Section27 to challenge educators council’s decision on teachers accused of beating pupils

Iavan Pijoos Journalist
Section27 will represent the parents of two pupils in their bid to challenge the decision made by the SA Council for Educators regarding corporal punishment meted out by teachers.
Section27 will represent the parents of two pupils in their bid to challenge the decision made by the SA Council for Educators regarding corporal punishment meted out by teachers.
Image: 123RF/STOCKSTUDIO44

Law centre Section27 is set to challenge a decision by the SA Council for Educators (Sace) after two complaints of corporal punishment.

According to Section27, in 2019 a primary school pupil from Gauteng was hit on the back of his head with a PVC pipe by a teacher. In a separate incident, a teacher at a primary school in Limpopo struck a grade 5 pupil on her cheek and head.

Section27 spokesperson Boitumelo Masipa said the pupil experienced a “lasting bleed” from her ears which required her to visit several doctors, resulting in her absenteeism from school. Subsequently, the pupil was forced to repeat grade 5, Masipa said.

After disciplinary hearings for both teachers, Sace instructed their names be removed from the roll of educators. This was suspended for 10 years on condition they were not found guilty of any other misconduct.

According to Section27, both teachers pleaded guilty to the offences and were further fined R15,000 each, of which R5,000 was suspended.

Section27 believes the decision imposed by Sace was “insubstantial and inadequate”.

“We consider this decision to be invalid, unlawful and a breach of Sace’s constitutional obligation to protect pupils’ rights.”

Masipa said Section27 would represent the parents of both pupils in their bid to have the decisions by Sace reviewed in the North Gauteng High Court.

“As the custodian of the teaching profession, Sace has the responsibility to take appropriate action against teachers who violate the code by practising corporal punishment and infringing on pupils’ rights to be free from harm and violence.”

According to Masipa, Sace had signalled it would oppose the matter and was expected to provide the court with its papers by January 21.

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