Concerned parents at the Fred Magardie Primary School were locked in a meeting with the department of education last night to address alleged abuse at the hands of teachers and sexual harassment among pupils.
The parents reopened the school in Eersterust yesterday to meet the department after closing it for three days.
Initially, the concerned parents said in a press release the school’s open status was dependent on the outcome of the meeting.
A parent whose child was allegedly bullied, insulted and physically hurt by teachers, said: “My child keeps asking me, mommy what’s wrong with me? I told the department, we are busy trying to build our children up while the teachers were pulling them down.
“I feel helpless as a parent. I haven’t eaten all day because my child went to school today.” The pupil has reported multiple incidents of abuse and was scared to go to school.
“I feel like I have to protect my child. When my child comes with a problem, I must be able to guarantee them that tomorrow will be okay. But I can’t guarantee it because I send them to that school.
“And I don’t know if my children will be okay when they return home.” The parent said she anointed her children and prayed for them every day before they went to school because she didn’t know what the end of the day would bring for them.
She said they were being bullied from the gate to the classroom. “My child is wonderful. But whatever is going on in that school, it’s changing my child.
My child used to be quiet and humble but there were times when I wondered if it was the same child I brought into this world.”
The parent said parents didn’t close the school for nothing. “They are not standing at that school and fighting for no reason,” she said.
Democratic Alliance Gauteng shadow MEC for education Khume Ramulifho said the party discouraged any action which disrupted learning and teaching.
“Our [pupils] have already lost enough time due to Covid. Parents must explore ways to raise their grievances or deal with any allegations,” he said.
He said the DA urged the department to be quick in dealing with issues referred to them. Gauteng department of education spokesperson Steve Mabona said a statement would be released after the meeting.