Joburg remedial school accused of child abuse

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The mother of a pupil from a remedial school in Fourways, Johannesburg, has laid a complaint after a teacher from the school allegedly said her child has a brain that is as small as a pea.

In a written complaint to Cedarwood School’s governing board chairman, Duncan Turner, the parent, Sharynne Bayne said: “A teacher telling Tristin in front of his class that he has a brain the size of a pea, this is beyond unprofessional and begs to question the qualifications of your teachers.”

Turner acknowledged that the pea brain size insults were uttered, but maintained that the ugly exchange was between pupils, Fourways Review reported.

“It has been established that the children, including Tristin, were name-calling and teasing each other [prior to the mid-term break] and that this was one of the statements made by a child. This behaviour was immediately stopped by the art teacher Ms Jaquet… We deny that any teacher was unprofessional,” said Turner.

“The tone of your e-mail is very unfortunate and does not appear to accept the contents of my e-mail in which I attempted to deal with after your previous e-mail in a responsible manner,” he added in response to the parent`s complaint.

Turner then accused Bayne of acting irresponsibly by taking the issue to social media, a development he described as ‘defamatory to the name of the school’.

Bayne has since withdrawn her child from the school due to a number of complaints she raised . She is also demanding a refund for her fees deposit and a R1 350 refund for a school trip that her son never went on.

Department of education spokesperson Phumla Sekhonyane said the department would send officials from the Independent School Inspectorate to the school to find out what happened and that they would see the report and make a decision from there. She added the department was concerned by these allegations.

“No educator has the right to use any form of offensive or derogatory language towards a learner. Learners have a fundamental right to learn in a safe, supportive environment and to be treated with respect,” she added.

Sekhonyana said such allegations went against the spirit of promoting and providing a supportive learning environment for learners.

– Caxton News Service


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