The family of an 8-year-old boy from Donnybrook in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, who was locked in a classroom overnight by his teacher as punishment for not doing his school work, say they want the teacher arrested.
The family says when the boy did not return home from school on Tuesday, they began to search and reported him missing at the police station. The boy was only found the next morning by senior pupils who heard screams coming from the classroom.
The child’s mother, who cannot be named to protect his identity, says the incident has left the child traumatised.
“We are very disturbed by this because he was still missing; many thoughts were running through our minds. We didn’t know if we were going to find him alive or not find him at all. These days kids get lost and some are never found. What pains us the most is that he spent the entire night without food and water. He was all alone in the dark, cold and scared. He is still traumatised.”
Meanwhile, the provincial Department of Education has confirmed that the teacher has since been suspended pending investigations. Department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi says that they are shocked by the incident.
“We were very shocked that the educator at this school in Donnybrook locked a grade 3 boy overnight just because the boy did not complete a task. It’s very terrible what this educator had done. We will not hesitate to take disciplinary actions against her.”
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