Botswana Child Rights Network movements have opened a case at Mochudi Police against a teacher who recently shot and circulated a video showing a student crying in pain and rolling on the ground.
It is alleged the victim who is a student at Molefi Senior Secondary School in Mochudi drank ethanol from the school’s science laboratory which was mixed with alcohol.
The video that has since gone viral on social media shows the student crying in pain and rolling over on the ground with the voice of the teacher who was shooting the video, asking for her mother’s number.
Coordinator of Childline Botswana, Olebile Machete, confirmed reporting the incident to the police
He said the teachers’ conduct is a potential criminal offence as he failed to act in the best interest of the child.
He said the child could have possibly died as the teacher chose to watch and take shoot a video instead of taking the student to the nearest health facility.
“When children are at school, teachers are their legal guardians and have to ensure that students are safe. Neglect or ill-treatment of children is criminalised under Section 56 of the Act which talks about the responsibilities of a guardian. This is deemed as negligence because they unreasonably failed to make adequate provision for the proper health and care of the child. Stepping Stones have provided the child and her family with psycho social support. The police promised to commence their investigations this Wednesday,” said Machete.
BOSETU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, said preliminary investigations done by the union revealed that the teacher was acting on the instruction from the school management. He said it was not meant for any damage or malice but unfortunately it was leaked and went viral.
“It was meant to be used as evidence because most of the time when students misbehave, teachers battle to prove what they deal with. We are told they drank a chemical from the lab. Our eyes must be on the ball and we should not derail from the main issue here which is unruly behavior of our kids in schools. This must be on record, I feel Child Rights Network movements are becoming overzealous about the issue. They are missing the main issues of students’ indiscipline. Our schools are rotten!” said Rari.
Ministry of Basic Education’s Principal Public Relations Officer, Oarabile Phefo, confirmed that they are investigating the incident.
He said the matter was sensitive as it involves a minor and needs through investigations. Phefo said they are doing all they can to protect the leaner adding that she was given proper counseling and that she is back at school.
“Kgatleng Regional Director and the school management are investigating the case and the outcome will inform us of the next step. Proper action will be taken against the person who was shooting and circulating the video on social media when the investigations are complete,” said Phefo.
Section 56 states that any parent, other relative or guardian of a child or any other person having the custody of a child, who neglects, ill-treats or exploits the child or allows or causes that child to be neglected, ill-treated or exploited shall be guilty of an offence.
If found guilty the perpetrator may be fined not less than P5 000 but not more than P20 000 or to imprisonment for a term of not less than six months.