Safety fears after brutal assault on David Livingstone school grounds
More than 100 angry David Livingstone High School parents and teachers met yesterday to discuss ways to keep pupils and staff safe on the premises.
The meeting at the Schauderville school followed a brutal attack on a Grade 11 pupil, who was assaulted with a brick to the face this week.
The teachers and pupils were left traumatised when a mob of suspected gangsters entered the school grounds on Tuesday with vicious dogs and started causing havoc.
The incident took place during breaktime when a fight broke out between the pupils and the outsiders.
The sister of the 17-year-old pupil said he was approached by three suspected gangsters who asked him if he had a problem with them.
Upon his response, they allegedly slapped him before a fight broke out.
The teenager has gone home to his mother, who lives in a nearby suburb, as he fears for his life.
Emotional Grade 11 and 12 Afrikaans teacher Mary Cherry, who was one of two teachers on break duty at the time of the incident, broke down in tears when she addressed the parents yesterday.
“I am one of the teachers who puts my body on the line for our children every day and I can’t do it anymore,” she said.
“This is not the first time something like this has happened. It happens almost every day at this school. “We can’t stand by and just watch how our children want to kill one another anymore. “What happened on Tuesday left me questioning whether it is worth it to continue working in such an environment. “It is the community’s responsibility to stand up and help us as teachers. “Please, parents, you need to step in to help your child because we can’t continue in this violence.”
The school’s fence is being fixed as part of a government programme and at present a portion of the property is unfenced, leaving pupils and teachers vulnerable.
Parent Zamuxolo Sogcwayi, 45, of Walmer township, said: “Our children need our support because it is imminent that an incident like this will happen again. “It frustrates me that people can come onto the premises and assault our children. “We need the might of the law to intervene. If there is no visibility of the police, all our efforts will be fruitless.”
Acting principal Phillip Jaftha appealed to the community to help the school. “Our teachers and learners do not feel safe at school . . . Many of our learners are traumatised by what happened.
“It is a serious matter – we have even received [warning] messages that they [gangsters] will be back. The fence needs to be erected immediately.”