It is believed that a William Pescod High School pupil stabbed a Covid-19 screener, while the pupil allegedly suffered head injuries.
A 16-YEAR-OLD boy was allegedly assaulted and kicked while his head was repeatedly bashed into the wall before he was pushed down the stairs by a Covid-19 screener at William Pescod Secondary School on Tuesday.
Video footage was taken of the incident.
The mother of the Grade 9 pupil on Wednesday explained that her son had entered the wrong classroom and had moved a desk out of the way at the time of the incident.
“My son stabbed the screener with a knife in the arm in an act of self defence. He was also previously a victim of physical violence at the school.”
She added that her son was injured but was not given medical assistance at the school.
“He suffered head injuries and had to walk home. His face, nose and fingers were bleeding and he was full of bruises. We took him to hospital for medical attention. He has also been suspended from the school and has been denied access to his school bag.”
The pupil’s father stated that his son had saved his pocket money to buy a knife as he felt unsafe at school.
“He hid the knife away and we had no idea that he was carrying it with him to school to protect himself. I know my boy and the manner in which I raised him. I have never lifted a hand to him. Corporal punishment is forbidden. My child could have died.”
The MEC for Education Zolile Monakali stated that both the pupil and screener had been placed on temporary suspension, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“The pupil will be placed on suspension for 48 hours. During this time he will be provided with the necessary support and will be assisted with learning and teaching material at home so that he does not fall behind with his studies. At this stage we do not know what triggered the incident. The school governing body will engage with the parents regarding the investigation.”
He added that the screener was discharged from hospital after receiving medical treatment for the stab wound.
“The screener has also opened counter charges against the pupil and the SAPS are handling both matters.”
Monakali condemned the incident and pointed out that schools were meant to be safe havens for learning and teaching.
“This incident has reflected negatively on the school and the community. It is concerning that pupils are carrying weapons to school to defend themselves. This should not be happening.”
Spokesperson for the Department of Education Geoffrey van der Merwe cautioned that the video that was circulating on various media platforms only portrayed one side of the story.
“The scuffle involving a learner and screener at the school which resulted in a stabbing incident is unacceptable and uncalled for. Although the injuries that both of them sustained were minor, it could have easily led to the loss of life.
“The video that is circulating on various media platforms only portrays one side of the incident and therefore we need to state it clearly that by observation both parties seem to be implicated. The district office is finalising their investigation and all due disciplinary processes will be completed in the next 48 hours.”
Van der Merwe added that the department had placed the screener on precautionary suspension pending the outcome of a disciplinary process.
“We view all our schools as centres of excellence and this type of behaviour will not be tolerated at any school. Safety in all our schools is of paramount importance. We have prioritised this matter to swiftly bring it to a close and restore order at this school.”
Police spokesperson Captain Tessa Jansen confirmed that a case of common assault had been opened after a high school pupil was allegedly assaulted by a known suspect on Tuesday June 8 at about 9am.
She added that no counter charge had been registered against the pupil at this stage.
“The investigation continues.”