South African News

Student takes own life after teacher bullied him

Learner commits suicide after allegedly being mocked by his teacher. The KwaZulu Natal Education Department is investigating allegations that a grade ten learner committed suicide after being constantly mocked by a teacher at the Mbangazwe High School in KwaMakhutha in the south of Durban.

It’s alleged that the learner’s ordeal started at the beginning of the school year after his mother complained of his poor Maths and Physics marks from the previous year. Thandolwethu Ngcobo (15) failed and when his mother complained about the marks, the school reportedly admitted having mixed his results with that of another learner and promised to fix the issue in January.

His mother Zama Bhengu told ZiMoja that she was relieved when her son’s marks were rectified, and he was promoted to the next grade. “My son was so happy to be going to the next grade but me complaining about his marks did not sit well with his class teacher who tormented my child until he took his own life.

Thandolwethu would complain that the teacher called him less of a man and weak for ‘allowing’ me to fight his battles. The teacher did this almost daily and Thandolwethu did not tell me about it all the time,” Bhengu said. She added that the victimization was so bad that her son even wanted to change his streams.

“Thandolwethu loved school and he loved everything about Maths and Physics and he was willing to drop the subjects just to have peace as the educator taught those subjects. He wanted nothing to do with her,” she said.

Bhengu said that some of Thandolwethu’s schoolmates told her that the class teacher did not allow him in her class and he was forced to stand outside class while other learners were being taught. “I asked the other kids why he was not allowed in class; they said the teacher said that she was still sorting out his marks.

He stood outside the class until the classes were over almost daily. He came home and told me he no longer wanted to attend that particular teacher’s classes. I thought he was overreacting because he did not tell me the extent of the abuse he suffered.

This pushed my son to end his life, I found him hanging from the roof inside his bedroom still wearing his school uniform, no mother should go through what I did. I am angry and bitter, I want that teacher to never teach again and to take responsibility for my child’s death,” she said.

 

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