The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) welcomes the suspension of two Zululand learners by KZN’s Department of Education (DoE) following a video – which has since gone viral – of an alleged bullying incident.
The incident shows a female pupil being assaulted by another female pupil, during which she is forced to the ground while being kicked and punched several times. To add to her ordeal, she is also exposed after her underwear was ripped off while other learners stand by and watch.
The DA condemns this latest bullying incident in the strongest possible terms. There can be no place for such shocking violence, intimidation and humiliation in our province’s schools.
While we welcome the DoE’s swift action in suspending the alleged perpetrators, the Department now needs to show that it means business. This must include a proper disciplinary process so that the offenders to be brought to book. Meanwhile, counselling must also be offered to the victim as a matter of urgency.
It is only by sending out a clear message that this kind of conduct will not be tolerated that the DoE will begin to eradicate this scourge from our schools.
The DA believes that the steps taken so far, as expressed on paper and by MEC Mshengu during today’s Education portfolio committee, are comprehensive and tick all the correct boxes when it comes to dealing with incidents of grievous bodily harm in our schools.
The DA will continue to monitor the DoE’s response to this matter in a bid to ensure justice for the victim concerned. Our schools must be places of teaching and learning, not a safe haven for bullies and those who seek to take advantage of people perceived to be weak.
As a society we must remain intolerant to threats, coercion and deprivation of others rights, whether on or outside of a school premises or outside. Any form of violence or intimidation that results in physical, sexual or psychological suffering is a battle that needs daily engagement and action by all in order to break the chain of these odious crimes.