Corporal punishment has parents seeking justice

2015-06-17 06:00
The wound sustained by a Glenhills Secondary Grade 8 pupil who was allegedly struck on the head by his social science teacher.

The wound sustained by a Glenhills Secondary Grade 8 pupil who was allegedly struck on the head by his social science teacher. Photo: supplied

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A GRADE 8 pupil from Glenhills Secondary School had to receive stitches on the back of his head after he was allegedly struck with a blackboard ruler by his social science teacher last Monday.

According to the pupil’s father Rajesh­ Bharat, the incident occurred during the second period when the teacher allegedly struck his son on the back of his head causing an injury that “bled profusely”, he wrote in an e-mail report of the incident sent to Lower Tugela­ ward manager MAM Ngubande.

Bharat wrote: “The teacher tried to stop the bleeding and sent my son to the office.

“The principal Mr M Budhram phoned my wife to come to school. She saw the extent of the injury and rushed him to the doctor where he received three stitches to close the wound. The doctor gave her a report with which we laid a charge at the KwaDukuza police station­.”

According to Bharat, the said teacher, principal and two other staff members visited his home to apologise as well as offering money to cover his son’s medical expenses.

He said him and his wife rejected the latter offer which was presented in an envelope. “The principal left it [envelope] on the sofa,” explained the e-mail.

Speaking to the Weekly, Bharat expressed his unhappiness with the incident and the family’s intention to “see justice carried out”.

He said as parents they do not want financial compensation. When asked what type of justice they are seeking Bharat said a fine or community service­ for the teacher would be enough to send the message across that corporal punishment is illegal.

Ngubande said he would refer the matter to the department’s head office once he had concluded his investigation.

Ngubande declined to make further comments and referred the Weekly to the department’s head office.

KZN Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said he had not received a report regarding this matter by Monday this week.

He said: “We are going to investigate the matter and we are going to take very serious disciplinary measures against the teacher because he knows that corporal punishment is not allowed.”

Bharat said his son returned to school the following day after the incident because he was writing mid-year exams.

He added: “I hope this incident does not have a long-term effect on his schooling by way of victimisation or other issues.”

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