Beaten child: 'Boys like playing rough'

2012-09-06 09:22

Durban - The principal of a school where a Grade 1 pupil was beaten by his classmates says the incident happened because “boys like playing rough”.

The classmates assaulted the boy so badly that he landed up in hospital with possible injuries to his kidney, liver and spine.

His 75-year-old grandmother said she was told about the assault, which happened two weeks ago, by one of the other pupils in his class.

“I’m told by another girl that one of the boys stood on top of the desk and then jumped over him [in a] wrestling style.”

The Qedizaba Primary School principal, who declined to give her name, said she visited the pupil in hospital and she found him playing.

“He is doing alright.”

Report sent to dept

When asked how the incident had happened, she said: “You know how boys like playing rough and the other one kicked him.”

She would not go into details, but said the school had sent a report to the department of education and was awaiting a response.

The grandmother told The Witness how her grandson came home from school one day and told her that boys from his class had hit him and that he no longer wanted to go to school.

“They kicked him in the lower abdomen. He was even too weak to walk and struggling to pass urine and was vomiting. When I asked him where the teacher was, he said, ‘Gogo, the teacher was not in class’.”

The grandmother said she had rubbed his body to soothe the pain.

“You couldn’t touch him because his body was sore and his voice was hoarse.”

Lunchbox stolen

He skipped school for days before they took him to hospital because he was not getting well.

The grandmother said this was not the first such incident. Her grandson had been beaten at school before and his lunchbox stolen.

“When he told me that the other kids were hitting him and didn’t want to go to school I used to think that he was just lazy and afraid of school.”

The grandmother said the boy doesn’t have a mother.

‘We need to show these kids the way’

She said she was not considering bringing charges, but wanted to talk to the parents whose children were involved in the beating.

“These are kids; we just need to show them the way.”

She said she looked after another grandson, who is 10.

Attempts to get the department to comment were fruitless.

Speaking at the launch of the pupil admission campaign on Tuesday, the MEC for Education, Senzo Mchunu, said violence in schools was a growing trend that had the government “worried”.

“In the first three months we lost no less than five children in school yards through stabbing … by another child.”

  • michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-06 09:26

    That teacher should have known better than to leave a class of grade 1's alone like that and then expecting a student to "piemp" on the others if they make a noise... I think the teacher should take responsibility for this! Poor child... I hope you can walk again!

      chez.kri - 2012-09-06 10:30

      @michael. You are wrong and this, sadly, shows how South Africans have lost their moral compass. When I was a child it was a common occurance to have a child watch the class if the teacher had an emergency and had to leave. nothing even remotely like this ever happened; it did not cross our minds to hurt the one put in charge. The parents are at fault and it sounds like you would be one of them!!

      andrew.martin.71619533 - 2012-09-06 10:37

      @michael....y is it always the teachers u suggest that the teacher should now be charged with assault, maybe she had to leave the classroom/maybe there was no teacher there at all/who knows....i think its a bit unfair to always blame the teacher...look to the parents maybe...

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-09-06 10:39

      @chez - you had a pupil watching the class in GRADE 1!!?? Gosh...

      Mike.ntsh2009 - 2012-09-06 10:51

      Grant This wsas a normal in days that I spent in primary school (early to mid 70s). We never assaulted the child who was tasked with pointing out noise-makers though.

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-06 10:51

      @ chez.kri and andrew.martin.71619533 - Do you guys realize that these are 7/8 year olds? It's the same as a daycare mother leaving 3 and 4 year olds to go to the shop! The teacher could have asked one of her colleagues to watch them for the time she is gone. Not all teachers have classes the whole day! Please man! I hope you guys don't have kids!!!

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-06 10:59

      @ Mike.ntsh2009 - In my primary school days we used to have prefects go and look after the classes that the teachers off needed to go somewhere! You can expect a 7/8 year old to piemp on his fellow students! Thats just plain stupid!

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-09-06 12:11

      @michael - I remember when I was that age, the teacher would occasionally have to leave the classroom. It was never an issue. Who expects Grade 1's to act like this?!

  • sharon.houghton.984 - 2012-09-06 09:26

    What is wrong with the woman, there is no similarity between playing rough and kicking and beating a boy until he cannot walk again. Idiot! Feel so sorry for his grandmother.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-09-06 10:41

      Thing is, some kids DO like to play rough, but then kids also like to play with electricity, with guns, and in traffic! Doesn't mean its okay to let them do it...

  • Eterni80 - 2012-09-06 09:32

    rough housing never put anyone in hospital when I was in school. there seems to be this angry under current that lurks just below the surface of SA - it's manifesting itself in the form of violent assaults, riots, rapes etc. now, more than ever, we need honest, strong and decisive leadership to guide us out of this dark place - and there is less than zero chance of that happening.

      Mike.ntsh2009 - 2012-09-06 10:55

      Etern; I hope you are not shifting the blame away from parents. Same thing I always raise is parents leave kids to be raised by TV/gadgets. You can just notice the behaviour of the boy that jumped from a desk in a wrestling-like style. He propably watch too much wrestling on TV.

  • john.turner.58760608 - 2012-09-06 09:34

    I know boys like to play rough, but there is a big difference beteween playing rough and half a dozen kids kicking the crap out of one kid. This school princpal shows why the education in this country is a mockery of what it should be.

  • john.turner.58760608 - 2012-09-06 09:35

    Advice for the little boy. Study well, get a good career and when these morons come to you looking for a job, tell them to eff off.

  • susan.wright.92 - 2012-09-06 09:36

    There is a huge difference between playing rough and outright assult.The sooner this is taken to task and parents and teachers start taking responsibility for the kids actions the better for everyone.Violence begets violence.It makes me wonder how the so called grown ups in this situation act at home.And the Governments wants to stop discipline in homes?

  • shane.jacoby.3 - 2012-09-06 09:41

    My nephew also complained of something similar recently... Didn't want to get up and go to school... told his mom that the kids were nasty and calling him names. He claimed that they had been bullying him, and making racial comments... His mom dried his tears and calmly reminded him that it is best to tough up, get up and get dressed and go to school.. especially as he is 39 years old and the principal! Haha... LOL ... gotcha!!

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-09-06 09:55

      ha ha. you cracked me up - just what I needed after 2 hours in the traffic.

  • chris.booise - 2012-09-06 09:41

    Ja, wait till one of the pupils beat her up. She will then sing a different tune.

  • ally.oh.7 - 2012-09-06 09:42

    I hope that the principal's comments have been mistranslated somehow. I cannot believe “boys like playing rough” can result in such severe injuries.

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-06 09:43

    How about I beat the S*** out of this pricipal, because I like to play rough as well. She if she likes it then.

      vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-06 12:37


  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-09-06 09:50

    We had our fight but never had stabbings in the "old" SA schools! There was a measure of discipline and corporal punishment was allowed. Bringing children up without the Bible in a liberal humanist environment is the cause for all the problems (not challenges!) in schools.

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-09-06 10:12

      People can say what they like but religion and proper punishment brings order to society. We live in a lawless country! Just look at Orania... They have never had any major criminal activity in their 20 years existence... Just ask yourself why?

  • fanie.smit.5 - 2012-09-06 09:53

    The goverment who ever they are,are not worried. If a child dies, it will be just one less to feed. Or so it seems to me.

  • sarah.bouttell - 2012-09-06 09:54

    This is a as a result of "playing rough". Jaysus. That is a bit like saying Ted Bundy "lightly assauted" some college girls, no harm done... Seriously, who let this idiot run a school if he/she can't tell the difference between "playing rough" and a severe mob mentality beat down. It is clear that there is a massive social breakdown in this area, if children the age of 6 are hunting in packs, and actively trying to kill their peers.

  • lskosana3 - 2012-09-06 09:58

    These aren't normal kids, what children assault another like they are seasoned thugs???

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-06 10:08

    This headmaster does not deserve to be in charge of any dog shelter, much less a school. Her remarks speak volumes about her lack of common sense and intellect. This child was set upon by a pack of little hooligans, and there was no teacher in the vicinity to stop tghem. She needs to be removed from her post with immediate effect, pending a full enquiry.

  • benita.debeer.58 - 2012-09-06 10:12

    What happened here is just an example of what happens to a human being if he/she is taught how to respect himself and others. This child is the poor victim of a Godless society. He is the victim of hate, anger, lawlessness. He was the object on which they took out what they experience at home, what they see on TV, what they are allowed to do to each other if they are not disciplined effectively and taught how to deal with anger, frustration and how to treat other people. Discipline was created by God Himself, and if it is absent, people go wild.

      rory.molyneux - 2012-09-06 10:25

      I'm sure if we beat these children with Jesus they'll turn out just fine!

  • shelley.vorster.9 - 2012-09-06 10:14

    Is this woman for real? Playing rough & beating the living crap out of someone are TWO COMPLETLY DIFFERENT things. & Now we all understand why things in SA are going to pot, when teachers allow this kind of behaviuor what is there left for us? & Tp crown it all the government wants to PREVENT us from disciplining our OWN kids? I have no words for this other than the fat that we, the human race are becoming hooligans & neanderthals.

  • pule.s.vic - 2012-09-06 10:16

    Let those kids play with hers and she'll realise how serious this is

  • mantothieve.missingman - 2012-09-06 10:17

    What ever moron

  • Cphiwe Nxumalo - 2012-09-06 10:18

    serious concern on the influence and how other kids are brought up, sick society!

  • Natzi - 2012-09-06 10:20

    that principal needs her flippen head checked! if that was her child she would say other wise about 'children play rough!' this gran really should take the matter up further! charges should be laid against those brats & their parents! children watch what their parents do! horrified that this school lets such disgusting behavior happen!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-06 10:21

    With Principals like this, bullying will never be eradicated. The man needs his head examined

      klipkop.degroote - 2012-09-06 10:23

      "The Qedizaba Primary School principal, who declined to give HER name, said SHE"

  • brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-06 10:21

    Spare the rod and spoil the child.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-09-06 10:29

      Brendon,nel.7 yes and I still have the scars from the rod today.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-06 10:34

      As do I. But i'd hate to think of what I'd have become without a snot klap every now again. I honestly prob deserved 90% of em.

      chez.kri - 2012-09-06 10:47

      @jacqui - Again. Just because your parents beat the cr*p out of you doesn't mean a smack is wrong. It means abuse and beatings are wrong.

  • aphiwe.mayola - 2012-09-06 10:23

    Outside of being of the opinion that perhaps the principal did not express what she perhaps intended 2 say very well, I must admit I do see where she could have been coming from. I've seen how young boys, across the board, play. They love that wrestling nonsense, WWE or whatever, and love the stars even more. We as parents allow them to watch that, we buy them the John Cena, Brock Lesner, The Rock t-shirts. They even know those moves by name - choke-slam etc. As much as it says 'don't try this @ home' but 7yr olds don't really have the capacity 2 understand the danger those moves can cause in reality, 2 them the guy being beaten up is gonna come back just fine like 'Big Show' did on tv. Just a thought.

      brendon.nel.7 - 2012-09-06 10:31

      A correct thought. Boys will be boys after all. We used to beat the living crap out of eachother at school. Clay lat, bb guns and any other form of torture our little minds could conceive. But we also knew that there would be serious reprocussions for our behaviour should we be caught or take it to far. Meaning u would get gebliksem good and proper by either teacher or parents. Often both. Take away the fear of punishment for a action and u loose the incentive to want to abide by the rules. U can clearly see it amongst the adults of today. No fear of the death penalty has helped lead to a explosion of violent crime

      chez.kri - 2012-09-06 10:49

      @aphiwe. I agree with you. Thats what age restrictions are for! WWE and the like are for stupid adults, not children.

      aphiwe.mayola - 2012-09-06 10:58

      @ brendon, I guess that's where the dif lies in such situations, we got punished n even if u were the hurt one, u still got some kind of punishment so we towed the line n ure right, the evidence of lack of repercussion is visible in crime comiting adults. @ Cheryl, yes the age restrictions are there exactly for such but most parents do not enforce that rule coz they themselves are watching. I only wish wrestling played much later @ night. Don't know reli!

  • stuart.scully.31 - 2012-09-06 10:26

    The principal doesn't care! Simple as that. That's the problem with this country, nobody cares!!!

  • John Peter Steyn - 2012-09-06 10:34

    The lack of discipline here is unbelievable. The school has an obligation to ensure the reasonable safety of the kids. Obviously these children and many like them in SA are raised by parents who are rather close to animals in their values and morality, but the school should recognise that they have no self control or discipline, or conscience and monitor them accordingly. Don't spare the rod baby!

  • Tebogo Matlatle - 2012-09-06 10:35

    those kids must now go and beat up that stupid principal!!

  • samantha.5243 - 2012-09-06 10:39

    This is ridiculous! - that stupid headmaster should be fired! cos clearly she doesnt care about all the children in her school and to brush off this incident as child's play is a pathetic excuse to shirk her responsibility- punish those kids and parents and school should pay for this child's medical bills. School bullying is rampant because schools don't take it seriously enough!- grade 1, teach them now before its too late and they turn on each other with knives and guns the next time.

  • mrp721 - 2012-09-06 10:40

    I cannot believe this principle puts it down to boys playing rough, what a load of BS, that was not playing that was assault with intent to do harm but I am still shocked that gr1's are capable of this.. This principle needs to be replaced ASAP with that attitude and the teacher should not have left the classroom in the first place, how can you just walk out the class and leave them... These boys need to be punished serverly because if they are not I can guarantee you they will be criminals in the making, can you imagine what they will do to prefects when they get older. No, a stop needs to be put to this NOW, and not excuses made because they are gr1's or because they boys who like to play rough... Disgusted at the attitude of some adults regarding this.. I feel for the child and his family, as this doesn't just affect the child it affects the whole family... Our schools and principles and even teachers are far too lenient on bullying.. But then again what can a person do as all rights to discipline kids was taken away...

  • anri.tredoux - 2012-09-06 10:41

    The kids who beat him has a lack of parenting in their lives. The principle is blind cos she knows what will happen if she reported the truth. Violence against children is a crime no matter how young the violator is. Those kids need to be disciplined.

  • wardahquinnjordan - 2012-09-06 10:47

    suggest that bullies and teacher get charged with assault and school should pay the doctors bills. Kids get sent to school to learn not to be beaten on and the parents of the bullies should get a strong verbal warning to manage and start discipling their own kids and those kids should be suspende until such time that they learn to be resonsible and accountable for their actions and if they dont comply their kids should be kicked out of the school

  • Genesistt - 2012-09-06 10:48

    What does it say about the state of our country when a teacher can't even leave the classroom anymore for fear of risking little kids viciously attacking each other and for the principal of the school to then just stick her head in the sand and pretend it didn't really happen. Playing rough? This is her idea of playing rough? Then what's her idea of assault? And I still think the grandmother should make a criminal case against those kids. If the school's not going to discipline them and if their parents aren't going to discipline them, how will they ever learn their actions have consequences?! I'm shocked to my core about this.

      sarel.brits - 2012-09-06 11:51

      I agree with you the Parents should teach their children respect for others the Teacher is their to educate them the latter can not happen if you don’t have respect for the one that’s teaching you let alone respect for others. I say the Parents should be held responsible, take them to court.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-06 11:14

    One of the most moronic statements ever to come out of a presumably educated person, fire the principle immediately!!

  • sarel.brits - 2012-09-06 11:36

    Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, grievous bodily harm is defined as \harm which in itself is such as seriously to interfere with health.\ If I can Google the meaning and its quite clear that this is Assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm surly this principal or somebody should have informed SAPS? \r\n\r\nWould the SAPS have done anything about it is another question. I think this behaviour is learnt or condoned at home, it is a symptom of the socio economic reality of South Africa where leadership in the form of fathers are non existent from the family unit up to the Highest level of government, not an excuse though. If we can stamp this out in primary school I am sure it will have an effect on the crime rate especially violent crime. So in my view horse play or not ANY form of violence be it physical or verbal should be addressed emediatly an intervention now can save lives later.

  • sekwati.robinson - 2012-09-06 11:42

    this principal will get herself fired because of stupidity...she's protecting the teacher who was supposed to be in class,how can you leave kids unattended for that long..this little rascals need punishment....parents at home need to teach kids about brutality and monitor what they watch on tv..

  • charmain.nel.7 - 2012-09-06 12:25

    why is this thing a principal must be a K hope this never happens to his kids those kids should be locked up even so young. if this happened to my kids they wont beable to hid God help these things when they grow up JAIL,BAIT

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