School Bullies shown the door
THE Gauteng education department has sent a strong message to bullies by expelling five pupils for bullying at a Pretoria secondary school.
Lethabong Secondary School in Soshanguve has been in the news for all wrong reasons since the beginning of the year.
First, a Grade 10 pupil is said to have committed suicide on Valentine's Day after being bullied by three Grade 10s and a Grade 11 at the school.
The four, including a pupil who is accused of having assaulted a female teacher last year, were suspended pending the outcome of investigations by the provincial education department.
Last month, another pupil - who is a close friend of the four pupils who have been suspended - is said to have assaulted a girl at the school using an iron rod.
He is facing a criminal charge and will appear at Soshanguve Magistrate Court tomorrow.
Last Wednesday, the school governing body recommended to the head of department that the pupils be expelled.
Gauteng education department spokesman Charles Phahlane said: "The head of department upheld the decision by the school governing body to expel the five pupils at Lethabong. Expulsion letters have been written to the parents."
Phahlane said the first four were charged with misconduct "in relation to bullying and harassing other pupils. The fifth is charged with assaulting a pupil".
Phahlane said the expelled pupils have the right to appeal to the MEC.
The five are said to have harassed pupils at the school for some time. Last year during the year-end examination, one of the pupils allegedly teased and assaulted a female teacher who reprimanded him for making a noise in the examination hall.
Parents welcomed the decision saying victims of bullying at the school had been living in fear.