Lesufi calls for probe into rising cases of bullying, violence in Gauteng schools
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Johannesburg - Just a few days after a Limpopo teenager committed suicide after an alleged bully was recorded assaulting her, another video has emerged showing two girls fighting in a school’s toilets.
The latter incident happened at Dinwiddie High School on Monday and involves two Grade 10 pupils.
In the video, a girl can be seen lying on the floor trying to fight off her attacker who is standing over her, pulling her braided hair and choking her.
The girl on the floor keeps flailing her arms around, hoping to land a blow on her attacker. She even grabs the attacker by her school shirt, but she is the one who ends up being hit on the face and also kicked.
She manages to get up and as she holds on to her attacker’s shirt, its buttons come off. The two, both standing, trade blows with each other.
As this happens, two girls walk by, watching. Someone then tries to separate the girls but is unable to and the video then ends.
Gauteng Education, MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the school intervened immediately after they became aware of the matter. He said one pupil was placed on precautionary suspension, as per the school’s code of conduct.
“The learner will face a disciplinary hearing by the School Governing Body on 20 April 2021. Meanwhile, other learners at the school will be receiving psycho-social support while the school has initiated several measures to curb similar future incidents, including undertaking an advocacy campaign to educate the learners on bullying, assault and related offences,” Lesufi said.
The MEC has since called for swift investigation into the spike in issues of ill-discipline at schools in the province.
He said a Grade 11 boy from Anchor Comprehensive High School allegedly stabbed a Grade 12 boy learner from Emadwaleni Secondary School in Orlando West on Thursday.
Reasons for the attack, he said, were still unknown but that a case was registered with the police.
“The Gauteng Education Department is sending psycho-social support to the school to assist all those affected by the stabbing incident. The learner has been suspended with immediate effect, pending a disciplinary process in due course.”
Lesufi said there was another video of alleged school bullying, where a group of pupils at Letsibogo Secondary School in Meadowlands were captured seemingly fighting another learner with dreadlocks.
He said the incident involving two Grade 12 pupils took place after school, outside the school premises.
Teachers intervened. Parents were called to the school and one pupil was suspended while the other is currently receiving counselling from the psycho-social support unit, Lesufi said.
“Our schools should be the centres of excellence; not sites of violence and other anti-social behaviour. We call on parents to play their role and talk to their children as well about ill-discipline and violence as this is a societal challenge.
“Violence has no place at our schools and we call on school management to work with parents and the department to ensure we bring these acts of ill-discipline and misconduct to a swift end,” Lesufi said.
On Monday, a 15-year-old pupil from Mbilwi Secondary School in Sibasa, Limpopo, is alleged to have overdosed on pills after a video showing her being attacked by another pupil at school went viral.
In the video, Lufuno Mavhungu can be seen being confronted by a fellow learner before they are interrupted by another pupil who slaps the learner several times. In the background, other learners are heard laughing and cheering.
There are allegations that Lufuno had been bullied before and had reported the matter to school authorities but no action was taken.