School sex pest case - dis­traught par­ents speak out

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

A NUM­BER of school­boys who were al­legedly the vic­tims of sex­ual mo­lesta­tion at Velden­vlei Pri­mary School, are un­der­go­ing counselling and psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion.

Last week the ZO re­ported that the Em­pan­geni SAPS Fam­ily Vi­o­lence, Child Pro­tec­tion and Sex­ual Of­fences (FCS) Unit was in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims that a 22-year-old sup­port staff em­ployee had been fondling at least seven boys at the school.

The par­ents of three of the learn­ers spoke to the ZO on Fri­day, high­light­ing the emo­tional ef­fect it has had on their sons.

Speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, the mother of a sev­enyear-old boy said her son seems to be cop­ing, but has been sub­jected to teas­ing at school.

‘One of the boys told other learn­ers what had hap­pened and he no longer wants to go to school be­cause of this. ‘He is a bit dif­fer­ent at home.

‘The first week-and-a-half af­ter it hap­pened he wet his bed, was cry­ing at night and talk­ing in his sleep.

‘He is very rest­less and a lot more shy now than what he used to be.

‘Child Wel­fare has of­fered us counselling, which we are con­sid­er­ing at the mo­ment,’ the mother said.

An­other mother said her nineyear-old son had been suf­fer­ing from night­mares.

‘He has at­tended two counselling ses­sions and the psy­chol­o­gist will sub­mit his fi­nal re­port soon.

‘Over­all he is do­ing okay I sup­pose, apart from the night­mares and stuff.

‘Be­fore ev­ery­thing came out a huge dif­fer­ence in his be­hav­iour be­came no­tice­able.

He be­came very with­drawn, which wasn’t his nor­mal kind of be­hav­iour,’ she said.

The fa­ther of an eight-year-old learner said he was dis­ap­pointed by the man­ner in which the school dealt with the mat­ter.

Con­trary to what the school had told the ZO, the fa­ther claims the school had not in­formed the par­ents about the in­ci­dent.

‘Yes, the school did un­der­take their own in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but they never in­formed us as par­ents of what was hap­pen­ing.

‘I heard about it via an­other par­ent on Fri­day night and when we called the prin­ci­pal to get an­swers, he claimed he wasn’t even aware of the sit­u­a­tion.

‘I’m not wor­ried about the school, I’m wor­ried about my child.

‘I have al­ready spent more than R2 500 for a pri­vate psy­chol­o­gist - not that I care about the cost be­cause I want my child to re­ceive the best counselling so that this doesn’t af­fect him in the fu­ture – but it is still an added cost to us.’

The fa­ther said his son had been sub­jected to awk­ward ques­tions at school.

‘He’s do­ing al­right. He is re­spond­ing to the psy­chol­o­gist, which I am pleased about, but my main con­cern is that some of the kids at school are ask­ing him what hap­pened, mak­ing him un­com­fort­able.’

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