Grade 11 mom accuses principal of bullying daughter

By Chevon Booysen Time of article published Nov 25, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The of a grade 11 Sans Souci Girls High School pupil said her daughter is suffering immense stress, alleging the girl is being bullied by the school principal.

However, Sans Souci Girls High school principal, Ruschda O’Shea, denied the allegations of bullying.

“The important word here is ’allegation’. I can confirm there are processes underway with the School Governing Body (SGB) which has recommended expulsion with regard to (the learners) continuous misconduct. As the principal, I have to ensure that our code of conduct is adhered to and when you enforce that, you will be seen as the ’bad one’ but I can assure I have always just strived to ensure that the code of conduct is enforced. That is all I can say at the moment,” said O’Shea.

The mom - who did not want to be named to protect the identity of her daughter said: “The school can give no evidence of these allegations. They are saying that my daughter is selling alcohol and drugs on the school but at the SGB meetings, my daughter denied doing this and she had given the names of the children who are involved with such conduct.

“We were just told that an investigation would be done for the pupils mentioned but nothing came of it. The principal is just very nasty towards my daughter and her friend and we don’t understand why,” the mother said.

According to the mom, her daughter had appeared thrice before the school’s SGB relating to misconduct which had eventually led to a criminal case being made against her daughter for vandalism of school property.

In two instances, the girl was suspended for a week, the mother said.

“I am not saying my daughter is an angel because she really isn’t. But with the latest case where they allege my daughter vandalised school property and took the case to court, the case was thrown out due to insufficient evidence. Yet the bullying and victimisation continues at school. I want the principal to stop bullying my daughter,” the mother said.

Education department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond said the two matters needed to be “separated as they are two completely different processes” but added that the affected learners “were given the required work to do while their suspension was being upheld”.

“This process needs to be completed despite the allegations being made against the principal – which is a separate process that needs to be investigated should a complaint be made. The WCED has been made aware of allegations of misconduct by the learner, including vandalism and verbal abuse. We have not received any formal communication from the parent regarding the bullying allegations by the principal.

“The SGB has conducted a disciplinary hearing. The WCED awaits formal communication from the school regarding the recommendation to expel two learners following allegations of misconduct.”

Police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said a case of malicious damage to property is being investigated.

“According to reports three pupils from a school in Claremont committed an offence of malicious injury to property by damaging a fire extinguisher, cutting and removing pictures and scratching the paint work of the wall. The matter was investigated and two learners were charged and appeared before Wynberg Magistrate court on November 16. At the time, the matter was not placed on the Court roll and instructions were given to proceed with the investigation and obtain more witness statements. The investigation continues,” said Van Wyk.

Cape Times

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