School violence re-ignites countrywide debate

The national debate is around school safety, as well as discipline in the country's education system.

Screenshot from a viral cell phone video shows a grade 8 Glenvista High School student attacking his teacher with a broom on 18 September 2013. It was sent to EWN by a concerned parent and was filmed by another student.

JOHANNESBURG - The latest shooting at a South African school has re-ignited the national debate around the safety of both pupils and teachers in the classroom, as well as discipline in the country's education system.

A Sasolburg teacher was shot and wounded on school grounds on Friday, allegedly by a pupil.

Free State police said a 15-year-old boy brought his grandfather's firearm to school and threatened a girl.

When the teacher intervened he was shot in the leg.

He's in a stable condition in hospital while the boy is undergoing psychological evaluation.

Yesterday Eyewitness News obtained a video showing a Grade 8 pupil at Glenvista High in Johannesburg attacking his teacher with a broom and a chair, while his classmates cheered him on.

The boy has since been suspended.

National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa (Naptosa) leader Basil Manuel said this incident shows up major problems with our children.

"I'm sure in the eyes of the children that were egging on that youngster, the teacher appeared to be a coward, because their own background says he should have stood up and he should have given this child the beating of his life."

Child psychologist Sapiso Mathenji said this is all about the communities our children live in.

"There are patterns of modeling that says when you are under pressure in South Africa, in your family or in your community it is OK to respond with an equal or opposite force."

There has been widespread praise for the teacher who didn't retaliate, but simply left the scene.