Matrics beat up grade 11 boy

2010-03-31 00:00

AN Allandale couple believes that more needs to be done to address school violence after their 16-year-old son was severely beaten by a group of boys while at school.

They believe this needs to start with parents being aware of their children’s behaviour as whatever behaviour is permitted at home will automatically filter into schools and the communities these children grow up in.

Roshan Naraindath said his son had to spend most of his 16th birthday in hospital on Friday after being punched in the face and the back of the head with a knuckle duster last Wednesday.

His son apparently suffered severe trauma to the brain and concussion because of the blows to the head.

His vision was also affected and according to Naraindath, the doctor who is treating him has told them that the concussion will only heal in time.

“It was his first experience with violence and he is very angry. This has been a stressful time for us as a family. Dealing with the assault was bad enough, but we have the added trauma and frustration of not knowing what the extent of the injuries is,” said Neermala Naraindath, the boy’s mother.

The grade 11 pupil told The Witness yesterday that he had been sent by his teacher to collect mark sheets from the science block that morning during class registration.

He was accompanied by a friend from class, but when they got to the science block, a group of matric boys who were loitering outside their class, one level down, started calling out to him and shouting obscenities.

“I turned to ask what the matter was and they told me to come down and find out. I continued walking towards the class I had been sent to, but it was locked. When I turned to walk back, they came running up the stairs and started pushing me around.”

The pupil admitted to knowing three of the four pupils. He claims two years ago, he and other boys from his class helped a friend who had been threatened with a knife by the same boys. The Naraindaths believe these boys were still holding a grudge.

They said what they find upsetting is that when they got to school at around 9 am, about 45 minutes after the incident, the police and ambulance had not been called.

“They had cleaned my son up and changed his clothes and we only realised how much blood he had lost when we got to hospital and saw his uniform. Up to this day, there has been no feedback from the school,” said the dad.

And with schools opening in two weeks’ time, they said there has been no indication whether these pupils will face disciplinary action or if they will be suspended.

The Naraindaths said the principal had to be questioned by police about CCTV cameras before he realised the incident had been captured on camera.

Two years ago, a video clip showing two girls fighting outside the school sent shock waves through the Pietermaritzburg community and was even aired by a national TV broadcaster. The video had been circulated among the pupils.

But the Naraindaths said such violence is a common sight when they fetch their son after school.

Police confirmed a case of assault with intent to inflict serious bodily harm has been opened.

The alleged assailants made an appearance in court on Friday, but the case was remanded for next week. According to police, two of the accused, aged 17, were released into their parents’ custody, while the other two, both 18, were released on warning.

Sihle Mlotshwa of the Education Department said a tribunal will sit when schools re-open to set a date for a disciplinary hearing. He said the boys will not be allowed inside the school premises until the hearing has taken place.

He said the department has not received complaints from parents about any after- school fights, and added that life orientation is offered as a subject with the aim of instilling positive value systems in pupils.


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