School stops dad from protesting against bullying

2015-10-29 13:37

Parents and educators: here's how to deal with schoolyard bullying

2015-10-05 13:55

October is Bullying Awareness Month. Here's how parents and educators can deal with schoolyard bullying.WATCH

Pretoria - A school has obtained an urgent interdict against a father who staged a protest with a huge banner and fliers outside the school because he believed they had done nothing about his daughter being bullied.

The father was forbidden by the High Court in Pretoria to enter the school without prior arrangement.

He may also not state by means of a banner, placard, pamphlet, social or news media that the principal of his daughter's school was doing nothing to stop bullying and should be fired.

Further, he may not send any person to the school premises to act as a "bodyguard" for his daughter.

In terms of an agreement reached between the father and the school, the court order will remain in place pending the finalisation next month of a formal investigation by the school into allegations of unfair treatment and bullying involving his daughter.

The child's mother will be allowed to make representations during the investigation, which will begin early next month in the school's staff room.

The school also undertook to take immediate appropriate action if they received any further complaints that the girl was being bullied.

(Supplied, Pretoria Rekord Moot)

Daughter victimised and bullied

The father said in court papers his daughter had been subjected to victimisation and bullying since last year. The problem became worse from the beginning of this year, deteriorating to such an extent that his daughter did not want to go back to school.

The incidents included his daughter being called a "whore" and a "rich bitch" and two girls threatening to "bliksem" (assault) her. She also received nasty letters.

When certain pupils began to defame her reputation and confronted her directly, the deputy principals undertook to take firm action and immediately investigate the allegations. The incidents were also brought to the principal's attention, but the school "just turned a blind eye", he claimed.

- Read more: School calls in lawyers over dad's car banner

According to the father, one of the deputy principals had even admitted to him that his own daughter had experienced the same victimisation and that other parents also complained about it.

He insisted the school was not serious about investigating or resolving the issues and that he had placed banners and distributed pamphlets about the bullying "due to pure and utter frustration".

After his protest, the school's head boy approached his daughter and told her it was not the right way to deal with the matter and she should rather attend another school.

Dad denies threatening principal

The father claimed several of his vehicles were vandalised by parents and senior pupils at the school.

The father denied claims by the school that he had threatened the principal with assault or that he'd done anything unlawful, but he admitted they were "cross" with each other.

The chairperson of the school's governing body said in an affidavit they were acutely aware of the disturbing phenomenon of bullying, applied a code of conduct and had a full-time social worker to assist learners with special needs in a confidential manner.

According to the chairperson, the principal had given the mother the assurance that the bullying would be investigated, but she returned with her husband, who screamed, shouted, insulted the principal and threatened him with assault.

He said the school had "an open door policy" to hear complaints from pupils, had appointed an investigation team to look into the matter and repeatedly invited the father to participate, but now had no other option open but to approach the court because of the father's "irrational, compulsive and threatening behaviour" and his stated intention of harming the school.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  education

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