School fight hearing

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Carter High to hold a tribunal after a video of a scuffle on the school's premises went viral.
Carter High to hold a tribunal after a video of a scuffle on the school's premises went viral.
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Carter High School is expected to hold a tribunal on Thursday [today] after video footage of two women fighting with a pupil on school premises went viral.

The incident took place last Thursday and shows a pupil being attacked by two women. The pupil fights back before other pupils intervene.

The school’s learner affairs officer, Johan de Goede, said all the pupils will be given an opportunity to share their side of the story and present their evidence.

He said despite the incident taking place well before school started for the day, they are investigating the matter and disciplinary action will be taken.

He also confirmed that cases of assault have been lodged by parents and pupils. “The school has laid a charge of trespassing and we have been informed that SAPS will be meeting with the respondents in this regard,” said De Goede.

It is alleged that a pupil’s relatives went to the school last Thursday to report an incident of bullying.

They were apparently taunted by the alleged bully, leading to the confrontation. Now the pupil who has made claims of being bullied is being taunted by SMS, her mother told The Witness.

“These children are still sending her [messages] and laughing at her.

“She hides in the toilets because her bullies are still at the school. I wish I could carry all this burden for her and take all the pain and criticism she is getting. I have to keep a close eye on her because I am scared she might try to hurt herself,” said the distraught mother.

The mother, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her child, said her daughter had told her she had been beaten up by a Grade 12 pupil last Wednesday. “Their [the two women’s] intention was never to confront the pupils, they were on their way to the office when this whole thing happened,” said the mother.

De Goede said he had checked on the pupil who claimed to have been bullied and found that she had attended all lessons on Tuesday without any incident.

A local psychologist said the school should try to establish if the claims of bullying are true.

“They need to find out the truth and they need to help her feel safe again,” said the psychologist.

The psychologist said anyone who is responsible for a child’s development should teach children that there are other alternative ways to deal with conflict and there is no need to resort to violence.

“We need to get to the core of such problems and deal with them in a proper and civilised manner or else they will continue to escalate unnecessarily,” he said.

A social media expert Verlie Oosthuizen said it is almost impossible to monitor or stop pupils from taking video footage during fights and leaking them onto social media. She said the video can now be used as evidence to prove what really happened.

“The school and other involved parties can report the video to Facebook or Youtube and explain why they do not want it online, it usually takes about 24 hours for the video to be taken down,” said Oosthuizen.

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