MEC slates video of boy fight­ing teacher

The Star Early Edition - - METRO - BOTHO MOLOSANKWE and STHEMBISO SIT­HOLE

MEC for Ed­u­ca­tion in Gaut­eng Panyaza Le­sufi made an emer­gency visit to Lewisham Pri­mary School in Krugersdorp yes­ter­day after the emer­gence of a video show­ing a learner in­sult­ing his teacher, call­ing him “rub­bish” and say­ing he “stinks”.

The same boy is also seen fight­ing off a fe­male teacher who is try­ing to re­strain him.

In the 51-sec­ond video, the boy is seen scream­ing at a male teacher, pulling at his shirt. The fe­male teacher then in­ter­venes. “Leave the teacher,” she says as she gets be­tween the two.

The boy then fights the fe­male teacher, push­ing and hit­ting her. The male teacher then goes to­wards the boy and tries to re­strain him from hit­ting the teacher. How­ever, the boy lashes out at him.

“Don’t touch me, you stink. Did you have a bath this morn­ing?” he shouts at him.

The fe­male teacher says to the boy: “Don’t do this. Calm down,” but the boy screams at her: “Leave me alone! Don’t touch me! Calm down for what?”

The male teacher de­cides to walk away and the learner can be heard shout­ing at him say­ing “This rub­bish.”

The fe­male teacher con­tin­ues to re­strain the boy, who re­fuses to calm down. He can also be heard threat­en­ing to “smash that phone”.

Many peo­ple who saw the video said it was clear that teach­ers were not safe in schools and that the boy needed to be ex­pelled. How­ever, Le­sufi dis­agreed, say­ing the child has a con­sti­tu­tional right to learn.

“I can’t just throw the child onto the streets and say he can’t come back. He has a con­sti­tu­tional right to be in school,” Le­sufi said on SAfm.

It is not clear what sparked the ar­gu­ment, but Le­sufi said the child had a med­i­cal con­di­tion and had be­haved the way he did be­cause he had not taken his med­i­ca­tion.

“The child is go­ing through dif­fi­cul­ties and has a med­i­cal con­di­tion. I can’t ig­nore that. We have to find a way of as­sist­ing him. His par­ents have ac­cepted that there was no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the child to ut­ter those words to the teacher,” he said.

Le­sufi said it was also not fair for peo­ple to say he only had the boy’s in­ter­ests at heart, but not the teach­ers’, say­ing he was try­ing to sup­port both, but that the child had to be pro­tected.

He also slated the teacher who re­leased the video.

“I feel that the video should not have been re­leased. There are ways of deal­ing with this,” he said.

Le­sufi con­sulted the school’s man­age­ment and the boy’s par­ents, and has since ap­pointed a team to look into the in­ci­dent and to re­port back to him next week.

GAUT­ENG Ed­u­ca­tion MEC Panyaza Le­sufi vis­ited Lewisham Pri­mary School yes­ter­day. The boy’s fam­ily mem­bers’ faces have been blurred to pro­tect his iden­tity | Twit­ter

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