Still no answers for Scottsville School parents

2016-07-27 06:00

EMOTIONS continue to run high as the issues at Scottsville School deepen.

Maritzburg Fever reported over the weekend that the teachers who had supported the accused during the bail application were asked to “stay away from the school” pending an investigation, however, the Department of Education has since requested that the teachers return to school.

Parents received a communication from both the school governing body (SGB) and the principal with an action plan to address the concerns raised.

The letter from the SGB stated that a team from the department will be sent to the school on Monday to conduct an awareness programme in the school.

“The programme will focus on the rights of the child and child protection. Further sessions will be arranged, with parents’ consent, for those who had been counselled by the former school counsellor. Staff are compiling a list and parents will be notified if their child’s name appears on the list,” read the letter.

A parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said that this has taken place at the school where the Special Needs Education Services (SNES) from the DOE visited each class on Monday and spoke about inappropriate touching and other related issues. All class teachers were present during the talks.

In a three-hour meeting on Monday at the school, the parent liaison tabled concerns raise by over 90 parents in the school and requested that a detailed document outlining all the actions plans for the children, parents and the school be distributed to all parents.

The liaison then reported back to the parents that she is committed to seeing the journey through and that the DoE has taken over this matter with due diligence together with the efforts and sincerity of the principal and SGB who, according to her, are working together to meet the recommendations made and to seek a healthy, safer solution going forward.

Letter from the principal

In a personal letter addressed to the parents by the principal, he said he loves the school and the children and accepts responsibility for what has happened to every child during this “the darkest moment of this wonderful school’s history. I apologise unreservedly for what has happened at this school while on my watch, for the pain and trauma that is being experienced by every family affected,” read his letter.

He added he will do everything in his power to lead the school during this difficult time. He said that if the school governing body states that they have lost confidence in him, he will step down as principal.

“I apologise for letting you and your families down, and, while I am at Scottsville, will work tirelessly with our governing body to regain the trust and confidence of all at Scottsville,” the letter concluded.

Angered parents take to social media

WHILE some media houses have maintained to not release the identity of the accused school counsellor, as cautioned by the magistrate of the case, a Facebook page created by locals has released all details of the accused including a picture.

The page also includes detailed accounts of some of the children’s traumatic experiences as a result of the alleged sexual assault by the school counsellor and has close to 3 000 “likes” in a matter of weeks.

Administrators of the page state that they are now being represented by an attorney from Scottsville who specializes in children’s rights representing the administrators of this page, as well as anyone who has information that can help with the case. “He will facilitate with statements and take them directly to the senior prosecutors at the High Court. Should you have any information that can help the case; we ask that you contact us urgently. Your information will be handled with the utmost care and in strict confidence,” reads the post.

The page is also requesting money from the public to assist the children and families of Scottsville Primary. “This fund-raising initiative is 100% transparent and open to view. Under no circumstances will the names of the families, new schools or the children involved be disclosed to the public,” states the page.

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