Mafikeng High School has expelled a teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old school boy, the school’s governing body (SGB) said on Friday.
“The governing body... resolved to concur with the recommendation of the disciplinary panel that the 37-year-old female educator be summarily dismissed,” said chairman Lesiba Moses Kgwele.
He said the teacher, who was married, was charged with involvement in an improper relationship with a pupil, and failed to disclose the progression of the relationship from a professional to a deeper personal level to the principal and/or parents of the learner.
The teacher was called for a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday, but submitted a resignation letter dated December 10, five days after she had received a notice to appear at a disciplinary hearing.
“The SGB rejected her resignation letter that she had submitted to the school management,” he said.
“In our view, the resignation letter was an attempt to avoid disciplinary action, as it ignored the one-month notice period that educators employed by the SGB have to serve in terms of their employment contract.”
Kgwele said the SGB held a strong view that any reasonable person would have welcomed the opportunity to clear their name instead of resigning after a disciplinary process had been initiated.
He said the mother of the boy lodged a complaint on October 20, after she found disturbing information on her son’s cellphone.
“We had agreed with the parent to hold back disciplinary proceedings so that they did not affect the learner’s performance in the exams and marking of exam scripts by the said educator.”
Kgwele said the audio-visual material that the parent discovered on the cellphone of the pupil was sufficient for them to arrive at the verdict of guilty and to dismiss the teacher.
“We are confident that, together with the parent, we have acted in the best interest of the learner, as he has managed to pass Grade 10 and will be proceeding to Grade 11 next year.”
Kgwele appealed to parents to take interest in what was stored on their children’s cellphones and with whom they were chatting on social network platforms such as Facebook and Mxit.