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Free State Education Department investigates racism allegations at Welkom School following ‘harrowing video’ on social media



The Free State Department of Education is probing allegations of racism, bullying, and assault at Welkom Technical High School, following claims that a teacher failed to stop a fight between students.

This follows a now-viral, harrowing video circulating on social media depicting three learners involved in a fistfight in front of the woman teacher.

In the video, a white boy can be seen choking a black boy on the floor while everyone is watching, including the teacher.

While most of the white learners were watching the black learner being strangled, the teacher only responded when the other learners tried to intervene.

“It is alleged that during the brawl this teacher was biased towards the other learner. The department condemned all acts of ill-discipline, racism, criminality, violence, and bullying in our schools,” the department said.

The department said this sordid incident happened just a week after five boys were involved in a fight.

The five were found guilty by the disciplinary committee of the school and were given a punishment for cleaning the school for three consecutive days.

The provincial Education MEC, Makalo Mohale has expressed shock and sadness at the violence and racism at schools, saying it should be stopped.

“School safety is a societal issue. We need to pull all stops and work together as parents, SGBs, teachers, learners, and other stakeholders to stop violence at our schools,” Mohale said.

The department has so far dispatched officials to investigate the incident, indicating that disciplinary action will be taken based on the findings.

The district has also provided psychosocial support to the three learners who were involved in the incident.

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