Three letters submitted to the Cape Argus present arguments and points in defence of the teacher in the Sans Souci slap video.

Law must be on teacher's side

It was so painful for that teacher to be so dissed by a pupil who breached the school code of conduct in the first place, let alone back-chatting to her.
I think I watched that video clearly. This girl was the first to push the desk against the teacher.

What I hate most is that the teacher asked that disrespectful girl to leave her class. That was a manner of temporal discipline she was supposed to take.

Instead, she sat down and kept on answering back.

She also pushed herself against the teacher when she took her cellphone from the table. She was very provocative, really.

If the law of this country favours the child even in situations like this, teachers will suffer tremendously.

* Ndileka Ndamase, Atteridgeville.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Don’t rush to condemn before putting slapping in perspective

IN answer to the question posed by Pitso Mojalefa, of Germiston: “What gives a female teacher at the larney San Souci (the right)?”

The answer is simple: the same principle which gives Mojalefa the right to react in the way that he did, without knowing all the facts and subsequently committing his opinion to paper.

Perspective is as powerful as truth, but it doesn’t necessarily make it truth for all.

There is a perspective of the educator, the student, the school and all other stakeholders.

One should be cautious when hopping on the “race” wagon since the incident could have been the other way around too.

For the record, the police’s annual crime statistics do not list crimes by racial profile.

I have read of incidents of violence from across the globe, conceding that the world is not composed purely of black and white.

While the title of the article appears to be appropriate, the content is inciteful, to say the least.

It has been published that both the teacher and the learner have been suspended and face disciplinary action from the relevant authorities. Reasonable citizens should await the outcome of this process before attempting to shape public opinion.

We do need a culture of increasing tolerance and love.

* Winston Cogill, Plumstead.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Evidence in school clip points to self-defense

The video clip of a white teacher smacking a black pupil has gone viral and many have blamed the teacher, who holds a school governing body (SGB) post, for applying corporal punishment. The Western Cape education department says only the SGB, and not the department, has the right to fire or retain the teacher.

Section 10(1) of the SA Schools Act of 1996 stipulates that “no person may administer corporal punishment at a school to a learner”. And section 10(2) states “any person who contravenes this is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a sentence for assault”. Further, corporal or physical punishment is defined as a punishment intended to cause physical pain on a person.

For the teacher to be guilty of corporal punishment, one has to first establish whether the teacher’s action was consistent with that. Evidence in the clip reflects that the teacher did not “intend” to cause physical pain to the pupil.

The clip clearly proves that the teacher responded after experiencing pain when the pupil pushed a desk top against the teacher’s upper thigh.

At this point, the scene changed to that of a young girl attacking an older woman, whose response was consistent with that of someone who was under attack and she instinctively defended herself.

It seems no one, including the department, is not supporting the teacher for defending herself. In a court of law, the teacher cannot be fired for applying corporal punishment since none was administered.

Visualise this scene. A teacher hit the knife out of the hand of her attacker with a board-duster. Did she administer corporal punishment? You be the judge.

* Adiel Ismail, Mount View.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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