The current system being used by the SA Council of Educators (Sace) to punish teachers who still met out corporal punishment does not put the interests of the rights of the children at heart.
This the argument made by Adv Chris McConnachie in the Pretoria high court where the Centre for Child Law, represented by Section 27, is challenging Sace in a bid to secure harsher sanctions for two primary school teachers who used corporal punishment in separate incidents in Gauteng and Limpopo.
McConnachie told the court that Sace has a system which uses a prescribed sentence for every offence that a teacher commits.
However, these prescribed sentences are not centred around the rights of the children.
“Whenever a child is assaulted, it impacts on the right to dignity, right to freedom of security of a person and in addition the rights of children provided for under Section 28 of the constitution. This include the right to be protected from mal-treatment, neglect and abuse.
“[During disciplinary hearing], there was no attempt to get any form of representation from either the children or their parents on how the assaults had impacted them,” said McConnachie.
In the first case, a seven-year-old boy had to be hospitalised after he was hit on the head with a pipe by his teacher in 2015.