Teacher suspended for hitting pupil

2011-03-18 17:46

Johannesburg - A female teacher was suspended for allegedly hitting a pupil at the Glenbrack High School, in Alberton, the Gauteng education department said on Friday.

"Corporal punishment is outlawed by both the Constitution and the South African Schools Act," spokesperson Charles Phahlane said.

"The department encourages learners to report instances of corporal punishment at schools."

The department became aware of the incident after it was broadcast on the SABC around two weeks ago. Two parents had complained that corporal punishment was used at the school. A preliminary investigation was conducted and the decision was taken to suspend the teacher.

Her suspension was effective from March 15.

"Learners who are subjected to corporal punishment at school should report the matter to the school principal and their parents so that it can be handled in terms of procedure," Phahlane said,

Should the school principal fail to help the parents, the matter should be reported to the department's district office or to the head of the provincial education department.

"Educators have clear guidelines on how to deal with discipline in schools without resorting to corporal punishment."

Phahlane said the Glenbrack High matter would be probed further before a decision on the way forward was taken.

The teacher's suspension comes after the Congress of SA Students urged learners to "hit back" when the corporal punishment was used on them. It also comes after a teacher was stabbed by a 17-year-old pupil at a Soweto school.

South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) regional chairperson Moss Senye also appeared at Meadowlands Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old pupil last month at Meadowlands High School - where he is the principal.

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