File picture: Independent Media
DURBAN - A PARENT has laid a charge against a pupil at Durban’s Curro Embury College Primary School after her 10-year-old daughter was allegedly assaulted by a class bully.

The mother, a Durban attorney, who cannot be named, to protect the identity of her child, said her daughter was recently diagnosed with a spinal medical condition and had to be taken to hospital for treatment following the bullying incident.

She believed the assault could have resulted in her daughter being paralysed.

“Doctors have warned that the slightest of accidents could lead to this. The school’s management, teachers and classmates had been informed of my daughter’s condition so they can exercise caution. What upsets me most is that the school failed to inform me of the incident immediately,” said the mother.

She said she only learnt about the assault when picking her daughter up from school later that afternoon.

“I was horrified. I immediately drove her to the St Augustine’s hospital to be examined. Her medical report said she experienced soft tissue damage,” said the mother.

She said she intended taking legal action against the school for negligence and plans to sue the alleged bully’s parent to cover the medical bills.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Zwane has confirmed a case of common assault had been opened.

“Once our investigation is completed, the matter will be taken to the public prosecutor for a decision,” said Zwane.

The 10-year-old girl said she had been in the classroom playing a game with classmates.

“The boy got upset he was not part of the game and started to hit me hard continuously on my back,” said the girl.

A teacher shouted at the boy, but this did not stop further violent behaviour.

“A short while later, he began to push and hit my friends and returned to do the same to me. He pushed my head and neck to bang it against the classroom door,” said the teary-eyed 10-year-old.

Her mother said she paid almost R80000 a year to send her daughter to the school and expected management to conduct itself with the highest of standards.

“I went to the school to chat to the principal the next day but she refused to see me. She said she was busy with meetings and eventually rudely closed her office door on me. One of the head of departments said the bully’s parents could only come in on Monday and I was not prepared to accept that,” said the mother.

“I am a single mother and she is my only child. If the school had acted responsibly and followed the instructions given to them then maybe I would react different.

“This, however, I cannot accept, especially from a school that apparently prides itself on being an elite institution,” she said.

Another parent told the Sunday Tribune that her child had been bullied by the same pupil on Thursday, and had her head banged on a desk by the boy.

At the time of going to press, the school and Curro Holdings head office had not responded to queries about the bullying incidents.

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SUNDAY TRIBUNE