A Windhoek private school has maintained it does not condone bullying on any level.
This follows accusations by angry parents who came out guns blazing against the management of Sunshine Private School, whom they accuse of not taking stringent action after a bullying incident involving a grade 2 pupil.
The parents of the alleged bullying victim accused the school management of having failed to resolve and take necessary action despite reports of the young girl being subjected to emotional and physical attacks by classmates.
According to Nehoya Mudhika, the grandmother of the alleged bullied girl, the first incident was attended to and the accused pupil’s parents were called in and made to sign a warning letter.
However, several attacks, thereafter, have not been addressed, despite having been brought to the attention of teachers and management.
Three boys are alleged to be the bullies.
“I know the days, dates and places where these incidents happened. You also are aware of all these bullies. The bullying has highly affected the school performances of my granddaughter. You even said to me that my granddaughter will not pass grade 2. I did not bring her to Sunshine Private School to fail and be bullied. I brought her to learn and pass,” fumed the grandmother as she addressed the learner’s class teacher, known as Letttiwe.
The teacher declined to respond when contacted for comment, and instead referred questions to the school’s management.
The first incident allegedly happened on 22 October, then on 29 October, as well as on 3, 6 and 8 November. “In the first incident, my daughter was kicked seven times in the stomach – then the second time, she was pushed in a thorn shrub, while the rest happened in class where her food and books were scattered around by the same boys – even though it happened on different occasions,” said the mother, Selly Mudhika. “The child is afraid to go to school, as she fears the boys and being harassed. This has severely affected her performance. We entrust teachers with our children to be protected and cared for during the entire duration of their stay at school, but when things like these happen, one questions the safety of the pupil,” further charged the mother.
The school director Nomakando Kangira did not deny the allegations, but was quick to say the matter has been resolved with all parents involved.
She further countered to say the guardians are taking the matter out of proportion and trying to tarnish the school’s image.
“We addressed this matter, and we called the guardian to come to school after other reports emerged, but she refused. We investigated the matter thoroughly, and we picked up on that. It is always children’s play. It is, however, unfortunate that the girl is always reporting, yet we established that she also does the same to other kids,” said Kangira.
The school director insisted that measures were taken, and took a swipe at the guardian, saying they are being dishonest.
“This is a school with zero tolerance for bullying or any other ill-behaviour, so there is no way she can claim we never addressed this matter. She is just trying to be a difficult person with a motive to taint us as bad people, while it’s not the case. No major bullying has taken place other than a child’s play. I have evidence showing how we have attended to the matter,” she emphasised.
The guardians said they refused to attend meetings with the management because they were not yielding desired results, as the matter, which is seemingly being addressed, is not ending.
“The parents were made to sign an indictment, which would then be followed with suspension if the transgressions persisted, but the school has never acted to that effect, while the same bullies are still continuing with their acts,” reasoned the guardians.