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Monday, May 17, 2021

Grade 11 learner Stabbed in Gauteng School

NYAKALLO TEFU|

A Grade 11 boy from Anchor Comprehensive High School allegedly stabbed a Grade 12 boy learner from Emadwaleni Secondary School in Orlando West on Thursday.

This comes just a few days after a Limpopo teenager committed suicide after an alleged bully was recorded assaulting her.

“Reasons for the violent act are still unknown and a case has been opened with the South African Police Service [SAPS],” said Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi.

Lesufi said his department will deal accordingly with bullies at schools. 

“The Gauteng education department will also send psycho-social support to the school to assist all those affected by the stabbing incident.

“The Grade 11 learner has been suspended with immediate effect, pending a disciplinary process in due course,” said Lesufi. 

Media reports and social media recordings have shown an increasing number of bullying incidents in schools across the country’s provinces.

“Our schools should be the centres of excellence, not sites of violence and other anti-social behavior.

“We call on parents to play their role and talk to their children about ill-discipline and violence as this is a societal challenge,” said Lesufi.

According to a study by Stellenbosch University researcher in the department of economics Linda Zuze, the occurrence bullying has become increasingly evident in South African schools. 

“This phenomenon has become visible through mainstream media reports and viral social media video clips, resulting in public concern about the lack of safety in South African schools,” said Zuze.

Another incident of bullying took place in school toilets at Dinwiddie High School in Germiston this week. Social media recordings show one pupil choking the other while she lies on the ground. The pupil continues to pull the other pupil’s hair as she tries to hit back.

Lesufi said: “Information at our disposal indicates that this incident took place on Monday 12 April 2021 and the school intervened immediately.”

He said following preliminary investigations on 14 April 2021, one learner was placed on precautionary suspension as per the school’s Code of Conduct and the parents of both learners were duly appraised.

According to Zuze, there are multiple factors that can contribute to bullying behaviour in teenagers, these include:

·     Feeling insecure. 

·     Picking on someone who seems emotionally or physically weaker can provide a feeling of importance, popularity, or control.

·     Lack of awareness. Some teenagers don’t know or realise that it’s unacceptable to pick on others who are different because of size, looks, race, or religion, particularly those that frequently see this behaviour from other people in their lives. 

The Gauteng Education Department says the learner at Dinwiddie High school will face a disciplinary hearing by the School Governing Body on 20 April 2021. 

Learners at the school will also receive psycho-social support.

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