A Grade 7 boy has been suspended, suspected of sexually assaulting five fellow pupils at a city school.
The parents of the girls are “furious” that a principal did not inform them about the claims that the boy sexually assaulted their daughters on school grounds – some of them for about two years.
A group of parents met with a social worker at the school on Thursday. They vented their anger at the principal who failed to take action against the boy or inform parents.
A Grade 7 girl told a teacher on August 3 of the alleged assaults. One of the girls said she had asked to be moved to another class in July.
Parents only found out about the case on August 19, more than two weeks after the teacher informed the principal. When one parent confronted the principal about the claims on Friday, he allegedly dismissed it as “hearsay”.
The parent then wrote to the Education Department on Monday demanding that the boy be expelled.
The principal arranged an urgent meeting on Tuesday with the Grade 7 boy, his parents and the school’s governing body who suspended the boy for five days.
But the parents want the boy expelled.
One father said: “My daughter said this boy would sit next to her and fondle her in the classroom and said he even forced her to kiss him in the girl’s toilets.
“The principal should’ve informed us immediately and only suspended the boy when we confronted him.”
Two parents lodged a complaint of sexual assault against the boy at the Philippi Police Station on Wednesday.
The parents will apply for an interdict in the Western Cape High Court today to prevent the boy from being near the girls.
One mother said: “I can only imagine the mental anguish these girls must’ve gone through because the system has failed them and us as parents for allowing him to be at the school.”
During a meeting on Thursday, the social worker explained what procedure the school should have followed and told parents the girls would receive counselling.
Education Department spokesman Paddy Attwell said a social worker from the district office was working with the pupils.
“We view this case in a very serious light.”
The school governing body will decide on further action once they have received a report from the social worker.