Violence at schools out of hand

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Violence in our schools seems to be escalating and we have had more than five incidents this year alone. Just last week, two videos of pupils fighting went viral.

The first showed footage of five girls from Crystal Park High School in Benoni who beat up a 14-year-old fellow pupil. It has since emerged that the five, also aged 14, were fighting over a boyfriend and have since been suspended by the school.

The second one showed the fight between two boys at Edenvale High School, also on the East Rand, that left one of them with a jaw injury. The attacker was also suspended.

These are not isolated occurrences as there have been four other violent instances this year reported by this paper, where pupils were either assaulted, raped or even killed by their mates.

Children generally emulate adults, so where have we gone wrong as a society? Why do our kids see violence as the first solution to conflict resolution?

According to clinical psychologist Anele Siswana, who spoke to Sowetan on Monday, violence in black public schools was due to the lack of co-operation between parents, the schools and the community.

Shockingly true, as just a day after she said that a school was burnt down at Duvha Park in Emalahleni apparently after two pupils were expelled by the provincial education department for assault.

The two grade 9s were captured in a video last month slapping a grade 8 pupil numerous times.

But the department was considerate because the two were only expelled from their current school, and the circuit manager was tasked with enrolling them at another institution and monitoring their conduct.

Why is the community angry over the sanction? Is that not an appropriate action taken against bullies in schools?

If nothing is done about violence, what kind of monsters are we raising?

Do we want adults who will resolve disputes through fists?

Most disobedient children end up in prison and that is not what we want for the future of our country. Discipline begins at home, so parents, not teachers, must teach their kids how to obey rules, to respect their elders and to treat their peers with courtesy.

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