Porn shown to primary school pupils

2014-07-16 08:14
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Jeff Wicks, The Witness

Durban - A Pinetown primary school has been rocked by allegations that a senior teacher inadvertently screened pornography to pupils.

The Benjamin Pine Primary School teacher, who has been suspended in the wake of the scandal, is understood to have mistakenly shown illicit sexual images during a presentation.

His future will be determined by an independent Department of Education probe currently under way, while the well-established school has gone to ground.

Slideshow

A school insider, who requested anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the press, said that Grade 6 pupils had gathered for a slideshow.

“What children told us is that the laptop to show the presentation was not working so the member of staff elected to use his own to show the PowerPoint file. When it was plugged into the projector pornography flashed onto the screen,” the source said.

Children who reported the incident said the teacher allegedly justified the mishap to the pupils, apparently saying that “all your parents do this stuff”, after hastily unplugging his laptop.

It is understood that several children had come forward in the wake of the incident, leading to the suspension of the teacher.

This was confirmed by a second source within school structures with intimate knowledge of the incident.

Staff had also been instructed not to speak to the press, in an effort to keep a lid on the scandal.

Counselling

The Witness has reliably learnt that affected children were offered guidance counselling after what they saw.

Principal Sandi Brown said she was bound by protocol. “As I am sure you know already but employees of the Department of Education and Culture are not allowed to talk to the media and have to follow protocol.”

Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi refused to comment on the matter, evading questions posed by The Witness.

Troy Martens, spokesperson for Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, said the outcome of the investigation would determine whether the teacher was struck off.

“Not only will the teacher face dismissal if allegations are tested and proven, but the department will look to have the educator removed from the roll,” she said.

Governing Body Foundation head Tim Gordon said: “The exposure of children to pornographic or other undesirable material must be condemned in the strongest terms. Our schools should be a haven against exposure to undesirable material.”

Inadvertent

Gordon added reports received by his organisation indicated that the screening of illicit images was inadvertent.

“If these reports are correct, there was no ‘coaching’ of the pupils in pornographic ideas or concepts, no explanation of what was depicted and no invitation, not even at the most unobtrusive level, for the pupils to become involved in pornography or to become involved in any way in unacceptable practices.

“In such an instance of fleeting and unexplained exposure, it is likely that a large proportion of the group concerned would not have had clear insights into what was being screened, would not have recognised it for what it was, and would suffer little or no lasting damage,” Gordon said.

Read more on:    durban  |  education  |  pornography
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