Altercation footage goes viral: Teacher and pupil suspended

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The Gauteng Education department has confirmed that a teacher seen in a video manhandling a pupil has been temporarily suspended. 

The grade ten pupil has also been suspended pending the finalisation of the department’s investigation.

The video footage surfaced on Friday following a sports day at Krugersdorp High.

In the video the teacher is seen gripping a pupil by the shirt and pushing and pulling him away from a large crowd of other pupils.

Speaking to Jacaranda FM News on Wednesday, the department’s Steve Mabona says there were incidents prior to the one seen in the video which are also being investigated.

“It’s alleged that the learner was consuming drugs on the school premises and in the process of being reprimanded the incident seen in the video was recorded,” says Mabona.

The department is now looking into both incidents, the one which led to the video and the conduct of the teacher in the video.

Mabona says teachers must always uphold the code of conduct.

“We are challenged as a department with incidents of teachers being assaulted and vice versa. We are working with educators to remind them on how to react in certain situations and to remind them that these are still children,” he adds.

The South African Council for Educators, (SACE) says it is in possession of the video and are also investigating the matter.

“We condemn any such incidents. As the Council we have seen a trend of learners being violent to teachers and we condemn any violence from teachers or students,” says SACE Spokesman Themba Ndhlovu.

SACE will be releasing a report, which highlights audited cases from the previous financial year, soon.

“We have seen a trend of too many reports of corporal punishment and sexual misconduct cases.” says Ndhlovu.

Union Naptosa says teachers are frustrated but such incidents are unacceptable.

The union has strongly condemned what happened.

“Teachers feel disempowered. We have moved from an era of corporal punishment to none, without any interventions in between. We need to reskill and retrain our teachers,” says Naptosa President Basil Manuel.

Manuel says teachers and learners come from violent societies. This he says, makes it easy for them to resort to violence.