Home News Chaos at city high school as rival gangs clash

Chaos at city high school as rival gangs clash

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Parents have called for the army to be deployed to Greenpoint High School after another clash between rival gangs saw the school being dismissed early on Wednesday.

Greenpoint High School closed early on Wednesday due to a gang fight on the premises. Picture: Supplied

PARENTS have called for the army to be deployed to Greenpoint High School after a clash between rival gangs saw the school being dismissed early on Wednesday.

This was apparently not the first time that the school had to be dismissed early due to a gang fight on the premises.

It remains unclear whether schooling will resume on Thursday after teachers refused to return to class until their safety is guaranteed.

Teachers and pupils were left traumatised on Wednesday following a “full-blown” fight that erupted after a pupil was attacked and stabbed.

The fight reportedly started after a pupil entered a classroom and stabbed a fellow learner.

Chaos erupted as stones started flying and a teacher and pupils were “trapped” inside the classroom after the door was shut and they witnessed the brutal fight.

.One of the pupils who witnessed the fight said that the injured pupil managed to escape from the classroom and the fight flowed out onto the school premises, where it escalated.

“The learner who was attacked was being chased in the street,” said the witness. “The police arrived at the scene but were unable to control the violent situation.”

Angry and upset parents lashed out at the school governing body (SGB).

They demanded that the SGB be dismantled as some of the implicated pupils are the members’ children.

According to the parents, the “gang war” has been ongoing for about three months.

They said that every time there is a gang fight, the school has to be dismissed.

The parents said they would draw up a petition as a vote of no confidence in the current SGB, accusing them of endangering the lives of pupils and teachers.

They also pointed out that the Department of Education had threatened to close the school if the incidents continued.

They added that through the intervention of the department and the unions a disciplinary committee had been established.

The parents said that no arrests have been made in connection with the fights, but some of the pupils were served with warnings.

One of the said that the rivalry started at a local tavern, where the boys were apparently fighting over clothing labels.

He said that one of the pupils who was part of Wednesday’s fight was admitted to ICU after being attacked by a rival gang earlier this year.

He added that there was an “intense” fight on Monday (Mandela Day), just before the school reopened.

He also pointed out that there are older gang members involved who do not attend the school.

The parent said there was nothing that the teachers could do if the parents, some of whom are members of the SGB, were not doing anything to reprimand their own children.

They urged parents to stand firm, raise their voices and speak up.

“We are tired of these ill-disciplined children whose parents continue to protect them and be defensive of them. We need to own up to our children’s behaviour,” said one of the parents.

“You can’t send your ill-disciplined child to school and expect the teacher to teach them manners.

“It is time for these fights to be eliminated because they are ruining the futures of innocent children who are hungry for education.

“They are destroying the historic reputation of the neighbourhood. If this school closes down, what about those parents who still have children at primary school, who they are doing their utmost best to protect from these evil deeds? What about the matrics?

“Where will the younger siblings be sent if this school closes down, which school will be willing to take in children from this neighbourhood?”

Another parent highlighted that the school has been unable to retain principals due to its violent reputation over the years.

“There is already a shortage of teachers. One of the affected teachers today could hardly speak and could only say that she wanted to go home. That’s how traumatised she was. She said she has never experienced what happened to her today in the 20 years that she has served as a teacher.

“Our current principal is serving notice and has hardly been working here for even three years.”

Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Sydney Stander said they are aware of the challenges at the school and are working with different stakeholders to resolve them.

“There have been several attempts to intervene, where we were roping in the police as they are the ones who can investigate,” said Stander.

“An intervention team will be set up again with various stakeholders in order to investigate the root course of the fights and to resolve the matter.

“It will be determined on Thursday whether it is safe for the teachers and the learners to return to school.”

The police had not responded to media enquiries by the time of publication.

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