Predators in our classrooms

Ill-behaved pupils have been responsible for quite a few headlines and viral YouTube videos recently.

Some of the behaviour caught on camera has even had deadly consequences, as in the case of a pupil stabbed to death at a school in KwaZulu-Natal.

We have seen schoolchildren terrorising not just one another, but also teachers.

This barrage of news casting South African pupils in a negative light makes it easy to forget that there are also some very bad apples in the teaching fraternity.

And an abusive or predatory teacher is much more dangerous and worrying than a pupil behaving badly.

Yesterday brought a reminder of this, with a 49-year-old school principal appearing in court on a rape charge after allegedly impregnating a 13-year-old pupil.

The Daily Voice reported that the girl was abused while she was kept after school for special classes.

There is no greater betrayal possible by the people in whose hands we leave our children for the greater part of their vulernable formative years.

If the principal is found guilty, the court needs to impose the harshest sentence possible to send a warning to other would-be sexual predators hiding in our schools.

today in print

today in print