School brawl clip goes viral

2015-09-26 09:29
Screengrab from the video of two boys fighting taken in a classroom at Nizamia Islamic School.

Screengrab from the video of two boys fighting taken in a classroom at Nizamia Islamic School. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - A video of two Pietermaritzburg pupils engaging in a vicious brawl in their classroom until one of them appears to pass out has shocked people who have seen it on social media.

Head of department at the Nizamia Islamic School, Mohamed Saeed, confirmed that the video was taken at the school last Friday.

The video shows two young boys dressed in their Muslim attire punching and kicking each other while fellow classmates cheer them on.

Saeed said the fight allegedly started when one boy grabbed the other boy’s hat and threw it on the floor.

“This was a small fight that started over a hat and, as boys are, they started to fight over something silly,” said Saeed.

He said the fight happened during the lesson change-over so no teacher was present in the classroom when it took place.

Saeed refuted claims that one of the boys passed out during the fight, saying that was “staged”.

“No one was severely injured in the fight and no pupil was hospitalised. When the teacher arrived, the pupil was absolutely normal. The school investigated the matter and handled it in accordance with the school code of conduct and the School Act,” said Saeed.

He said the pupils and their parents were called into the office where school principal Irshaad Amod dealt with the issue.

“When we spoke to the boys they said that they were playing and staged the entire thing and the boy pretended to pass out. However, we do take bullying at school very seriously and have been proactive about the situation,” he said.

Saeed did not confirm that the boys were suspended but said they were “not at school”.

He added that cellphones were banned at the school and the pupil who filmed the fight had also been dealt with and his cellphone confiscated.

“This is the first time such an incident has occurred at our school. The school takes a firm stance against fighting and bullying.

“We have even joined an anti-bullying association in the country where qualified people come to talk to the children about bullying. We also have a good behaviour and spiritual talk with the pupils often,” he said.

Saeed said the situation was soon “out of hand” because the video was uploaded onto social media and it is still being shared.

The Department of Education had not responded by the time of going to press.

Filming a fight boosts kids’ online credit

PIETERMARITZBURG clinical psychologist Clive Willows said that the need to film an instance where a fight is taking place is greater than the need to stop the incident, and that the trend is worrying.

“We firstly have to consider the general effect the content has on the social media platform it is posted to. What is significant is that a teenager’s status on social media is greatly related to what they can produce online. If for instance they have a good story and they are the source of the story, they are recognised as having status.

“It is sad that in society, having status by producing and posting a video to a social network is greater than it would be to prevent violence from taking place.

“All teenagers want a degree of status and the need for teenagers to want status rather than act as a peacemaker is worrying and immature,” he said.

For the whole world to see

IN August last year a shocking video circulated in Pietermaritzburg on the WhatsApp cellphone messaging service. In the video a female pupil was gang-raped by six male pupils.

A fight at Sizimisele High School in Dannhauser did the rounds on social media in October 2013. A group of schoolboys hit and stomped on Bongani Nkabinde, who died at a local clinic later that day.

Since 2010, videos of brawls, bullying and violence at Khawastan Secondary in Durban have gone viral, so much so that compilation videos of various fights at the school have been uploaded. In one of the videos, a Grade 11 pupil is seen punching and stomping his classmate to the ground. The video became an instant hit on YouTube but shortly after was taken down.

Female high school pupils from Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, attacked a fellow pupil, slapping, kicking and shoving her to the ground in February this year. The video went viral on Facebook

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