Simba Jemwa, Sunday News Correspondent
GREEN Gables High School, a private school on the outskirts of Bulawayo has reportedly expelled five pupils who were involved in fights and bullying in the past few weeks.
The school head, a Mr Mugawa declined to comment but sources at the institution confirmed that the school had to take the drastic measure after numerous reports of bullying were reported.
Director Advocacy and Communication in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Mr Taungana Ndoro said the problem was being handled through the Learner Welfare, Psychological Services and Special Needs Department.
“We have over 9 778 schools in the country and every school has an incident register. This problem is being handled through robust guidance and counselling services by our Learner Welfare, Psychological Services and Special Needs
Department. Violence and bullying occurs because of different traumas and anxieties that learners may be facing,” he said.
Sources, however, told Sunday News that five pupils were initially suspended for two weeks with four of them currently facing assault charges for severely bashing the fifth pupil, who has also been expelled.
The source said parents are angry over how the school is being run and are calling for the dismissal of the head.
Problems at the school came to light when four boys assaulted another until he needed hospitalisation overnight.
According to medical records seen by this publication, the victim had a swollen face, scalp laceration, 2cm x 0.5cm raccoon eye, swollen feet as well as bruises on the back and shoulders.
The medical report also read that the injuries could have been caused by a blunt instrument. The degree of force used to inflict the injuries was severe.
The injuries caused were serious and posed “potential danger to life” because the head injuries suffered are associated with intracranial bleeding, but no permanent disability is expected to result from the assault.
The source said the boys were all expelled on Monday when they appeared before the school headmaster having served their suspensions.
Issues with the headmaster’s handling of this and other cases came to a head when he allowed the four attackers to remain in school during their suspension, but refused the victim the same privilege.
“Parents began to question the headmaster’s sincerity in the matter when he allowed the four boys who had brutally attacked their school mate to be at school during their two-week suspension but refused to allow their victim the same opportunity,” revealed the source.
The source said until the publication of the incident in last Sunday’s edition of this publication, most parents were not aware of the violence that has become regular at the school.
It is reported that they have been making frantic efforts to get clarity regarding the safety of their children while also accusing the headmaster of favouritism.
The headmaster allegedly tried to sweep the four boys’ assault of the Lower Sixth pupil under the carpet until it became clear that medical attention was required.
It is believed that only after the victim was taken to Pelandaba Clinic and a doctor in attendance had recommended that the boy be transferred to Mpilo Central Hospital where a police report was required did details of the incident come to light.
One parent who spoke to Sunday News said they were worried about the manner in which the headmaster handles matters to do with violence at the school. She said the headmaster had shown favouritism with impunity.