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Teachers resign after being attacked by pupils

NATHANIEL LEE | Consistent discipline vital for teaching pupils respect

Stock photo.
Stock photo.
Image: 123RF

The mind boggles at what transpired at Primrose Hill Primary in Germiston, where a 13-year-old grade 6 pupil allegedly shot and wounded the school principal after firing three shots at him.

He has subsequently been charged with attempted murder with further allegations that he had initially planned to kill the principal, deputy principal and class teacher. Apparently, his actions were triggered by the school officials having alerted his parents about his poor academic performance. The boy’s father was also arrested and expected to be charged with the negligent handling of the firearm that was used in the commission of the crime.

According to the Gauteng MEC for education, Matome Chiloane, the principal was in shock and may not return to education. We can only pray for his speedy recovery and be thankful he did not lose his life.

In other reports, teachers are said to be resigning in droves as gangsters take the reins at two schools in Ekurhuleni. A 42-year-old teacher was said to have suffered anxiety attacks whenever he had to go to work and was compelled to resign because of escalating gang violence at William Hills and Liverpool secondary schools in Benoni.

Another teacher said that working with these unruly kids felt like working with dangerous inmates. According to the teacher, in 2020, a female deputy principal was sprayed with a fire extinguisher in her face by a group of violent hooligans masquerading as pupils. She was hospitalised and never returned to school after her ordeal.

In yet another incident, another female teacher was sexually assaulted by a grade 10 pupil who threatened to rape her after she had reported him for spanking her bottom and squeezing it during class in front of other pupils. Such utter disrespect. What happened to the notion that teachers acted in the place of parents (in loco parentis) and therefore deserved the same respect shown to parents?

Speaking at Primrose Primary, Chiloane said: “You must listen to them because your teachers are your parents at school. If you respect your mother and father at home, you must do the same with your teachers at school.”

The MEC hit the nail on the head.  It is the duty of every parent to guide and train their children in the way they should go, to ensure that when they are old they do not stray from it, as Proverbs 22:6 advises. The Good Book further enjoins children to “honour your father and mother.” Exodus 20:12.

It is clear that something is amiss with our children and that decisive intervention is imperative. There needs to be an acknowledgement that children be diligently trained to behave in socially acceptable ways.

To raise respectful children, clear boundaries need to be set and consequences of boundary violations should be clearly spelt out. It is important to treat children with respect so that they can reciprocate the same respect. Consistent discipline is important. Most importantly, parents should be approachable to set a good example for the way they want their children to listen to others.

Children who learn respect from home can transfer such respect to schools, which will make learning a seamless process and eliminate incidents such as the one that occurred at Primrose Primary.

  • Lee is a Sowetan reader

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