Principal attacked in suspected gang-related incident

2017-04-19 16:29

A school principal in the Western Cape was stabbed in the early hours of today in a suspected gang-related incident.

Jessica Shelver, spokesperson of Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said that Bishops School of Skills principal Wayne Abrahams was attacked in Bishop Lavis early this morning.

Bishops School of Skills is a vocational school falling under a category of schools for learners with special needs.

Shelver declined to comment on the condition of Abrahams and where he was, fearing that the gang could want to track him down.

She said the condition of Abrahams was being monitored.

“The assault apparently followed threats against the principal in the event that he proceed with the disciplinary hearing of a learner who allegedly shot another 15-year-old learner in the leg at the school on March 27 in a gang-related incident,” Shelver said.

She said Abrahams reported that he received threats towards the end of the first term, should he proceed with a disciplinary hearing against the alleged the perpetrator.

“According to our information, the two assailants entered the school premises this morning before 7am and accosted the principal in the foyer.

"They allegedly stabbed him multiple times in the head, neck, shoulder and chest.

“The perpetrators then reportedly ran off when the caretaker arrived on the scene. We condemn this vicious attack in the strongest possible terms.

"Any attack on a teacher or principal is completely unacceptable.

"An attack such as this on someone who is dedicating his life to uplifting the youth of this province, and who is trying to do the right thing in taking disciplinary action to protect his learners, shows how warped some peoples’ values are,” she said.

Senior department officials, officials from Safe Schools, and the South African and metropolitan police were on the scene this morning.

Safe Schools has arranged four additional security guards, while the metro police have deployed two additional school resource officers to the school. The department will provide trauma counselling, as required.

“We trust that SAPS will take very swift action in finding and arresting these perpetrators. We shall then request our department of community safety to keep a watching brief on this matter to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

"This kind of behaviour is damaging to the education of our learners in the Western Cape, and will not be tolerated,” Shelver said.

In the Western Cape, schools of skills offer an alternative opportunity to pupils; an adapted and differentiated vocational and practical curriculum to accommodate pupils who ordinarily cannot cope or achieve their potential in mainstream schools, despite support.

These pupils were instead offered an opportunity to create an alternative career path by developing vocational and practical skills.

Pupils who have an interest in skills development will be assessed at district level and may be referred to a school of skills.

The main focus is on academic and technical skills so that each child is equipped with a skill they can use to contribute to the economy and become active members of our society.

The school offers the four-year curriculum, which consists of 50% academic and 50% technical skills.

Skills offered include bricklaying, welding and metalwork, woodwork and carpentry, hairdressing, needlework and clothing and hospitality.

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March 18 2018