Increased school fights a concern

2018-07-03 06:00
PHOTO: nosipho mkhizePinetown SAPS communication officer Captain B.J. Manqele says random searches are done in schools to make sure that pupils do not carry dangerous weapons or drugs to school as these may lead to fights.

PHOTO: nosipho mkhizePinetown SAPS communication officer Captain B.J. Manqele says random searches are done in schools to make sure that pupils do not carry dangerous weapons or drugs to school as these may lead to fights.

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THE Department of Education is deeply concerned about the increasing rate of school fights in KZN schools.

This comes after a video circulated on social media whereby two school girls were involved in a physical fight while their class-mates cheered them on and filmed the fight. One girl kicked her classmate in the chest, which resulted in her becoming unconscious.

Department of Education spokesperson Sicelo Khuzwayo said the department strongly condemns violence among school pupils.

He said: “It is very unfortunate that we are continuing to see the number of video clips showing violence in certain schools increasing.

“We are obviously very concerned and a lot is being done to discourage pupils from becoming violent. However, we do believe that parents also have a huge role to play in instilling the culture of respect in their children. The issue of pupils becoming violent is a societal issue and it needs everyone to lend a hand.”

He added that the department reiterates that there is no place for violence, drug use, sexual harassment and other criminal acts in schools as these pose a serious barrier to learning. There is a great focus on the inculcating of values and ethics, and of creating a caring society within schools and communities. The department views these ills in a serious light because they carry the potential to deprive the pupils of their constitutional rights to life, education, equality and dignity.

The public expressed their views on the ongoing school fights in KZN schools.

Nonhlanhla Mzobe from KwaDabeka said: “It is saddening to see such violence in schools. I have seen so many videos on social media of pupils fighting and sometimes stabbing each other over minor issues. I think there should be a strict law to curb school fights.”

Durban resident Zinhle Makhanya said: “This does not only look bad on the schools but it also looks bad on the parents. Imagine seeing a video of your child involved in a serious fight being circulated on social media. As a parent this is embarrassing and disappointing.”

Clermont resident Gugulethu Swana said: “I just shake my head with disappointment when I see these videos. Last week I saw another video which made me so angry, of two schools girls physically beating a female teacher for allegedly taking away a cellphone from one of the girls. Honestly, how do you hit your teacher? When I was in school we were not allowed to back chat to the teachers. If you did, you would get a serious hiding and if you went home to tell your parents about it they would also give you a good hiding for being in trouble with the teacher.”

Langalibalele Dlamini said: “Firstly, school teachers must search each and every pupil to make sure that they don’t have cellphones with them. Nowadays, children take videos of other children involved in physical fights instead of helping them resolve the argument that led to a physical fight.”

Pinetown SAPS communication officer Captain B.J. Manqele said the Pinetown Police Station has designated a schools co-ordinator who is responsible for conducting school safety programmes.

“He is responsible for conducting crime-awareness campaigns and school safety programmes. During these campaigns, pupils are educated about crime and the consequences of crime. Random searches are done in schools to make sure that pupils do not carry dangerous weapons or drugs to school as these may lead to fights. Assault of any kind, be it common assault or assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, constitutes a criminal offence and is chargeable. Our station has not had any incidents of fights in schools.”

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