This terrified little boy says he’s been bullied by classmates who demand “protection money” from him.
The nine-year old says a gang of four laaities have been taking his R2 tuck shop money since Grade 1, and when he doesn’t have any money, they beat him up.
Now a miserable Ethan Johnson from Bonteheuwel says he would rather go to another school than be terrorised another day by his own classmates.
The Grade 4 learner attends Klipfontein Primary School in Netreg.
This latest reports follows a “cyber bullying” incident last week, in which a 16-year-old schoolgirl was suspended after sharing a foul-mouthed video in which she insults and intimidates another teenage girl.
Ethan’s worried ouma, Elizabeth Strydom, 54, says she has reported the matter to the school “several times” but feels nothing is being done about it.
“It feels like I should be sending him to school with a knife for his own protection, ek weet nie meer wat om te doen nie,” she tells the Daily Voice.
“This has been going on since he was in Grade 1 and each time I go to the school, the teacher or principal say they are going to do something about it, but they don’t,” she says.
“This is also affecting his school work, but the teacher wrote in his report that he must learn to become independent and stop moaning,” the angry granny adds.
Elizabeth says she became aware of the bullying when Ethan was in Grade 3 and came home with two black eyes.
“I came from work and it was interval (at school) so I called him to the fence to give him money,” she explains.
“He came to me and I noticed he had two black eyes and I immediately went to the school counsellor,” she says.
Elizabeth has stopped giving Ethan tuck money, but he says this only angered the bullies who now beat him up even more.
Ethan says the latest attack occurred on Tuesday.
“Hulle het my aangepak,” he says, naming his four classmates.
“I was sitting in my desk when they started swearing at me and hitting me (for not having money).
“Hulle het my lip aan die bloei geslaan. Ek wil nie meer daar skool gaan nie,” he says.
Jessica Shelver, spokesperson for Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schafer says they will investigate the matter.
“We have a zero tolerance for bullying in our schools. Our officials will investigate,” she says.