FourFourSeconds ago, a small group of students at the Cape York School in Cape York, South Africa, decided to fight for their school’s future.
In a video released by the Cape School Board last month, students from the Beaconhouse School and Nutley School System (BNS) were joined by others to demand the end of school closures, arguing that the closures were hurting students and teachers alike.
The video shows a group of around 10 students standing up for their right to go to school in Cape Town.
“The school closures are costing us our teachers, our teachers’ salaries, our school budgets and our students’ futures,” one of the students says.
“We are asking for a school closure as a means to bring back stability to our schools.”
The student then asks the camera to zoom in on one of his teachers, who was standing behind him during the video.
The teacher is seen asking the camera for her mobile number, as she was walking down the street.
“Please don’t hurt my teacher.
Please don’t kill my teacher,” the student is heard saying in the video as he holds up his teacher’s phone.”
He was standing right behind me.
You can’t hit your teacher like that,” he says.
“I’m here to fight.”
The teacher then tells the camera that he has been receiving death threats.
“I’m afraid for my life,” he said.
“We are here to protect each other.
I don’t know who they are, but I’m not afraid for you.”
The video has been shared over 10,000 times and shared by several media outlets, including The Daily Star.
In response to the protests, the school district has announced a series of measures to address the issues of violence, bullying and discrimination in Cape’s schools.
The Cape York district has also been conducting community consultation for a month and will be holding a public consultation on the new measures at the end and early next year.BNS Principal Professor Klaas Oelstam said the district has seen a rise in incidents of bullying since the closure.
“There’s been a huge increase in bullying since last week,” he told FourFour.
“In the last three weeks, there were over 40 instances of bullying at our schools, including some of the worst cases we’ve had.”
Boys and girls are bullied.
It’s not about the colour of their skin, it’s about their mental state, their ability to cope.
“That’s what’s most dangerous about bullying is that it creates an environment where boys and girls have no place to live.”BNS is not the only school district in South Africa that has announced plans to address bullying.
Earlier this week, the South African School Teachers Union (SASTU) also announced plans for a consultation, to be held at the beginning of February, to address a range of issues affecting teachers, students and communities.SASTB President Peter Mavrzecki said he is hopeful that the reforms will lead to a “better, more stable school environment” for the future.
“I am hopeful that it will lead us to a more harmonious, inclusive and safe environment in which teachers, parents and students will feel safe, secure and able to work in a safe, professional environment,” he wrote in a statement.