Parktown Boys deputy head cleared on initiation charges

2010-09-10 09:10

A disciplinary hearing has found Brent Saunders, the deputy principal of Parktown Boys High, not guilty of illegal initiation practises at the school, the education department said.

“Mr Saunders has been found not guilty. The department is in the process of assessing the finding and is taking legal advice on this issue,” a statement said yesterday.

Saunders, along with then principal, Tom Clarke, and a governing body member were accused of involvement in violent acts against learners. The disciplinary charges against Clarke were dropped when he retired.

“He was no longer in the employ of the department and therefore beyond the department’s jurisdiction.Charges were not preferred against (the third person) as he is an employee of the school governing body and therefore beyond the department’s jurisdiction,” the statement read.

The allegations surfaced after a parent disclosed that her 17-year-old son had been woken up in the middle of the night in the school’s hostel last February and dragged to a playing field, where he and other boys were stripped naked by Grade 12 pupils.

The Grade 11 teenager had Deep Heat rubbed onto his genitals and was assaulted with golf clubs, cricket bats and hockey sticks, apparently part of the initiation ceremony.

The teachers were linked to the violent practice, which had allegedly been going on for some time.

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