Violence at schools 'worrying'

A grade 8 learner was stabbed in the stomach at Knysna High School.

FILE: Cape Town Metro police officials carried out drug raids at Walmer Secondary School on 15 May 2014. Picture: Lauren Isaacs/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Education Department says violence cannot be tolerated on school grounds.

This comes in the wake of the latest incident in which a grade 8 learner was stabbed in the stomach at a Knysna High School.

A grade 10 pupil has since been arrested in connection with the incident which is thought to be gang related.

Education spokesperson Jessica Shelver says the department is concerned about the levels of violence in schools.

"We're always concerned when any incident of violence occurs in our schools. One incident is actually one incident too many."

A George pupil was stabbed to death on a school bus in April. A matriculant was also stabbed to death outside a high school in wellington a month later.

Meanwhile, a Bonteheuwel community leader says law enforcement officials have been deployed to schools in the area to protect children against gang violence in the community.

The Bonteheuwel Joint Peace Forum's Soraya Salie says daily shoot-outs between rival gangs are becoming a growing concern.

The forum is now arranging an inter faith prayer service to be held next month.

Salie adds school children are at risk of getting caught in cross fires when walking to school and returning to their homes in the afternoon.

"Some of the hotspots will be identified just for the children to feel safe. There are so many working parents that are worried at work because their children must walk liong distances from school back home."