A video of a teenage student at a South African school being bullied by a teacher has gone viral. A video of a similar incident at a primary school in the area has also caused controversy.
A male teacher at the Randfontein Secondary School in Johannesburg, South Africa was captured on a cellphone assaulting one of his pupils. This is reportedly the second video of this nature in the last two weeks, taken by fellow students at the South African school.
— Eyewitness News (@ewnupdates) September 10, 2015
It is believed that the first incident (video included below) happened last month and also involved three other teenagers, who were allegedly assaulted by the teacher for attempting to stand up for their classmate. The teenagers were allegedly left bruised after the incident, and their school uniform shirts were torn. According to Eye Witness News, Phumla Sekhonyane of the Gauteng Education Department has said that the teacher will face disciplinary action and that the department takes the assault at the South African school very seriously.
“As we’ve said it so many times that corporal [punishment] has got no place in our schools and wherever it raises its ugly hands, we’ll not hesitate to take action.”
While it is not stated in the media if the same teacher is involved, within a week of the first occurrence, a second incident of pupils being beaten by a teacher at the South African school has been reported. A video taken by a fellow student on a cellphone captured a teenager being beaten for not completing his school work.
Sekhonyane said in a statement after the second incident that the teacher must account for his actions.
“We will be going back to the school. Hopefully he will also help us with the video, because it will help us in the investigation. We will get the responsible educator to account and give us reasons why we should not take him through a disciplinary process.”
As reported on News24, a similar story has recently occurred at a primary school in the same area. However, in that case it was fellow students who were doing the bullying.
While the video footage (included below) is unclear, the bullied student was lured on to the playground at the South African school and then was surrounded and assaulted by a group of boys. Some pupils tried to help him but one of the bullies shouts in Afrikaans, “Los! Nee… los!” (leave it, no, leave it).
While the victim crouched on the ground, attempting to protect his head with his hands, his attackers laugh and when he tries to get up and walk away, he is punched again. Again his fellow pupils tried to help him but one of the bullies shouts in Afrikaans, “julle moenie inspring nie” (you must not jump in [to help]) and then tells the boy’s helpers, “niemand f****n spring in nie” (nobody f*****g jumps in [to help]).
— Jacques Steenkamp (@JacqueSteenkamp) September 12, 2015
Warning: Sensitive viewers may be upset by the video footage, which is age-restricted, based on YouTube community guidelines.
After the video of the attack emerged, the principal of Laerskool Randfontein took to the school’s Facebook page.
“We mourn the unfortunate incident that happened between Grade 7 pupils at our school.”
“This incident was recorded and distributed in the media. Everyone who was involved has been identified and disciplinary hearings have already been scheduled for next week.”
“Be assured that every child’s safety is our first priority and that the necessary steps will be taken against the guilty parties.”
Some comments on the Facebook post said that they had witnessed the incident and that the school prefects allegedly stood by, watching the assault and doing nothing to prevent it.
The mother of the student, who originally posted the video to YouTube, has laid criminal charges in the incident.
[Image: CC BY 2.0 Clemens v. Vogelsang]