What kind of person hurts a child?

Beeld journalist Hilda Fourie has blown the lid on child abuse at the Babbelbekkies child care centre in Pretoria North.

I know I am supposed to use the word ‘allegedly’ when discussing something that is sub judice, but given that Beeld has a copy of a video showing a 3-year-old being hit on his ankles and a girl TIED TO A MATTRESS WITH A ROPE, I am going to go ahead and say children have been abused.

The centre’s owner Jacques Kruger alleges that he wasn’t aware of anything like this happening at his centre, and that ‘it never happened in his presence’.

Way to regurgitate legal advice, dude. You own a day care centre where children are hit, bruised and restrained and all you can say is ‘I know nothing’, and then get an external person to ‘verify the video’.

The most telling element for me is the letter Kruger sent to parents, saying that they would no longer be ‘disciplined’, but that parents will be obliged to fetch children from school instead.

Really, Jacques? Physical abuse and ‘discipline’ are interchangeable concepts for you? If carers are not allowed to ‘hit, push, pinch or pull a child’s hair’ (his words) then all boundary-setting options have been exhausted to the point where the child must leave the premises?

And you work in child care? That’s one of the saddest things I have ever heard. Seriously. It makes me want to cry.

The idea of discovering that the people I have entrusted with the care of my children turning out to be abusers fills me with literally murderous rage. Luckily, I have been brought up to consider violence to be an unacceptable option, so I can control myself, even with regards to the kind of scum who tie children to beds.

But what kind of person hits a child? I have never been able to understand this. And what kind of a person then maintains that it is ‘for a child’s own good’? How can humiliation, pain and fear ever be considered appropriate ‘discipline’?

Love, kindness and self control beget themselves. The more of us who stand up for these basic children’s rights, the less likely revolting people like Jacques can hide behind the word ‘discipline’.

Read more by Sam Wilson

Is it acceptable for day care personnel to use physical discipline?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
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