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School CP - March 2004

Corpun file 12975

Daily Sun, Johannesburg, 9 March 2004

37 kids beaten for failing test

By Nahima Ahmed

Soweto - A high school teacher was arrested for assault after he allegedly lined up 37 students, told them to remove their trousers and used a wooden stick to whip their buttocks.

The kids' crime? They had failed a biology test.

The grade 10 teacher from Kliptown High has apparently inflicted "corporal punishment on children" before, but this time he was described by his victims as angry, furious and merciless.

Charges were laid against the teacher by a parent.

"My son came home with a swollen behind and he was in tears. He told me the teacher beat up the entire class for not passing biology. I took my son to the doctor for medical attention and then I went to the police and opened a case against this teacher," he said.

"And I'm not the only one," he added.

Some of the parents who spoke to Daily Sun said their children would be dismissed from the school if they complained.

Two of the parents have allegedly been told to withdraw the case by the school deputy principal, who visited them at their flats in extension 6, Eldorado Park.

One said: "My son has already been threatened that he will not make it to grade 11 because he reported the teacher. This really worries me. It's sad that this is how the school operates. They don't discipline their teacher and when we report them to the cops, they punish our children. We really do not know what to do." Police captain Mbazima Shiburi said corporal punishment was banned and any educator who used it would be forced to face the law.

He told Daily Sun: "We have arrested the teacher concerned and charged him with assault. This kind of behaviour is no longer allowed at our places of education.

"We as police advise parents to report teachers who use corporal punishment."

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