Teacher suspended after locking pupil in overnight

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A Bulwer teacher has been suspended after she allegedly locked an eight-year-old boy inside the classroom and left him there overnight.

KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education spokesperson Sihle Mlotshwa said the Blessed Luanda Primary School teacher was suspended with immediate effect after the matter was reported to the department.

Ace Gumede, the child’s father, alleged that the teacher locked the Grade 3 pupil inside the classroom on Tuesday afternoon and that he was only found at around 6.30 am on Wednesday.

“He said his teacher locked him in the classroom and said he would sleep [there] because he didn’t finish his work. We don’t know if she forgot about him or what, but she left him in the classroom and went home,” he said.

Gumede said at around 5 pm on Tuesday they noticed that the child had not returned home and started searching for him.

“His uncle went to the school in the morning and jumped over the fence because the security guard was not there. He shouted the child’s name and heard him crying from inside one of the classrooms. My child couldn’t even walk, he was weak from hunger and shivering because it gets very cold in Bulwer at night,” said the father.

Gumede and his family had a lengthy meeting with the school’s principal and governing body on the matter.

“There was no final agreement or outcome from the meeting. The teacher was called and she apologised. She admitted that she did tell my son that he would sleep at the school, but she said she was only playing and that was what she usually told the children when they were naughty.

“I’m really not happy … That teacher has her own children, so I don’t expect such behaviour … I’m sure she would never do this to her own children.”

Attempts to get hold of members from the school’s governing body and the principal were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Gumede said he had to leave the meeting before an agreement was reached as he had to hurry to work. He said he asked that his son be transferred to another class until the matter was resolved.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that a case of ill-treatment of a child was opened for investigation by Donnybrook police. She said the docket will be transferred to Port Shepstone Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for further investigation.

Source: The Witness

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