Pupils at Sans Souci Girls’ High School in Newlands are backing a teacher who was caught on camera klapping a pupil during a heated confrontation in class.
The schoolgirls say the incident was not race-related, that the video was edited and the girl was a “problem child”.
A video of the incident, which reportedly happened on Tuesday, went viral on social media.
The female teacher can be heard skelling the girl for having her phone in class, in contravention of the school’s code of conduct.
In the one-and-a-half minute clip, the class looks on as the pupil repeatedly backchats the teacher who becomes more angry.
“Please! This is a disciplinary hearing now,” says the teacher at the beginning of the video.
“Where’s your book, it must look like this. You don’t have a book.
“Strike one, one for me, zero for you.”
The girl picks up her phone and teacher snatches it from her and says: “You wanna challenge me, my dear you’re gonna get last, I’ve been where you’ve been.
“I have three degrees, no two, working on my third one, you don’t even have a book in your hand.”
The girl accuses the teacher of swearing at her, saying “Everybody heard you, ma’m”, which the teacher denies
She then tries to put the girl out of her class and walks to the door and the girl swears at her in another language.
As the girl keeps backchatting, the teacher loses it completely, saying, “ek bewe van kwaadheid”.
She puts the cellphone down the front of the girl’s dress and grabs the pupil’s desk, saying “uit my klas uit!”
She pushes the desk back, takes the girl’s cellphone and instructs other pupils to go and call two other teachers.
The girl then jumps up and shoves her desk into the teacher’s legs, and grabs her phone off the table.
The teacher says, “are you rude to me?” and then smacks the girl hard across the face, shouting “you pushed me, you swear at me”.
The rest of the class can be heard shrieking in shock as the video ends.
Officials from the Western Cape Education Department were at the larney school yesterday to investigate the matter.
A number of pupils have spoken out in support of the teacher, with one claiming that the pupil is “troubled” and the teacher was provoked.
One learner, who is part of the school’s student leadership body, was at pains to point out that there was no racial undertone to the incident.
WCED spokesperson Jesicca Shelver says the department does not condone violence and will be taking action against the teacher once its investigation is complete.
“As the teacher in the video is an SGB appointee, the SGB is meeting today to discuss the disciplinary steps going forward,” said Shelver.
“The investigation will determine whether the learner will also face disciplinary action.
“Learners in the class have been asked to make a statement regarding the events that led up to the incident.
“There is further video evidence that has been edited out of the version being circulated.”