'My son would still be alive if school had taken bullying seriously'

On Tuesday a 13-year-old boy died after being attacked by other pupils at an East Rand school last week.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The mother of a 13-year-old boy who has died from injuries sustained while fighting off school bullies is angry with how teachers handled the abuse.

The grade seven pupil and his elder brother are understood to have been targeted several times by bullies at an East Rand school.

On Friday the teen was allegedly assaulted again by the boys while protecting his brother.

He died at home on Tuesday from head injuries.

The 13-year-old’s mother, who can't be named to protect the other minors, says if the school had taken the attacks on her children more seriously, her son would still be alive.

“I received a letter back from the school that they know that the kids had been bullied previously by these specific children that were involved, and nothing was done.”

She says her son was a caring and loving boy.

“He would always stand up to these kids if they had started hitting his older brother.”

She wants her son's bullies to receive help so that no other child has to go through what her child had to bear.

“The principal made a comment saying to him it was not bullying, to him it was a normal fist fight. A normal fist fight would not have cost my son his life.”

She hopes she’ll find justice for her son and other victims of bullying.

"If a kid is bullying another kid, do something about it. Don't just leave it."

The police are investigating the claims while the family awaits a post-mortem report.

Meanwhile, four pupils from a Kempton Park school are facing disciplinary procedures after jabbing classmates with syringe needles.

Twenty-eight pupils from the Mooifontein Primary School have started anti-retroviral treatment as a precautionary measure after coming into contact with the needles a week ago.

The Basic Education Department says what's happening in schools is a reflection of societal problems.

The Department's director general Matha-Nzima Mweli said: “Schools are social institutions, they reflect values that we aspire to, they reflect various developments in civil society.”

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)