The Glenvista High incident is just one of many involving children in schools in South Africa today…
I thought of this from a completely different perspective. The perspective that a child is now subject to a different legislation which has been in force since 1 April 2010 namely the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008.
The brainchild to prevent a child from the harsh exposure to the criminal justice system and if the child accepts responsibility a prosecutor may now implement a diversion option which in terms of the act is a diversion of a matter involving a child away from the formal court procedures in a criminal matter. The child has to be assessed by a probation officer who should be a social worker to report on the child’s age, education, circumstances. This report must be handed to a prosecutor with the idea that a child should not go to prison but can be dealt with in our legal justice system in a different manner with the purpose of reintergrating these children back into society. The child’s parent is paramount in all these decisions. There are many diversion options and they include: this is for a schedule one offence such as common assault:Oral or written apology, Formal caution with or without conditions,Placement under supervision and guidance order; reporting order; compulsory school attendance order; family time order; peer association order; good behaviour order; an order prohibiting the child from visiting, frequenting or appearing in specified places;Referral to counselling or therapy;Compulsory attendance of vocational, educational or therapeutic programmes;Symbolic restitution;Restitution of a specific object;Community service; Provision of some service or benefit by the child to the victim; orPayment of compensation.
The issue for me is that we live in a very violent society, many of our strikes are violent and these strikers have children and a community from which they come. So if kids are happening to watch tv and see their very own parents engaged in violent strikes, that proportion of kids are likely to behave similiarly when dealing with issues. The community has crime and other socio-economic issues. These children will therefore be a product of this community and you should expect them to behave in such violent and irrational behaviour. I therefore respect that a child is prosecuted differently to an adult.
Assault: Regardless of whether a child assaults a teacher or a teacher assaults a child the offence remains assault for both the teacher and child. The only difference is that the child is criminally processed and dealt with differently from adults. So if assault and the grammar of violence are so prevalent in our very society with armed criminals engaging in sorts and manners of crimes in a poverty stricken environment where kids don’t have decent facilities geared at a kid’s welfare, you bound to have violence