Aug 18, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Bargaining council says docking pay of teacher who headbutted pupil was fair

A Carletonville teacher who headbutted a student in 2018, allegedly in revenge for attacking his wife, failed in his attempt to have the sanction imposed on him lifted: a two-month suspension without pay.

< p>The sanction on Dannie Beeslaar, Assistant Principal at Wonderfontein High School, was imposed by the Gauteng Education Department after it found him guilty of assaulting the 8th grader “by pushing him and using the hit his head on his face”. 18 May 2018.

Beeslaar, who is now the principal of the same school, challenged the fairness of his unpaid suspension before the Education Labor Relations Council, the negotiating council responsible for the public education sector.

The Bargaining Council needed to determine whether there was an unfair labor practice in the department’s conduct towards Beeslaar. It made its decision this week, dismissing Beeslaar’s complaint.

Beeslaar testified before the hearing council that he went to the boys’ toilets, where he found the complaining student and other students.

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He said the other students kept the toilets running but the complaining student stayed behind and smoked a cigarette. Beeslaar said he then had a word with the student and reprimanded him for assaulting his wife.

Beeslaar said he did not assault the student when he was alone with him in the restroom.

The department’s version was that Beeslaar had attacked the student while he was alone with him in the toilet. It said Beeslaar should have taken the student to his office for an open discussion.

The negotiating council said the deputy headmaster had no valid reason to be alone with the student in the restroom.

< p>“The conclusion that could be drawn from the established facts is that (Beeslaar) isolated the complaining student in order to attack him and that he knew there were no witnesses to his horrific headbutt on a student

“This type of attack on a learner was wrong, inhumane and traumatizing within the democratic order that ensures the learners’ prime interests in a safe learning environment,” said Luyanda Nkwenkwe Dumisa, Commissioner of the Negotiations Council .

Dumisa said that although corporal punishment has been banned since 1996, teachers have used it as a means of disciplining students.

“Many reports of students who hitting, throwing objects, or verbal abuse on school premises indicate that the prohibition on corporal punishment is not properly enforced in schools, and teachers are not held appropriately accountable when they physically abuse a student.”

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