Pupil, 17, suspended from top school for 'slapping, forcing classmate to kiss his shoes'
A 17-year-old pupil who allegedly slapped a classmate repeatedly and demanded that he “kiss his shoes”, has been suspended from a top school in East London.
The suspension, confirmed by the provincial education department, followed a confrontation over a girl on Tuesday at Selborne College.
Department spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani described the video as shocking and disappointing.
“The department is shocked by this unwarranted behaviour and certainly does not approve. We were informed of the incident on Wednesday and we're happy the school acted swiftly on the matter and the pupil was placed on precautionary suspension,” he said.
In a video clip of the incident shared online, lasting just over a minute, a pupil in a white school shirt and tie slaps a pupil wearing a blazer in the face.
Moments later, he tells the pupil in the blazer: “She asked you to stop and you touched her again. Why didn't you stop? You had too much to drink? So what?
“She told me. Why did you touch her … ” The victim responds, but cannot be heard clearly.
Moments before the second slap is delivered, the pupil is instructed to kiss the aggressor's shoes. “I am telling you now, you're gonna bend on your knees and say sorry. Kiss my shoe, kiss my shoe,” he barks.
The victim is seen on video being slapped three times, while kissing the shoes three times.
The school confirmed the incident, but referred queries to the department.
Pulumani raised concern at the number of violent incidents reported across the province. “We have received an increased number of complaints, be those of violence or bullying, among our kids and it is concerning,” he said.
There was an intensive drive to address the scourge of violence at schools, said Pulumani.
“A provincial school safety summit was held recently and out of that a common learner code of conduct was proposed and discussed. That is currently undergoing further discussions within the department,” he added.
The department said both pupils would receive counselling.
It is not the first time the school has made headlines for alleged bullying.
In January, a 15-year-old pupil was allegedly assaulted by a group of boys. Provincial education MEC Mlungisi Mvoko condemned the attack at the time.
The group of boys was placed on precautionary suspension.