We have from time to time talked about the safety of teachers, particularly following videos of school bullies assaulting teachers circulating widely on social media. Today the tone will have to change following the release of a video allegedly taken by a senior official at one of the Kgatleng schools showing a student in great pain, rolling on the ground and crying out hysterically for their mother.
They were clearly showing signs that they were in distress. There are voices of adults in the background with one of them filming the student. The silhouettes of the adults in the video imply they are watching as the student rolls in pain taking guesses, with one saying the student must be under the influence of drugs while the other assumes that the student must be drunk from modaefok. Let's for a minute entertain their assumptions that the student had indulged in some alcoholic beverage.
Do these alleged teachers and the senior official, shooting the video think it is fine for the student to grovel in pain? The voices in the video call out to the student to give out their mother's phone number, yet it is clearly visible that the child is having difficulty breathing! When children are with their parents at home, it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their children are safe from harm. When children are in school, it is expected that the teachers and senior officials ensure that learners are safe from harm. Shockingly, this video reveals otherwise.
The teachers were looking on as the learner struggled to breathe. They, instead of calling for an ambulance or rushing the student to the hospital, decided to make light of the situation and record a video of the child in distress, showing no signs of immediate response to an emergency! Really now! Assumptions aside, these grown-ups did not react appropriately whether the child irresponsibly took a drug or not. Even if the student were under the influence of alcohol, the teachers still did not see the urgency in the eventuality of alcohol poisoning? Alcohol poisoning is fatal given that they suspected that the student had been drinking! What these teachers did, must be condemned sternly because what they did and did not do, further endangered a student's life.
What if something worse had happened to the student? Who was going to take responsibility if things had turned for the worst? One would wonder if the teachers perhaps concentrated too much on the wrong thing, as they were too interested in what the student could have done wrong to wind up as they were and totally ignored their plea for help.
While they cried for their mother, no effort was made to look into their own records to find the parent's contact number. Their only point of reference was the child in distress. Do our schools not keep records of contacts for next of kins for the students in the event of an emergency? We know that teachers have their hands full because of naughty students. It is our belief still that teachers are professionals, who have training in how to handle students and child emergencies.
We value and appreciate our teachers very much, but what transpired at the Kgatleng senior secondary school cannot be tolerated. Let's act as role models to our future leaders and create a safe and conducive environment for them to learn! This responsibility rests on the shoulders of the adults and not the students who are children that need the best guidance.