Unruly students

A Vincent, Table View

Last week three Bloubergrandt pupils were walking home near Spar in Parklands in the middle of the street, side by side.

They were playing chicken and would not move out of the way for me.

I could not veer to the side as there was a car coming down the road.

I did, however, slow down and they moved slightly towards the pavement. The pupil’s school bag scratched the side of my car.

I got out and asked them whether they were stupid or did they not see me.

The pupil stood and just looked at me, chewing his gum and hands in pocket and did not answer. I asked his name, address and parents’ details and still no response.

The girls then told him to get his diary out and show me. The names were illegible and the phone number incorrect (as was verified by the mother later).

A gentleman stopped and tried to call the police but held on for 10 minutes. Nobody answered the phone.

I was so anxious and cross that I forgot to ask his name.

I then drove to the high school and was assured by the principal that he did not condone this behaviour, especially by pupils in uniform.

He said his pupils played chicken all the time, even on the West Coast Road.

He was to speak to the pupil the next morning and suspend him until he had also spoken to the parents.

The outcome from this discussion was relayed to me by the mother who told me the principal thought he was an outstanding, well-mannered pupil.

I went to SAPS, who are not allowed to take a case involving minors.

They did, however, offer to go with me to the home of said pupil in deep Parklands.

When it was time to go, the police had no drivers and called the parents to come to the police station.

The father was not prepared to do so but the mother (and half the neighbourhood arrived).

The mother is like the son. She just stood staring and told me they were children.

I responded by saying he is a high school pupil and not a baby or child! She said he was her baby.

Needless to say, I gave up and told her that if she condoned his actions at this stage of his life, she could end up with a rebel once he “grows up”.

She was going to lay a charge against me there and then, and I begged her to do this as then I could lay a counter-charge. She walked away. I was not offered an apology or some compensation for the damage, however small the damage might seem to the principal.

I find this very disturbing since we are forced to live with these kinds of problems.

If the school does nothing, what does that say? The principal simply could not care as his school has a terrible name anyhow, or is he scared of the parents?

Any other school would have suspended the children because they were in uniform.

I do know that Table View High and Elkanah do this for inappropriate behaviour.

Headmaster of Bloubergrant High School Malcolm Pedro responds: As headmaster, I did investigate the incident by interviewing the pupils involved.

I emailed Ms Vincent my findings and recommended that she report the incident to SAPS. Suffice to say that there are always two sides to a story. It is obvious that this is not the response which Ms Vincent had hoped for, hence she has contacted your newspaper.

The Table View/Parklands community are aware of the good reputation which Bloubergrant High School has built up over the years, with many good deeds of the pupils reported in your newspaper by random members of public who have witnessed them.

Everyone are entitled to their own opinion, and Ms Vincent has made up her mind of how she perceives Bloubergrant High School, its pupils and staff.

There is absolutely nothing that I can say or do which will make her change her mind. I conclude by stating that as headmaster of Bloubergrant High School, I do not wish to enter into rhetoric through a newspaper in order to debate the merits of the incident and/or to defend the good name of our school.