Boy called K-word at school
Hilda Fourie and Sonja Carstens
Pretoria - A mother has laid a charge of assault with police after her son and a classmate tackled one another at the Afrikaans Boys' High School in Pretoria and the other boy called her son the K-word.
Mercia Sampson, 50, of Eersterust and mother of Jomarn Sampson, 15, told Beeld on Thursday that she would not leave the matter between her son and fellow Grade 10 pupil Tiaan Pieterse there, as "some people need to learn manners".
"These things cause a lot of trouble. It makes you despondent. You should go to school to learn."
She reported the incident to police and the Gauteng department of education.
The incident came after Tiaan punched Jomarn on the back of his head on February 23. School principal Dr Pierre Edwards said on Thursday that a teacher had earlier scolded both boys after Jomarn kept taking Tiaan's ruler.
"Both remained in the classroom after the bell rang for break. Tiaan punched Jomarn. Jomarn hit him back," said Edwards.
A fellow pupil made a cellphone video of the incident, in which Jomarn can be seen repeatedly punching Tiaan after being hit on the back of the head as well as receiving a hard blow to the eye. Another pupil repeatedly egged Jomarn on with the words: "Give it to him, Joeys, he hit you first."
A teacher then stopped the boys. Jomarn's eye was bleeding.
"The boys were taken to the grade head where they apologised to one another and shook hands. After they walked away from the teachers, Tiaan called Jomarn a kaffir," said Edwards.
Disciplinary steps were taken against both pupils due to the assault and both were given detention. Tiaan's father was called in and told a deputy head the incident was not typical of his son. Tiaan was warned about his behaviour.
"He also apologised to Jomarn in front of their classmates for the use of the K-word. The boys are friends again. The matter is settled as far as the school is concerned," said Edwards.
He said Jomarn's mother insisted that Tiaan be suspended, but the school refused to do this.
"The incident was handled in strict accordance with the Schools Act," he said.
Two officials from the department investigated the matter at the school on Thursday.
"The department told the school that the incident was handled appropriately," said Edwards.
He said it was "ridiculous" for Jomarn's mother to take the matter further. "Children will remain children. It is a storm in a tea cup. There are more important things for a school and its staff to give attention to," said Edwards.
Police spokesperson Aveline Hardaker confirmed that a case of assault was being investigated.