There’s bullying where kids mock other kids for being a little podgy, and then there’s the kind of bullying where a father feels obliged to send armed bodyguards to protect his son.
This is a case of the latter, a North Durban father so worried about his son that he went to extreme measures. The father says that Phoenix Secondary School has failed to take adequate action, leading to his 15-year-old son being confronted by bullies wielding knives.
This from IOL:
…a group of boys had arrived in the second to last period of the school day on Wednesday about two weeks ago while the teacher had stepped out of class.
The group, according to the father, began intimidating the class and demanding money.
“My son stood up to them, and on hearing the commotion, the teacher stepped back inside and intervened. I believe these boys were drunk.
“After school, a group of 15 boys were standing outside the school gates. They saw my son on his way out of the premises and charged at him with knives,” said the parent.
He said the teachers were alerted to the incident and one of them took the boy home.
That’s all well and good, but now the father alleges little to no action has been taken against the bullies. No meeting with their parents, no suspensions, and this has left him enraged:
His son had not been to school for more than a week and is about to write examinations, so the parent decided on Monday to hire two guards at a cost of R900 a day to escort his son to and from school.
The guards, who had remained at the school until he had finished lessons, on Tuesday morning again escorted the boy.
“The police said it is a school problem and the school said it was a police problem. My son’s safety is my priority.
“The situation has left me stressed. Once the term is complete I hope to transfer him to another school.
“The principal has a list of bullies. However what happens outside of the school gates is not his concern.
“One of the bullies has a history of violence. No one seems to be interested and bullying incidents are swept under the carpet.”
Makes that creep who used to hang around your tuckshop begging for change seem pretty petty, now doesn’t it?
What’s worse is that this isn’t even the first such case of extreme school violence in Phoenix, many involving weapons too:
Between March last year and April this year, four bullying incidents involving guns and knives were reported in the Phoenix area alone.
In March last year a video clip, titled “Vicious fights at Stanmore Secondary School Phoenix” went viral.
It showed schoolboys in uniform being pushed into one another. One lets rip with a few kicks to another’s chest, and one grabs his schoolmate by the neck and they fall to the ground…
[Owner of KZN VIP Protection Unit, Glen Naidoo, said] “Recently we arrested pupils in possession of knives and pangas. They were released into their parents’ custody. Upon their release they uttered insulting remarks to my guards such as these security okes think they can do us something they can do us f*** all’.”
“It’s happening at almost every secondary school in Phoenix. Now if you are wondering about violent protests in universities, can you see what kind of community we are breeding?” Naidoo said.
More about that culture of violence, and this one may really shock you:
The South African Council of Educators chairwoman, Veronica Hofmeester, said the country was second only to Jamaica when it came to violent incidents at schools.
These statistics were revealed during the SA Democratic Teachers Union seminar on violence at schools, in Durban in August.
It looks like bodyguards accompanying kids to school may be the way of the future.
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