The Glenvista High student who was filmed attacking his teacher in a viral cellphone video is facing criminal charges after the teacher laid charges of assault against him. The incident came to public attention last Wednesday when one of his classmates filmed and uploaded the video to YouTube.
The grade 8 pupil, who has since been suspended pending a school disciplinary hearing, is seen punching, picking and throwing a broom and chair at his teacher in the video. His classmates are heard egging him on in the background; with one classmate yelling ‘get him bro’. Eleven of his classmates have since been identified and suspended for inciting him.
Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, has issued a statement condemning the attack and has called for parents to play a more active role in shaping their children’s value system.
“Schools should not be the only place where children are taught morals as this should begin at home. Parents and communities need to come on board and take responsibility for instilling a sense of what is right and wrong in our children,” said the Minister’s spokesperson, Troy Martens.
Motshekga has also called for the alleged perpetrator and his inciters to be disciplined accordingly.
“This incident must be condemned in the strongest possible terms and the relevant punishment must be met out. The student responsible, together with the other learners who were cheering him on should all be disciplined accordingly.”
The attack is one of two incidents that occurred last week which have raised questions about safety in South African schools. In a separate incident in Sasolburg High School, in the Free State, a teacher has been hospitalized after being shot by one of his pupils. And while the spate of attacks has led to some members of the public calling for the re-introduction of corporal punishment, Minister Angie Motshekga has stood firm on government’s stance on non-violence.
“Corporate punishment is not an option as this is a form of violence in itself… The Minister is disturbed by the violent behaviour of the Glen Vista learner and would recommend all of those present be given trauma counseling after this violent event,” spokesperson Martens added.