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Paarl Boys’ High School riddled by corporal punishment claims

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The Western Cape Department of Education is investigating allegations of corporal punishment at Paarl Boys’ High School.

The Western Cape Department of Education confirmed that it is investigating allegations of corporal punishment at Paarl Boys’ High School on Thursday, 7 March 2019. MEC for Education’s spokesperson, Jessica Shelver, said the department was investigating the allegations against Paarl Boys’ deputy headmaster Richard Visagie, as the department upheld a zero tolerance for corporal punishment.

Visagie has a record of a fine and written warning issued in October 2018, after he was found guilty of misconduct for reportedly hitting a pupil. News24 reported that six sources, including a current parent and former pupils, had alleged that Paarl Boys’ high had a culture of corporal punishment. This form of punishment was outlawed in 1996.

“You get whacked arbitrarily in passages for things, if you don’t greet with the right attitude, if you are being ‘clever’… The culture of the school is one of violence,” said the parent.

It is alleged that pupils would be hit against the head for not greeting or would get the “five-star treatment”, being hit on one’s back with a cricket bat, if homework was not done. School management has denied these corporal punishment allegations.

In a surprising turn of events, comments on Facebook have shown parents in support of this form of punishment. Facebook user Adam Vuropolis commented “I prefer reading about this than teachers who are getting sworn at and beaten up. Keep up the good work if this is true.” 

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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