MEC slates video of boy fighting teacher
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