Picture: Pixabay
Picture: Pixabay

Mom’s desperate plea to MEC over bullying

By NADIA KHAN Time of article published Feb 14, 2020

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Durban - A DURBAN mother who claims her children were repeatedly bullied at school has appealed to the KZN MEC of Education to intervene.  

Melicia Ballard, 36, of Berea, claims her daughter, 6, and two sons, 10 and 8, were taunted and assaulted at a school in Greyville.

She said she approached the school numerous times, but nothing was done.

“I can’t stand to see my children in tears every day, pleading to be transferred to another school,” said Ballard.

She said her daughter, a Grade 1 pupil, was harassed and bullied since the start of the school year.

Ballard claimed a male pupil, who is in the same grade as her daughter, chased after her in an attempt to kiss her; and that a girl often pushed her into a toilet cubicle which she would lock from the inside.

The parent further claimed that another Grade 1 pupil slapped her daughter.

“My child is quiet and did not retaliate. She told me what was happening.”

She met with the school’s head of department and the parents of the child who slapped her daughter.

“It was a quick meeting, and the parents said they would speak to their child about his behaviour.”

Ballard claimed she was unable to address her concerns about the alleged bullying as the staff member had another meeting to attend.

She said her eight-year-old son, who is small in build, was lifted, swung and flung toward a goal post.  

“When my son told the teacher on duty, the teacher told the child not to do that and said my son must toughen up. What would have happened if my child got hurt? Who would be held accountable?”

Her attempts to meet with the school were allegedly futile.

She ended up writing a second letter to the head of department informing her that she would escalate the matter to the Department of Basic Education.

“I was shocked when I received a response ‘Dear parent, that would be fine. God bless’.”

Ballard said last week both her sons - who are in Grades 5 and 3 - were head-butted by two Grade 5 pupils.

She said the school did not inform her of the alleged incident.

Ballard said she emailed the Department of Education and when she failed to get a response, she tweeted the MEC, Kwazi Mshengu, last Tuesday.

“He asked an official from the department to assist me.”

But a meeting that was arranged with the circuit manager last Friday morning did not go ahead, as the official did not arrive.

“This situation has become unbearable. I feel as if my concerns are being ignored.” 

The principal said the matter was being investigated and he could not comment.  

The Department of Education did not respond  to queries. 

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