Pretoria –It is said that the pupil, who cannot be identified, not only verbally abused and physically threatened a teacher, but that he also endangered the lives of the other pupils by flipping his table in the air and kicking his chair against a wall.
A pupil was injured during the incident last year and the teacher laid a charge of assault against the teenager. The boy, on the other hand, admitted he was no angel, but said he was simply misunderstood.
His teachers told the court that he was unusually strong for his age and that he spent almost all his free time at the gym. They described him as a danger to himself and other pupils.
The teenager was expelled from the school following a disciplinary hearing, which he said he didn’t attend because he was not informed about it.
The school, on the other hand, said he was given notice of the hearing, but neither he nor his parents bothered to attend.
The school refused to accept him back and his father agreed to enrol him in another school. But by the time they wanted to enrol him after the December holidays, all the schools were full. Only a private college agreed to accept him, but his parents couldn’t afford the fees.
They now insist that Sutherland High School take him back, but the school put its foot down.
The parents earlier turned to court in a bid to force the school into accepting him, but Judge Sulet Potterill had removed the matter from the roll, citing that the teenager and his parents had created their own urgency in the matter.
Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba issued a preferential date – May 8 – when the matter will be heard on the normal court roll.
The boy’s lawyer, Anel Jacobs, said he would stay at home until then, with the hope that he would be admitted to the school. She said the 2017 academic year was now a month old and he was falling behind with his matric studies. He was trying to get study material to keep abreast of school work.
According to Jacobs, they would fight his expulsion as invalid, as it was not endorsed by the Department of Education.
The boy meanwhile stated in court papers that a number of “shocking” and damning allegations were made against him during the disciplinary hearing, which he was “never informed about”.
These included that he used steroids and dagga – which he denied. He agreed that he was often absent from school, but said for the most of last year he had been unhappy at school.
“I always felt that most of the teachers decided beforehand that I am a troublesome student and threatened me since I am struggling academically and I am large in stature.”
He further stated that while he did not say he was never wrong, he was “working on these issues and he wanted to become a better scholar this year”.
But the school said it had had enough. The court was told that nothing prohibited the teenager from enrolling at other institutions.
It was said that he could not be allowed back on schoolgrounds because he had no control over his emotions and actions.
“It will simply be irresponsible to allow him back. The governing body has a duty to protect all educators and learners from physical harm,” said teacher Pieter Grobbelaar.