Teachers, learners at Kimberley school concerned about escalating gang violence

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Teachers and parents at Greenpoint High School near Kimberley in the Northern Cape are fearing for their lives and their children’s lives, following the escalation of gang violence at the school. Gang-related attacks have been going on since the beginning of the year.

A learner at the school was stabbed on Wednesday in another gang violence incident which led to the school’s closure.

The School Governing Body Chairperson Leon Monyobo says thirty learners involved in gang violence have been suspended pending disciplinary action.

“As the SGB members, we are going to be here not on a daily basis but I’m always here to look for the safety (of the children)and so on.  We have given them their suspension letters – and they will realise that the thing that they have done is wrong. We have suspended them for seven days now and we are going to go to the disciplinary hearing. And when we are done with that they will realise that this problem that they cause at school, we cannot tolerate it.”

The Department of Education in the Northern Cape says its educational support team has been deployed to Greenpoint High School in Kimberley to give counselling to the learners and teachers.

A teacher who was held hostage on Wednesday when gang violence erupted again at the school, is currently receiving counselling and has been put on sick leave.

The Department of Education’s HOD Moira Marais elaborates.

“We have sent out our education support team to help with the counselling of the learners. And the teacher that was held hostage was allowed to go on sick leave and she is receiving counselling. And the learners also, we need to have intervention programmes at the school. But on Sunday, there will be a meeting with the community and we roped in the councillor.”