Picture: Facebook

Kimberley - The Northern Cape Department of Education has confirmed that the Grade 9 pupil, caught on video throwing water at a teacher, has been served with a suspension letter.

Department spokesperson, Geoffrey van der Merwe, said on Tuesday that the Grade 9 Kimberley Boys’ High School pupil had been served with a suspension letter, pending the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.

“He will complete his examination at our Frances Baard District office,” Van der Merwe said. “This is to ensure a credible investigation and disciplinary hearing.”

He added that the department condemned the incident that took place on Friday last week “in the strongest terms”.

“This type of behaviour is unacceptable in our schools and we call on parents to fulfill their primary responsibility to inculcate good values and norms in their children,” Van der Merwe added.

A video of the pupil throwing water in the teacher’s face has been widely circulated on social media and has elicited shock throughout the country.

In the video, the pupil is seen walking up to the teacher and discussing something with her before throwing water in her face from a water bottle he is holding.

The incident happened in front of other pupils in the class and some can be heard cheering.

The teacher is seen grabbing the water bottle from the pupil and disposing of it before walking out of the classroom.

The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday called on the MEC for Education, Martha Bartlett, to urgently intervene with regards to safety concerns at Kimberley Boys’ High School.

“There is no discipline in schools and such blatantly disrespectful behaviour cannot be tolerated,” DA provincial leader, Andrew Louw, said in a statement. “Threatening incidents such as this one, should also not be left to fester.”

Louw pointed out that the Education Department had joined hands with SAPS and the Provincial Police Commissioner, Risimati Shivuri, to tackle school safety.

“We call on Bartlett and Shivuri to urgently implement an intervention at Kimberley Boys’ High School to tighten the grip on discipline within the classroom to ensure the safety of teachers and pupils, within such a volatile context, is secured.”

He stated that growing school safety issues in the Northern Cape had become a cause for concern and added that early warning signs had to be speedily acted upon.

“Teachers, pupils and parents must take hands to rule out ill-discipline in the classroom. More involvement in schools is also necessary to ensure that risky behaviour is ruled out before it emanates in school violence.”

A woman, who describes herself as a social media law specialist and co-author of “Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex” and “Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones” tweeted: “I’m not surprised by the video. I’ve spoken to over 200 000 students across SA in the last few years. My worst talk ever was at KBH in 2015. The boys wolf-whistled as I got on stage, they were disrespectful, almost mob-like. I got off stage actually fearful.”

Another said: “This behaviour is unacceptable. He needs his ass beat and lock him up. He has no respect. There’s absolutely no reason to treat a teacher like this! NONE! I’m actually so mad!”

Another person stated: “Dear parent. Your son is growing up to be a cowardly bully. A man of no substance with the life prospects of a piece of @#$%. I strongly recommend that you address it now.”

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