Cape Town - A Cape Town father does not know where to turn anymore after his daughter has been physically attacked and bullied at a local primary school more than a dozen times.
The 33-year-old father from Belhar said the latest incident, where his daughter was stabbed with a pencil in the eye, was the last straw.
He told IOL the principal allegedly sweeps incidents under the carpet and nothing is being done to discipline the group of girls tormenting his daughter.
His daughter, 8, a Grade 3 learner at Parow Valley Primary School now fears going to school.
The father has called for the dismissal of the principal, class teacher and for the group of young bullies to be disciplined.
“My daughter has been complaining to me every day since the beginning of the year about this girl in her class and her friend who have been continuously bullying her and won’t stop.
“It all started with this girl claiming my daughter took her slime.
“When the teacher addressed the issue with the slime, my daughter told her she did not take anyone’s slime as she had her own.
The father said the teacher told his daughter she was too big for her boots, and ever since then they had been targeting her.
The angry father said the teacher, who is supposed to be an example, blurted out personal information about his daughter which gave further ammunition to her alleged bullies to torment her.
“The teacher told the girl and other pupils in the class not to bully my daughter because she doesn’t have a mommy and that her mommy threw her away. This girl now teases my daughter about this,” he said painfully.
The name of the teacher and bullies are known to IOL. However, because the victim and alleged perpetrators are minors they cannot be named.
The young girl is alleged to have had her hair pulled, been hit on her back, smacked around, scratched in her face and her bag emptied over her head.
The father said he has witnessed some incidents while picking up his daughter from school.
“I immediately reported these incidents numerous times to the teacher, head of the foundation and the principal, but instead she was shouting at me,” he told IOL.
He said on April 9, after picking his daughter up, she told him about being stabbed on her back and underneath her eye. Although she pulled away to avoid being struck in the eye, the pencil allegedly still caught her eye.
“She said she was crying and told the teacher what had happened and the teacher reported it to the head of the foundation phase and the principal.
“My daughter couldn't do her school work in class because her eye was sore and lost out a whole day of school work.
“No one contacted me to say that my daughter was injured at school.
“The teacher told her to go see an optometrist,” he told IOL.
He said the bully’s parents were also not informed of the incident.
The father said he approached the principal and he was told his daughter was lying.
“She told me that my daughter is lying after the teacher reported the incident to her.
“She then shouted to my daughter saying ‘I told you not to tell your daddy what happened’. What if she damaged a nerve and my daughter was blinded? How far will this go?
“My daughter is extremely scared to go to school, she cries every morning.
“My daughter is very traumatised and fears for her life, that's why I'm keeping her out of school because nothing is being done regarding this matter,” the angered father told IOL.
He said he has contacted the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) regarding this matter.
IOL asked the WCED if they were aware of the allegations of bullying at the school.
The department’s Millicent Merton said the school had records of all incidents.
“The school has detailed records of how each incident was handled, including statements from various witnesses.
“This is contrary to the claim that nothing was done about the alleged bullying.
“The parent refused to complete documentation for the learner to see the district psychologist and requested an immediate transfer of the learner.
“The Circuit Manager has been in contact with the parent,” Merton said.
However, the father stated they wanted his daughter to see a psychologist, yet nothing was being done at the root cause of the issue – bullies.
He questioned why the matter could not be resolved and made reference to the student who was suspended at Stellenbosch University for urinating on another student’s work desk.
“The department is looking for excuses to cover their dirt.
“There are so many bullies. Children are small and gentle,” he added.