School tragedies upsetting

I was touched by the death of Jacques Pretorius who was killed by a fellow pupil at Nic Diedrichs Technical High School recently.

I was touched by the death of Jacques Pretorius who was killed by a fellow pupil at Nic Diedrichs Technical High School recently.

How many kids do we have to bury before we wake up to the reality of school violence?

Every day there is a news story about school violence in South Africa and it is true that school violence has "reached a new level" as the Education Department was quoted.

The question is, who is doing what about it? What is the department, schools and community doing about it?

Surely the teenager who slashed his schoolmate's throat must have displayed unusual signs? After the tragedy it emerged that "he was into Satanism, had an obsession with ninjas and joked about killing people all the time".

Had anyone taken the time to listen to the boy, maybe Pretorius would be alive.

It is like when a teen is depressed and everyone pretends not to see, and say that it is just a teenage stage and it will pass. But it is not just a phase. These kids need help.When we see a child acting unusually, don't dismiss it. The child might be reaching out for help. Just like the Japanese boy who killed all those people in a mall recently. He told people that he was going to kill and everyone thought it was a joke.

When we read stories such as these in the media, don't dismiss them as just another story about school violence. Let us do whatever we can to prevent it happening again.

Dikatso Selemogwe, Pretoria

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