On Monday, September 9, a teacher from Tongaat Secondary School was suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct.
He was caught exchanging graphic material via WhatsApp messages. Kwazi Mthethwa, the spokesperson for the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, says this material includes photos and text messages.
Mthethwa says sexual abuse has been as much a constant feature within South African school, as it has been in general society. Mthethwa elaborates by saying many schools have become both a violent and unsafe environment, especially for girls.
He continues by saying the Department of Education’s stance towards cases such as this, is that they make schools an unsafe place for some children.
He claims it suffocates many children’s dreams and reduces the school experience to a battle of survival, rather an academic achievement. With the allegations made against the teacher in question, Mthethwa says a thorough investigation will be conducted while the teacher is on suspension.
Distancing itself from sexual harassment and abuse, Mthethwa says the Department of Education will not hesitate to act against sexual offenders within the education sector.
The school was contacted for comment, but none was forthcoming at the time of publication.
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