Teacher describes battle to get intervention for violent bully
A Port Elizabeth primary school teacher is scared to return to her classroom after being kicked in the stomach‚ pushed onto desks and threatened with a pair of scissors – allegedly by a Grade 7 pupil. But she also wants help for the boy‚ and his classmates.
The alleged incident has been reported to police and the school. However‚ no disciplinary action has been taken yet against the 15-year-old alleged perpetrator‚ who continues to attend class.
Teacher Vera Jewell‚ 59‚ told HeraldLIVE she was assaulted while trying to stop the boy from allegedly attacking a fellow pupil.
“I am not prepared to go back to school if this is not sorted out properly – I am fearing for my life because of a child‚” Jewell said.
“I am at my wits’ end with him and no-one is doing anything. Having to go to school knowing he is walking around trying to intimidate not only me‚ but other children‚ is not right.”
The boy’s name is being withheld as he is a minor. A meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday with the school governing body chair and deputy‚ the principal‚ the boy’s parents and Jewell.
Jewell‚ who has been teaching for 24 years‚ accused the boy and his little group of friends of bullying the other children and taking their money for protection fees on the playgrounds.
“This has been coming on a long time now. His behaviour changed since last year and he became more aggressive towards the other pupils.”
She said she had asked the school to address the boy’s behaviour and even suggested that former prison inmates – who have managed to turn their lives around – be approached to speak to the boy.
“We could have rehabilitated him a long time ago for the sake of the other children‚" she said.
Police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed that a case of assault was being investigated. Provincial education spokesperson Malibongwe Mtima said a full report on the investigation would be made available on Friday. Attempts would be made to find an amicable solution‚ he said.
“We want a situation where this pupil will be able to transform as he is still young‚ while informing him on what is right and what is wrong and‚ of course‚ protecting the teacher.”