Depart­ment to deal with bul­lies

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SHAIN GER­MANER

THE DE­PART­MENTof Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion has started its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the vi­o­lence at Hoërskool Elspark, rec­om­mend­ing coun­selling for the pupils who were filmed be­ing at­tacked on the school’s premises.

On Mon­day, The Star re­ported on how the Boks­burg school’s ad­min­is­tra­tion had al­legedly ig­nored sev­eral cell­phone videos of bul­ly­ing and vi­o­lence, forc­ing a con­cerned mother to ap­proach the me­dia.

The par­ent de­tailed her bat­tles to get help from school staff, go­ing as far as lay­ing as­sault charges against the bul­lies who had ter­rorised her two teenage chil­dren for sev­eral months.

One of the videos sub­mit­ted to the depart­ment shows the mother’s 15-year-old daugh­ter be­ing ap­proached by an older girl. The other girl pokes her in the fore­head and pushes her.

The younger pupil tries to walk away, but the other girl smacks her in the back of the head, turns her around and be­gins punch­ing her in the face while pupils laugh and film the episode on their cell­phones.

Another video shows the woman’s 16-year-old son also be­ing beaten by a pupil who at­tacks him with­out provo­ca­tion.

Yet another video shows par­ents fist-fight­ing out­side the school gates, al­legedly be­cause the school failed to sort out a dis­pute be­tween their two chil­dren.

The par­ent of the 15-yearold girl said the videos were shown to the school’s top ad­min­is­tra­tion in June, but was told there was noth­ing that could be done, and the at­tacks con­tin­ued for months.

When the depart­ment re­ceived the in­quiry from The Star last week, it said of­fi­cials would be sent to in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions on Fri­day last week.

Depart­ment spokes­woman Phumla Sekho­nyane said of­fi­cials had or­dered that the school take im­me­di­ate dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against the pupils who had con­ducted the as­saults.

“The of­fi­cials also re­quested that coun­selling be pro­vided to the learn­ers who are al­leged to have been as­saulted,” she said.

Dis­ci­plinary hear­ings against the al­leged bul­lies are set to start on Mon­day.

TOR­MENT: Two girls fight at a Boks­burg school while other pupils take cell­phone videos.

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