Durban mom’s bid to bring school bullies to justice
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Durban - BULLIED, assaulted and made the “laughing stock” of her high school for the past three years, a Durban Grade 11 schoolgirl missed writing two of her exams last week after she was allegedly assaulted in her classroom and in the presence of her teacher.
Her mother, who had appealed to the school to protect her daughter, reported the bullying to the Department of Education and opened two assault cases with the Sydenham police, said her pleas had fallen on deaf ears.
Now the Cape Town-based mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her daughter, said she had decided to go public with the matter for the sake of her daughter and other pupils who were being bullied.
She said her daughter was also a victim of cyber bullying, and the pictures of her bruised face from last week’s incident had gone viral on social media.
The Daily News has seen the social media posts and the nasty comments.
Last Wednesday’s incident was the fifth time in three years that her daughter had been assaulted at school, she said, but the principal had been hesitant to help.
“He said explicitly that he will not waste resources on matters such as bullying, putting my daughter deeper into depression. She is now on antidepressants. My concern is that her life is in danger as neither the principal, the Department of Education or the police have done anything to help the situation,” she said.
The school had not commented at the time of publication.
Provincial education spokesperson Muzi Mhlambi said the department was working with the mother on the issue.
The mother said last Wednesday that her daughter, who lives with her grandmother, came home with bruises yet again and she realised that the situation was getting worse.
The mother, with the help of relatives in Durban, opened another assault case at Sydenham police station.
The family asked the station to allocate another detective to the case and not the detective who had been assigned the 2019 assault case, which she claimed was not investigated. In that incident, her daughter came home bruised and bleeding from her private parts after she was assaulted by another pupil at school.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that a case of assault had been opened last week, and that two pupils were arrested.
“There is also a counter charge case against the same complainant. No details are immediately available regarding the 2019 case, and the relevant detectives will be contacted today,” said Mbele.
THE Department of Education recently expelled five Newlands East Secondary School girls after they were found guilty of assaulting another girl in a school toilet.
The department suspended two pupils after a video was posted of a female pupil at a school in the Zululand district being physically assaulted by another.
In the video the pupil is seen kicking and hitting the other continuously, and pulling at her underwear until it snaps, while a schoolmate watched. It was described as ‘shocking’ and ‘disturbing’ by social media users.
A year ago, a 17-year-old pupil took his life after allegedly being bullied at a school in Chatsworth. In January, a Durban pupil posted a harrowing video detailing what she had endured throughout school. Provincial Education spokesperson Muzi Mhlambi warned that bullying would not be accepted.
“Pupils found to be involved will be dealt with mercilessly like we have done before. We want all children to