Sexual abuse at PMB school

2017-05-29 18:24
Another pupil has come forward about being sexually abused on school premises.

Another pupil has come forward about being sexually abused on school premises. (File)

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Another child from a Pietermaritzburg primary school has come forward with allegations that she has been sexually abused on the school’s property.

It is the same school that made headlines when their school counsellor is alleged to have sexually abused pupils there.

This was revealed by a senior teacher who cannot be named, in an urgent parent meeting on Friday.

In a school hall packed with parents, the teacher announced that a female pupil had raised a complaint about being “touched inappropriately” by one of the school’s cleaning staff members.

He said the girl, along with a peer and a class teacher, came to him to tell him about the incident on Wednesday morning.

“The girl was crying and found it uncomfortable to talk to me so we suggested she speak to two female teachers instead,” said the teacher.

He said the pupil reported that she was waiting for her lift after school on Monday when she decided to go to the toilet.

She reported that when she was in the toilet the male cleaner came in and “touched her inappropriately”. She said he gave her R100 and instructed her not to tell anyone about the incident.

The teacher said the school had planned to call the parents on Thursday to discuss the matter when they arrived unannounced regarding another matter.

“When we told the parents, they said the child came home on Monday and told her mother that her private parts and leg were sore. The mother said she did not take it seriously as her leg was also sore and just rubbed her leg.”

Most parents expressed their shock and anger about the incident and started talking among themselves.

The teacher said the parents were advised to open a case and the suspect has been suspended pending investigations. He said there was also CCTV cameras which capture the toilet entrance and said the footage has been handed to the police and the child is currently receiving counselling.

“This is a sad situation for us as teachers. At the moment we are waiting and hoping that investigations are done thoroughly and that the law takes its course,” he said.

Concerns raised by the parents included that this was not the first sexually related incident to happen at the school, that there have been no security upgrades at the school.

Another parent asked why there were no security personnel monitoring the cameras to help prevent such incidents.

Half the parents started storming out of the hall after their questions were not answered.

Many suggestions were raised in terms of improving the security at the school with some parents volunteering to cough up money from their pockets to help the school. A member of the school’s governing body said the matter of the safety of children was not unique to the school but was a global problem.

She said the safety of a child could never be guaranteed even if the child is at home and urged parents to meet the school half way. She said they will consider the concerns and suggestions raised in the meeting at their meeting on Tuesday, after they meet with attorneys on Monday, and set up another meeting to keep them up to date.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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