KZN bullying incident: Education department condemns sharing of video

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has requested that a controversial bullying video, in which a pupil can be seen beating a fellow learner at a KZN high school, be removed from all platforms. The department has also asked for citizens to refrain from sharing and circulating it on social media. 


A gruesome and highly disturbing video has been circulating on social media, in which a pupil at the Mathole High School in KwaZulu-Natal could be seen beating a fellow pupil to the ground. The video shows the pupil kicking, punching, slapping and tearing the other pupil's underwear off. Other pupils can be seen watching. 

TWO PUPILS SUSPENDED FOLLOWING BULLYING INCIDENT IN KZN 


KwaZulu-Natal Education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa took to Twitter on Tuesday 8 September saying that the education department in KZN suspended two learners following the bullying incident.


"The Department of Education in KZN has suspended two learners involved in a case of bullying at Mathole high school in Zululand pending disciplinary process. Professional therapy will be offered to the victim and other learners. Aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated," said Mthethwa. 


The school governing body has been directed to finalise the disciplinary process within seven schooling days as stipulated in the South African Schools Act.


The KZN Department of Education said the legal services unit has also been directed to assist the victim in opening a case with police and to contact social media platforms' administrators with the aim of removing and blocking the circulation of the video.


"The Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal wishes to appeal to members of the public to refrain from circulating the humiliating video clip as further circulation will only serve to inflict more harm to the dignity of the victim for the rest of her life," the department said.


The Department of Basic Education also took to Twitter on Wednesday 9 September, requesting privacy for the learners.  


"The Department of Basic Education is requesting that all those who have posted the video of the two girls fighting, to remove and stop circulating the video. We would like the public to respect the privacy of the two learners while the province addresses the situation," it said. 

TWO TEACHERS SUSPENDED FOR SEXUAL MISCONDUCT


The department, according to TimesLive, has also suspended two teachers for allegedly engaging in a romantic relationship with a pupil in KZN. This comes after one of the teachers at a high school in Umlazi was caught kissing the learner on the school's premises.


Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu said the department had a "zero tolerance" policy regarding such conduct.


"We have always said that the vast majority of our educators are consummate professionals who are committed to the teaching profession, but there are those who are still hell-bent to tarnish the image of the otherwise noble profession," he said.


"We call on all our teachers to respect the code of conduct of educators, treat pupils as their own children and protect them from any form of abuse. Last year alone, the department fired seven teachers who were found guilty of sexual misconduct," said Mshengu.


A principal at the same school has also landed in hot water for allegedly turning a blind eye.

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