South Africa News

Parents & SGB protest against threats to pupils at Woodlands Secondary

The parents of Woodlands Secondary School, together with the school’s governing body (SGB), protested on Monday for a safer schooling environment for their children.

This comes after another violent clash that broke out between school pupils last week.

A parent, who woke up early to protest outside the school on Monday morning, said her son was attacked along with his two friends on Friday while on their way to get a haircut at Derby Place.

She said they were approached by Grade 12 pupils and a fight ensued.

She said, fortunately, her neighbour happened to be driving by and he pulled the three boys out of the altercation and took them home.

Unfortunately, we do not know the names of the pupils who attacked my son and his friends but we have gone to the police to [lay charges]. We are working on obtaining a court order against these pupils.
According to her, the three pupils have not taken an exam since the incident because they have been intimidated and told they will be assaulted when they return to school.

“Pupils in grades 11 and 12 are bullying pupils in lower grades; this has to stop. When are our children going to be safe?” she asked.

“We had approached the Department of Education (DoE) and arranged a meeting with someone from the department on Thursday, which was cancelled on Friday last week,” said the parent.

“We need safety for our children, they are going to school to learn.”

Another parent of one of the boys who was attacked, said that

last week a pupil of Woodlands Secondary approached his son with a knife.

He said when the boy approached his son, his son refused to fight. The pupil responded by punching him back and his son retaliated.

The man said two others came and joined the fight and his son hit them as well.

He said, thereafter, another 16 pupils then came to beat his son up outside the school property.

The fight then continued in school the next day, only this time it involved three of his son’s friends, “who were also assaulted by the same mob of pupils,” said the parent.

Another parent said, “Our children are risking their lives at this point.”

Ward 31 DA councillor, Rooksana Ahmed, said she has been receiving reports for a long time about what has been going on in the school.

The failure of the DoE to deal with the parents and the school governing body is what is most concerning for me. [The year is almost over now] and pupils who were A students are now failing.

“We have two parents stating that the curriculum has not been completed.

“If the curriculum has not been completed, how can the DoE expect a child to sit an exam. Has the Department of Education investigated this?” questioned Ahmed.

She added that the MEC of Education is aware of this as the SGB has met with an MPL, who has handed over and tabled a motion at the Legislature.

“The only reason that has happened is because the DoE has not responded to the SGB,” said Ahmed.

KZN Department of Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said that they are addressing the ongoing issues at the school and requested that the parents be patient.

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