The pupil involved in a physical altercation with a teacher at Sans Souci Girls High School in Cape Town is facing five charges in her disciplinary hearing
Yolisa Nocanda from the Chamber of Legal Students, which is representing the teenager, told News24 said that the disciplinary hearing has been set down for 14 February.
The child faces numerous charges following the physical altercation in the classroom captured on video which has since gone viral.
Both the learner and the teacher have been suspended.
According to Nocanda, the charges are intimidation by verbal and psychical threat intended to harm a person; ignoring or failing to carry out specific instructions; actions which bring the school’s name into disrepute; violating the rights of other learners to receive education by disrupting classes, preventing teachers from teaching; and violating the rights of the teacher to carry out their task to the detriment of the school, staff, teacher and fellow learners.
Reacting to the pending charges, the mother of the learner, whose name is known to News24, said she is currently “at peace” and knows her child will get through this ordeal.
“I don’t know what the outcomes will be but I trust God in everything,” she told News24.
She added that when she first watched the video, she paid special attention to understand where the argument started and how it escalated.
“The body language from the teacher told me a story. I saw the body language of the teacher. I didn’t see my daughter get up, I didn’t see her raise her voice.”
The mother conceded that the right thing to do would have been to leave the classroom when the teacher told the learner to get out.
“But how do you leave your property [the cellphone] behind,” she asked.
“My child then pushed past the teacher and reached out to grab her phone.”
She added that she was highly upset when she saw the teacher smack her child through the face and grab her by her shirt.
On whether the pupil assaulted the teacher when she pushed the desk into the teacher’s legs, the mother said that her child may have pushed the desk too hard, but asked where else was she supposed to have moved it.
“My daughter was angry. She can be angry, I don’t know how I would retaliated. I don’t know how others would be in that position.”
The mother maintains that there was provocation on the teacher’s part from the start of the argument.
The video clip, which appeared to have been recorded by another pupil, showed an apparent verbal quarrel over a book which soon turned physical.
In the clip the teacher can be heard asking the learner where her book is, and the girl replies that she doesn’t have one.
The teacher has words with her about this and grabs her cell phone, which the child has in her hand.
The teacher and the learner keep exchanging words until the teacher returns the girl’s phone before taking it back, threatening to throw it.
“Throw it ma’am. Make me,” the girl says, and the teacher pulls her table back, before pushing it back into place.
The teacher insists that the learner leave the classroom, and the girl pushes her table into the teacher’s legs and gets up, apparently reaching for her cell phone.
The teacher slaps the pupil in the face , before grabbing her by the front of her shirt.
The girl grabs the the teacher’s arm and tells her, “You hit me!” and the teacher replies that she pushed and swore at her.
In addition to the disciplinary hearings by the school against the teacher and learner, criminal cases of assault have also been laid with police by both involved parties.