Durban – A Durban mother has reported an incident of school bullying to the police and the Department of Education after two boys allegedly pulled their face masks down and coughed in her son’s face.
Candice Daniel, whose son is a Grade 8 pupil at Werda School, said the incident may have placed her son at risk of contracting Covid-19 if the boys were infected.
Daniel said her son had not been afraid to speak out about the bullying incident which was why she was demanding an apology from the perpetrators to teach them a lesson and ensure that they would not bully other children.
She said her son wore gloves, a mask and a face visor to school to protect himself against contracting Covid-19.
“My son is germophobic and was very conscious of germs even before Covid-19 and there were a few boys who knew about it,” Daniel said.
She said her son told her that two boys had pulled their masks down and coughed on him at school.
“He felt that he could not breathe and like he was having an anxiety attack. There were other kids standing around watching. For the next two hours after he got home from school he could not concentrate,” Daniel said.
She added that she had reported the incident to the Malvern police station and had considered opening a case of attempted murder and harassment against the perpetrators, but she was loathe to do this as they were minors.
She said her attempts to elicit an apology from them after reporting it to the school had been unsuccessful. She said she had reported the incident to principal Norman van Rooyen.
She said the headmaster set up a meeting with the boys and their parents who claimed one of the boys had “sneezed” and the other boy had attempted to comfort him.
Daniel said she wanted both boys to formally apologise to her son and be disciplined, but this had not happened.
She said she had reported the matter to Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu’s office on Friday.
“I want the parents to come to the school and the children to be punished. It may seem like I am being harsh but what if they go and do it to children with weak immune systems and not all kids have the courage to speak to their parents about bullying,” Daniel said.
Van Rooyen said as an employee of the Department of Education, he was not at liberty to speak to the media regarding school-related matters.
“The matter has been referred to our SGB (school governing body) that will deal with this matter as it pertains to discipline in our school.
“We are well aware of the situation and are in the process of investigating the allegations,” Van Rooyen said.