A Phoenix dad is calling on the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal to address the issue of bullying in schools after his 17-year-old son was assaulted by a fellow pupil with a closed fist and a brick, sustaining an open wound to his head and a bust mouth at school recently.
Speaking to the Phoenix Tabloid, the irate father, who wished to remain anonymous, to protect his son’s identity, said his matric son had to have stitches and is in a great deal of pain and discomfort following the violent attack at school over a demand for money by the perpetrator.
“My son was attacked by a Grade 11 pupil who is older than him since the perpetrator failed a year or two. The assault unfolded over cash which the assailant demanded from my son as he had probably witnessed my son’s friend hand him some money to make a purchase at the school tuck-shop.
When he demanded the money, my son said he had no money as the cash was not his. The perpetrator picked up a brick and hit my son on his head. He also punched him on his mouth with a closed fist,” the angry dad claimed.
“My son fell to the ground. His friends rushed to his assistance and tried to stop the bleeding. The teachers contacted me and informed me of the incident. To eliminate time delays, I instructed a family member to rush to school and assist my son. I met them at the doctor. I was greatly upset to see my son in that condition.
My son received stitches. He is traumatised by the incident and fearfully goes to school because this is an important year for him and he cannot afford to lose out on his education,” the father alleged.
According to the victim’s dad, the perpetrator’s parents were called to school and the assailant has been suspended. “My son could have sustained fatal injuries in this attack. We are still unsure what the extent of the injuries he sustained are as he was hit on the head with a brick. I am deeply disappointed with the manner in which the school handled the incident. They did not call an ambulance or take the initiative to transport my son to the hospital or doctor even though he was bleeding profusely,” the dad said.
He added: “The principal was not available to meet with me. I am concerned about emergency situations and how they are handled at the school. I am also concerned that the issue of bullying needs to be urgently addressed at the school.
My son could have been killed over a demand for money by a school bully. I have opened a case of assault at Phoenix SAPS and I have spoken to the principal to investigate the matter further as I want answers as a distressed parent.”
Phoenix SAPS communications officer, Captain L Naidoo, confirmed an assault case has been registered at the police station after a pupil was assaulted by a fellow pupil at school with a closed fist resulting in injuries sustained.
Responding to the incident, the Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson, Muzi Mahlambi, said: “The issue of bullying is a problem in our schools. We deal with it harshly if it reported to us (the DOE) but we are not winning. We urge the parents to help us (the DOE) in this regard.