Shock as teacher stabs 5-year-old pupil as punishment for failing to spell her name


A teacher has allegedly stabbed a five-year-old pupil with a pen, injuring her, after she had misspelt her name.

The Grade R pupil, who attends Sebelaolo Primary School in Sekgosese village outside Modjadjiskloof, has missed school for the past two weeks as she was nursing her swollen hand at home.

Her family wants the teacher who attacked her to be fired. The pupil’s aunt, who cannot be named to protect the minor, said the teacher should be dismissed after leaving their child injured and traumatised.


“We cannot entrust such teachers, who lack patience, with our children. She must be dismissed to allow children to study without fear. How can a teacher become so cruel and impatient with a five-year old? We are only four months into the academic year, but this teacher behaves as if the child was taught before,” she said.

The aunt said the pupil was even afraid to go back to school following the incident, which apparently happened in front of other children in the classroom.

“Her refusal to go back to school tells you that the child is deeply traumatised and can’t trust other teachers because of one. The painful part is that after the incident, the school didn’t report the matter to us or the department. They just sent the child home with an injury to be attended by her mother,” the aunt said.

She said the pupil was taken to a local doctor who booked her off for two weeks. The aunt said the child had been struggling to function and use her right hand for eating.

She said she made the discovery last week when she surprised her niece with Good Friday goodies.

“I was shocked when she used her left hand to receive the goodies because we always taught her to use the other hand. I then asked my mother what happened to the child and I further asked her classmates. All of them told me it was her teacher who stabbed her with a pen,” she said.

She said the family would meet and decide on whether to press criminal charges against the teacher.

Spokesperson at the provincial department of education Sam Makondo said they were aware of the allegations.

“We were shocked to learn that a pupil was allegedly assaulted at school by a teacher. We have seen the reports on social media and we will be dispatching our team to find out what had happened,” Makondo said.

He said violence would not be tolerated in schools. Her refusal to go back to school tells you she’s deeply traumatised.

– Sowetan

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