Pupil whipped by teacher

2013-03-05 00:00

A GRADE 12 pupil who failed to hand in an assignment was whipped by a teacher using a hosepipe until she had bruises and welts on her buttocks.

But the pupil’s mother has decided not to lay charges against the teacher, saying she did not want him to lose his job.

The Witness has seen a photograph of the girl’s injuries, which show bruises as big as saucers on both buttocks. Welts crisscross the centres of the bruises.

The pupil, from Ogwini Comprehensive Technical High School in Umlazi, received four strokes from her teacher for failing to submit her technical drawing assignment on Wednesday last week.

She had to visit the doctor twice last week, missing school while she nursed her wounds.

Speaking to The Witness, the pupil’s mother said she does not want the teacher to be fired, but wants to see him stopped from punishing children. The mother cannot be named to protect her daughter’s identity.

“I want this whole thing to be over because it’s stressful and weighing heavily on my shoulders,” she added.

The pupil returned to school yesterday.

The mother said her daughter was feeling a bit better, although she was still in pain. “Her injuries were very bad,” she added.

She said she will not open a case with the police.

According to Education Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi, the incident is being investigated.

“We view the incident in a very serious light and very serious action will be taken against the teacher,” Mahlambi said, adding that corporal punishment was not allowed under any circumstances.

“It’s against the law,” he said.

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) president Basil Manuel said it was shocking that some teachers still used corporal punishment.

He said teachers needed to be equipped with skills as alternatives to corporal punishment.

“Corporal punishment is a short-term solution. Smacking a pupil doesn’t solve anything, because work is still not done,” he added.

Manuel said this form of punishment led to more stubborness in pupils, among other behavioural issues, adding that beating children perpetuated violence.

“If the teacher tries it again, I’ll be shocked. How can he learn if there are no consequences?” he asked, calling for action to be taken against the teacher.

The Naptosa president said although a case was not opened with the police, the Education Department and South African Council for Educators could still intervene.

Attempts to contact the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union were unsuccessful.

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