest incident, and her mother, to hear from them what their experience has been.
"I also want to appeal to parents not to post their children’s names on social media. This can lead to further bullying and unpleasantness," she said.
The WCED said it also provides guidelines on the WCED website on how to deal with bullying. The guidelines cover types of bullying, the consequences of bullying, how to prevent bullying, support for the victim and how to change the behaviour of bullies.
These guidelines can be found on the WCED website: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/bullying-school
* Because of the ages of the learners involved, the Cape Argus has made the decision not to include the video.
** The WCED’s also has a Safe Schools hotline that is available to schools, teachers, parents and learners to report all school crime and abuse, and aims to contribute to a safe and crime-free school environment. Learners, parents and teachers may phone our Safe Schools Call Centre for counselling and advice on 0800 45 46 47.