More untoward behaviour at Parktown Boys’ High revealed
The administration at Parktown Boys High has once again landed in hot water, after a criminal case of intimidation was opened by a member of staff against the head of the school’s governing body (SGB).
Meanwhile, a teacher who left the school to join Jeppe Boys’ High has been called out in court for perpetuating a culture of silence at the school that prevented 23 pupils from coming forward after they were allegedly sexually assaulted on and off campus by a teacher.
The school once again made headlines last week after an audited report from the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) found evidence against numerous teachers accused of misconduct.
In recent months, four teachers have resigned from the school, with two others transferred, in the wake of allegations of secondary abuse of the victims of an ongoing sexual assault trial, racism and assault.
The Saturday Star has learnt that on Thursday, a member of the school’s boarding house staff, Mariolette Bossert, opened a criminal case at the Hillbrow police station against SGB head, Jim Pooley, after an incident in July where he allegedly verbally threatened her and her husband.
The Saturday Star has seen a series of affidavits submitted to the SAPS about the incident, where each of the witnesses allege Pooley drunkenly accosted Bossert during a private event she had been allowed to host at the school.
According to the more than a dozen witness statements, Bossert had been hosting a 23rd birthday party for her daughter on the school campus, after being given permission by then-principal Kevin Stippel.
Pooley apparently arrived at the venue in the middle of the sit-down dinner and began repeatedly swearing at Bossert, claiming she had brought alcohol on campus without permission.
When she and her husband, Chris, tried to explain the situation, Pooley apparently continued to swear at the couple. Pooley then left, telling a security guard he was going to leave his car at school because he wasn’t able to drive.
SGB spokesperson Kim van Es confirmed the incident. “We are aware of the incident. The headmaster is engaging with those involved with the purpose of finding a constructive way forward, and a positive resolution following this unfortunate incident.”
Department of Education spokesperson Steve Mabona echoed the sentiment.
“The headmaster is engaging all affected parties with the intention to find a constructive and reasonable, resolution following the unfortunate incident which led to the complaint lodged with the police.
“We wish to encourage all stakeholders in the schooling population to always be mindful of the actions that might have a negative impact on the image of the school. We hope that this matter will be amicably resolved.”
Also this week, during the criminal trial of a water polo coach who allegedly molested 23 pupils at the school, a complainant testified about the school’s alleged general discouragement of reporting abuse on campus.
The teenager mentioned that while matrics indoctrinated Grade 8 pupils into not being “snitches”, it was a teacher, David Hansen, who would turn away pupils who complained of bullying or even physical abuse in the boarding house.
The same teacher allegedly encouraged matrics to beat Grade 8 boarders after they complained they were being victimised. It is understood that since leaving the school, Hansen is now a boarding house master and coach at Jeppe Boys’ High School.
When questioned about Hansen’s conduct, Mabona said that the department was in the process of finalising implementation of the report’s recommendations on teacher misconduct.
Mabona also confirmed that the disciplinary process of another teacher charged with assaulting one of his pupils was also under way.
The Saturday Star