Teacher suspended for hitting pupil

2011-03-18 17:46

Johannesburg - A female teacher was suspended for allegedly hitting a pupil at the Glenbrack High School, in Alberton, the Gauteng education department said on Friday.

"Corporal punishment is outlawed by both the Constitution and the South African Schools Act," spokesperson Charles Phahlane said.

"The department encourages learners to report instances of corporal punishment at schools."

The department became aware of the incident after it was broadcast on the SABC around two weeks ago. Two parents had complained that corporal punishment was used at the school. A preliminary investigation was conducted and the decision was taken to suspend the teacher.

Her suspension was effective from March 15.

"Learners who are subjected to corporal punishment at school should report the matter to the school principal and their parents so that it can be handled in terms of procedure," Phahlane said,

Should the school principal fail to help the parents, the matter should be reported to the department's district office or to the head of the provincial education department.

"Educators have clear guidelines on how to deal with discipline in schools without resorting to corporal punishment."

Phahlane said the Glenbrack High matter would be probed further before a decision on the way forward was taken.

The teacher's suspension comes after the Congress of SA Students urged learners to "hit back" when the corporal punishment was used on them. It also comes after a teacher was stabbed by a 17-year-old pupil at a Soweto school.

South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) regional chairperson Moss Senye also appeared at Meadowlands Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old pupil last month at Meadowlands High School - where he is the principal.

  • Welleducated - 2011-03-18 17:53

    It is sad the punishment is illegal, very sad indead. Pupils can be evil and the law protects little criminals in the making!

  • Catarina - 2011-03-18 17:59

    We are getting back to the "eye for an eye" times... there's no respect anymore... Wonder how the world will be in a few years when these young lads and ladies grow up... one thing everyone can easily reason - things are worse today with these so called modern education than they were before.

  • twolips - 2011-03-18 18:22

    I know all about lack of respect for teachers! Been there, done that. There is no suitable alternative to corporal punishment and however a teacher punishes a pupil, he/she simply doesn't obey and laughs in the teacher's face. Parents are often also guilty of aiding and abetting their offspring, I'm sorry to say.

      Roland - 2011-03-18 19:46

      Parents are 110% of the problem too, they do aid and abet their children. We live in a society of appeasement. Parent's seem to think that their children are going to come out on top, even if they are "skelm". It's a global phenomenon. I thank my parents for taking the school's side 90% of the time...I was having fun and was a cheeky bastard, but they WERE RIGHT. Life is a about maintaining a balance.

      Organist-1 - 2011-03-19 12:44

      I Agree. Never in a million years will I train as a teacher any longer. The "human rights" business is basically responsible as Roland said for creating generations of Gangsters. I wouldn't say "problem too". I would say 110% of the problem --Period. Solomon in all his wisdom said "Evil is bound up in the heart of a child, but the ROD of REPROOF will drive it far from him". In another refrain "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Maybe stray, but not depart because truth and respect is ingrained in his soul. We have got where we are because PARENTS couldn't care two hoots about their children. They don't even care where they play or are (like on a railway line). These brats are not even being groomed how to sit in Parliament maybe 30 years from now, or show the basics of respect. Yes Roland. "Guidelines" ----- This stupid Lawless government doesn't even know what the word means because as it was said --- they stuffed up the education system. Now english Grammer is to be taken out of the syllabus because too many "previously disadvantaged" fail it. Grammar Basic says -n Steps of preogression ----- Democracy = Mob Rule = Anarchy. Sorry to say we have by all intents reached the Anarchy stage already. More than 80% of the uneducated electorate will still vote ANC because they still believe in the tooth fairy and their "ancestors" who didn't know better anyway other than to just do what the "chief" told them to do.

  • Dprika - 2011-03-18 18:26

    I understand why a principal slapped a learner. I stand behind you Mr Senye!

  • vicj - 2011-03-18 18:44

    This country has become a sad no rule goverment, no balls to take these scruff by the neck and lets start working as a nation. Our youth are going to grow up as lawless and gansters of the future. Viva ANC. You have stuffed up this country.

  • Roland - 2011-03-18 19:37

    "Educators have clear guidelines on how to deal with discipline in schools without resorting to corporal punishment." I am yet to see these guidelines, the only guideline is the Bill of Rights. Children have rights, teachers none. The Education departments do not give schools and educators any support to deal with delinquent learners. We're on our own... I don't want to cane children, I just want some support from the department...

      Dee - 2012-06-05 23:24

      Has anyone translated and taught the Bill of Responsibilities implied by a Bill of Rights? Perhaps a good toipc for Life Skills class?

  • Agent - 2011-03-18 20:23

    All teachers should now stand together and have this woman reinstated, the kids of today are in for a huge suprise when they grow up.

  • KarinWalker - 2011-03-18 20:38

    What about hearing the teacher's side of the story?? Did the learner tell her to "f*ck off"?, call her " a bitch"?, refuse to keep quiet, threaten to rape her? teachers in high schools are regularly disobeyed and told to eff off by our new breed of learners..Don't teachers have rights anymore?. Did anyone read about the learner who stabbed his teacher today? was she allowed to defend herself? if she had cracked his head open with a baseball bat, i suppose SHE would have been suspended for "assaulting" this precious little thug!!

      Granny - 2011-03-19 08:28

      Too true Karen, in our small town in KZN parents who work in town tell their kids to hang out at our local library in the afternoons till they can be fetched. Result, we now have a bunch of thugs controlling the library. They harass the elderly, hurl verbal abuse at the librarian and generally cause as much trouble as they can. If anyone tries to rebuke them, they become agressive and threatening. And this is what teacher's have to put up with on a daily basis?? Time to stop pussy-footing around these little shits and teach them who's boss!!

  • Thabangdube2005 - 2011-03-19 10:33

    I'm a teacher by profession. Last week i was nearly arrested for pushing out a drunk learner out of my classroom. He fell down and started vomiting liquids which smell beer. Inside his two pockets were a ball of nyaope and that of dagga. The 'parent' was called and instead of reprimanding her child, she started insulting me and she called the police. Luckly the learner was the one who was taken away. Therefore dont blame learnent foreigners who come here to S.A and take away all the top jobs. Our schools are producing only thugs. Instead of building more schools and training teachers, lets just build more prison, more space for graves and train more police&prison officers.

      moiraine - 2011-03-19 11:15

      I am glad it worked out for you, and for what it is worth, you sound fully justified. I can quite believe what you are going through. We have a whole lot of kids that hang around the shopping centre near my office in the afternoon. Most of them smoke, quite a few are drunk, they shoplift and people just desperately try and stay out of their way. The poor security guard is beside himself. I DO support corporal punishment in schools, but it must be managed in a proper way. I would have absolutely no problem if my daughter was sent to the principal and given "lashes", or given a smack on the hand with a ruler. However I dont think it is right for a teacher to just lash out at a pupil in anger, since that just breeds more anger. Particularly, when that teacher is the head of a teachers union. (SInce I am a lecturer I do understand how there are days when you would want to) But, I think a huge portion of the blame lies in the parents. As achild, if I came home and told my father that I had a smack at school, he would have asked what I had done and then given me a smack too if it warranted it. He would NEVER have gone off to fight with the school. All you are then showing the kids is that the teacher cant do anything because "Daddy" (or mommy) will sort them out. How does that teach respect? If I believed that my child had been genuinely unfairly punished and felt strongly enough about it I may approach the school, but would definitely not let my child know it.

      Dee - 2012-06-05 23:17

      Nehanda - You sound like an exceptional asset to our schooling system - and I salute you in the very trying job you do. I don't know if this could ever be applied in South Africa - but will share what I saw in Taiwan ....... where there is an INCREDIBLE work ethic. I stayed in a VERY affluent area with Embassy & Company directors children being schooled in exclusive private schools. At midday, I walked past the American School, Japannese and other private schools - and saw alot of children SWEEPING THE PAVEMENT OUSIDE THE SCHOOL - as well as cleaning up the grounds. I wondered why so many 'priviledged' children were on detention .... but then learnt that it is standard, daily practice in Taiwan for school children (regardless of social status) to clean their school, the grounds and street pavement before going home..... as part of values of 'pride and respect', and don't wait for servants / other to do for you.

  • sceptic - 2011-03-19 11:35

    GREAT!! Pupils are "allowed"to stab teachers yet teachers have to shut up and see how pupils are becoming social hazards by behaving badly and then, get away with it, without punishment. What is this country coming to? Every hiding I got at school I took in acknowledgement of a wrong deed done!!!! It is a proven fact that where people are disciplined, crime is almost non existent! LEARN FROM THIS???????????

  • sceptic - 2011-03-19 11:43

    What also amazes me is how 100% of the commebts are pro corporal punishment!! makes me wonder what idiot decided to do away with it in the first place!!!

  • Rinnewien - 2011-03-20 03:11

    I got a hiding at home when needed. My parents made me understand why it was done. I was assured of their love. I wasn't hit often. I was never ever verbally abused!!! At scholl I well knew that I would be hit if misbehaved in any way. I had a bad handwriting and suffered a lot. Today I am a well balanced good citizen, person, parent, child and worker! No regrets, no hang ups. By the way , I am well educated with a stunning handwriting if I may say so myself! I have experience of todays naughty kids and their poor twisted parents. South Africa is speeding towards a disaster. Bring the rod back !

  • kustaf - 2011-03-20 09:46

    these kids are gona get out of hand. spare the rod or spoil the child... i foresee dander in the next generation..

  • Benny66 - 2011-03-20 10:25

    Well done SABC! had it not been for you the Dept of Educ would never have known about this incident. Having said this though, my own belief is the day they allow corporal punishment (for bad behaviour) back into schools is the day that learner's discipline will return.

  • elli edwards - 2011-03-20 13:15

    suspend the pupil. mostly the kids today have no respect.

  • Android - 2011-03-20 14:11

    It's 100% the parents. Nothing annoys me more than seeing a mother being smacked, bitten and having her hair pulled by her brat and then saying:” No sweetie, no my darling, no my sweetheart" in a pathetic little voice that just confirms to the brat that he/she's the boss. Discipline and boundaries give children a sense of security and should start at home.

  • Rupert - 2012-06-05 23:04

    The other day i was in a bus from town and there were these school boys in uniforms i believe there were 16 or 17 years old , there was this young man whose trousers was dropping all the way to his knees , when i asked him to lift it up he calmly said to me 'if my techers and headmaster have got no problem with me walking with sagging pants who are you to tell me to lift em up '.When i asked him why his teachers allowed this he told me that they had no jurisdiction on how students dressed at their school .To my surprise a few people in the bus actually surported the young man . I just hang my head in disbelief and arrested my case .

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