Parktown Girls High pupils given counselling after traumatic event

Parktown High School for Girls deployed its psychologists to attend to pupils after they witnessed a traumatic event at the school.

This was revealed in a letter written by the school’s acting principal to the pupils’ parents and legal guardians on Thursday.

The school’s acting principal, Mrs G Davidson, explained in the letter that the “upsetting” incident. This involved a Grade 8 pupil, occurred on Thursday morning at the Johannesburg-based school.

An upsetting incident

In the letter dated May 16 2024, Davidson, wrote: “Dear parents/guardians. This morning at the school, an upsetting incident happened with a Grade 8 learner.

“Thankfully, nobody was physically hurt. However, many learners observed the incident and are traumatised by what could have unfolded. Our school psychologists have been counselling the learners the entire morning in the student centre. And will continue to do so.

“If there are any learners who require additional counselling, please reach out to myself, Mrs Strydom, Ms Lampen or our school social worker, Ms Ngidi. If you, as a parent, have any queries, please feel free to email me. Or make an appointment to see me,” wrote Davidson.

Sunday World understands that the incident in question relates to the school’s learner, who  allegedly tried to take her own life. This after she suffered bullying at the school. The Gauteng department of education had not responded to Sunday World questions at the time of publication. The story will be updated once the department responds.

Worrying incidents of school bullying
According to research by the University of South Africa, bullying is one of the four types of school violence in South Africa. The incidents seem to be on the increase, which is a concern for education authorities.

The study also found commonplace incidents such as bullying, taunting, ridicule, belittling, intimidation, abusive and derogatory language in the country’s schools.

Just a week ago, Sunday World reported that a nine-year-old pupil, who was allegedly bullied by two siblings, stabbed one of them to death.

The Free State department of education confirmed the news last Thursday.

According to the department, a Grade 4 pupil from Monamodi Primary School in Brandfort allegedly stabbed 11-year-old Kamogelo Leepile three times in full view of other pupils. Leepile, from a nearby WSM Malotle Primary School, died on the scene.

Suspect’s mother had complained repeatedly about the bullying

Howard Ndaba, spokesperson for the Free State department of education, confirmed the incident. He said the suspect’s mother had complained repeatedly about how the deceased and his brother were bullying her son.

Free State Education MEC Makalo Mohale expressed shock at the tragic incident. He called on all schools to be safe spaces for pupils and teachers.

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