Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Lincoln Heights Secondary School recently found itself under scrutiny, following a video being shared on social media, showing a learner assaulting another student with a belt. Investigating the matter, the Newcastillian – Online News approached the school concerning the incident.
This resulted in the school’s principal, Mr Naicker, stating Lincoln Heights Secondary School took the appropriate steps to remedy the situation. However, countless people across KwaZulu-Natal engaged with the article on the Newcastillian – Online News and its social pages—voicing their deep concerns towards the said behaviour.
This led to our Editor making contact with the parents of the learners in the video in order to establish the truth behind the incident caught on camera— offering complete transparency on the situation. The mothers of both children discuss what led to the altercation while sharing their sides of the story.
Sarica Govender, the mother of the child who used the belt, states the situation has spiralled out of control, asserting this was not about bullying at all. “My son was the victim in the whole situation.”
According to Govender, the beating took place after the other child apparently sent messages out, stating that he and her son had been in a same-sex relationship. Following this, Govender explains, “My son approached his father and me telling us what was going on, explaining this other boy had sent a message out, with a photo of him.”
As a 17-year-old boy growing up and eventually wanting to start a family, Govender says this upset her son terribly. “This type of thing can affect someone mentally, especially with the stigma around it and people getting the wrong side of the story.”
Looking at the assault, Govender points out that she and her husband disagree with the way their son handled the matter, affirming, this was not the way they raised their children. However, she emphasises that while she believes he should have taken a less physical approach, the rumours would have escalated if he had not done anything, seeing him endure further emotional trauma.
Concerned for her son’s wellbeing, Govender states that with the video going viral, people have since threatened to assault her son, leaving her and her family now worried about his safety.
Cynthia Anderson, the mother of the second child in the video, states her son did not send any messages of the sort—professing her son uses her cellphone, as he does not have one of his own. Anderson stresses no child would send this type of message, especially when he knows his mother can see it.
Moreover, she declares, “My son is gay, and I accept it. But leading to the situation, a woman had been phoning him continuously, and he did not want to speak to her. It was almost like she was stalking him.”
After Anderson allegedly threatened the woman with legal action, the said woman stopped calling her son but then apparently notified the Govender’s son of the alleged message.
Visibly distraught, Anderson explains that on the day the video was taken, she was at work when she was informed telephonically by a school teacher that her son had been assaulted.
Allegedly, during the break, a school learner had approached him and said a teacher was looking for him and that he needed to report to the educator alone. Anderson says it was then that he was approached and hit by the Govender’s son. “My son is now terrified to go to school, and I feel if an example is not set, this kind of behaviour will continue.
With her son’s body riddled with bruises, Anderson feels the entire situation could have been handled differently. “His family could have approached us, and we could have addressed the matter.”
As tears roll down her face, she says what truly hurt her was that her son did not retaliate during the incident. “My husband and I did not raise our children to fight. It has also not been easy with people mocking my son and the passing remarks. My son does not even want to sleep on his own anymore.”
As the mothers share their insight on the situation, what are your thoughts? Share your views with us in the comment section below.