Voices

Editorial: Children need care and love, not cruelty

2019-04-07 16:37

Cruel. Brutal. Barbaric. Savage. Vicious. Wicked. Nasty. Ruthless. Merciless. Monstrous. Inhuman. Hellish. These words can be used interchangeably to describe the actions of the preschool teacher caught on video assaulting children this week at a crèche in Carletonville.

In the recent past, South Africans have been exposed to various videos of violence at schools involving pupils fighting each other and their teachers. We have seen incidents of fist fights, stabbings and even shootings. Safety at schools has taken centre stage – some have even introduced body searches – while police are called to randomly conduct search and seizures, which have resulted in drugs and booze being found in children’s bags.

Read: 4000 murders: The war on women and children

This latest video showing a teacher attacking the toddlers at the crèche has caused outrage across South Africa. It is time to pause and ask where we have gone wrong as a society.

In the video, the preverbal children are severely assaulted by the teacher and violently pushed to the ground. Equally shocking is the inaction of the teacher filming the incident, who just continued to record, making no attempt to intervene.

No one cares what possessed the teacher to do what she did – she should never have been allowed anywhere near children, and neither should the colleague who taped the incident. It is our collective responsibility to provide love and care for our children.

Abusers such as the person in this video deserve no mercy, however, we must all look into ourselves and see how often we don’t intervene and don’t take action to prevent or stop abuse meted out to the women and children around us.

Parents leave their children in the care of crèches so that they are able to go to work and put food on the table. An incident such as this shatters the bond of trust between parents and carers. Again, we say abuse has no place in our society.

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June 23 2019