Pupils forced to strip, parade in classroom
MANZINI – What was supposed to be a joke, ended up being the worst form of humiliation for four pupils at St Theresa’s Primary School as they were made to take off their underwear, lift their uniforms and parade in front of their classmates.
This form of ‘punishment’ was imposed on the Grade V pupils last week Thursday during a lesson on Information Technology.
St Theresa’s Primary is an all girl’s school. The pupils’ transgression was that they had failed to respond to what they had been asked by the teacher, whose name has been deliberately withheld following reports that she had allegedly threatened to commit suicide as she could not handle the issue.
The reports of the alleged suicide were confirmed by the Principal Dan Dlamini, who said he had received an sms to this effect from the teacher. At the time of compiling this report at about 7.30pm last night, the teacher could not be reached for comment as her phone indicated that it was either switched off or out of network coverage area.
It is alleged that the teacher decided that this would be the form of punishment, which she later described as being a joke, but some of the pupils took her seriously and stripped their underwear and lifting their skirts before parading before their classmates.
There were five pupils who were told of the punishment and four did as told while the other did not.
After removing their underwear, it is alleged that the teacher then ordered the pupils to further lift their skirts up to their breasts and then parade inside the class.
Further investigations by this publication revealed that most of the pupils who were in class that day were traumatised by this ‘new’ form of punishment as they reported what had happened to their parents who in turn reported it to the principal.
Some of the parents who called this publication to share their concern said they had called the school yesterday, a day after the incident, to demand an explanation and find out what exactly happened. This resulted in the principal convening a meeting between the teacher and the pupils.
The principal is said to have asked the pupils if such an incident had happened and they responded to the positive. The teacher is alleged to have confessed during the meeting that she had forced the pupils to parade half naked in class in front of other pupils.
She is said to have apologised to all the pupils, including those who had not been made to parade, according to Dlamini, the principal. This was also confirmed by some of the pupils. The pupils will however not be identified for ethical reasons.
"The teacher (name withheld) is our computer lessons teacher. Last week Thursday during the computer class, she asked us what the B icon stands for. We all got this question right except for five.
"We were surprised when she ordered the five to remove their underwear.
"She then ordered them to lift their skirts up to their breasts and told them to parade inside the class," said one of the pupils.
Some parents interviewed on the matter complained that they feel the school’s administration is not aggressive enough on the matter.
Some of the parents feel an apology to the pupils is not enough. They raised concerns that it will now be difficult for them to entrust their children’s welfare to this teacher. Interestingly, the parents also disclosed that the teacher is in fact well versed and very good on her job.
"We are shocked at what happened. She’s just too good in her job. "We curse whatever demon got into her because we know she is doing a great job with our children in as far as computer lessons are concerned.
"However, the trust has been completely broken. Who on earth would do something like this? What propels a whole teacher to even think of this as punishment? This is crazy," said one of the parents.
The matter was later extensively discussed by the parents and principal later this week.
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