Strandfontein police are investigating a case of common assault after a six-year-old was bruised at St Francis Educare Centre.
Shiloh Joseph was allegedly pushed by a teacher and fell against a clothing shelf, causing a cut next to his left eye on Wednesday November 23 and on Saturday December 3, his family held a picket demonstration outside during the centre’s graduation ceremony.
Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana, Western Cape police spokesperson, confirmed that the incident was being investigated, adding that no one had been arrested.
The Department of Social Development is also aware of the incident and officials are investigating.
Briony Joseph, his mother, said while the incident happened at about noon, she had only been informed at 3pm.
“We went around to the creche to see the principal and when his grandfather started talking, the principal said he had no say she would only speak to the mother,” said Ms Joseph.
The grandfather, Brian Adams, usually drops and collect the children.
The day after the incident, when Mr Adams took Shiloh to school, one of the children at the creche allegedly showed him how the teacher had pushed Shiloh, said Mr Joseph.
Later that day at the supper table, Shiloh said that the principal had asked him that morning what he was still doing at the creche, said Ms Joseph. “I was very disappointed in her and messaged her to ask what she meant by that question,” she said. But there was no response.
“You could see she was online. Various phone calls and she did not answer, which I feel is very unprofessional for a principal,” said Ms Joseph.
On Friday November 25 Mr Adams once again dropped Shiloh at creche but was told to take him back home.
“I feel they are depriving my son of his education as he also has a concert that he was practising for and his graduation that he missed out on.
“My son has been a nervous wreck about this since Wednesday, not sleeping properly at night,” Ms Joseph said.
Peter Kline, chairperson of St Francis Educare Centre, confirmed that there had been an incident during which a Grade R pupil had sustained a minor injury.
He said according to their protocol the injury was assessed and it had been ascertained that the bruise could be treated by using the contents of the centre’s First Aid kit, which is kept on site, and the pupil was attended to.
The principal enquired from the teacher and the pupil what had happened and thereafter the mother was informed, and she indicated that she would collect Shiloh, Mr Kline explained.
“Upon arrival at our centre the grandpa requested an explanation, which with the parent’s permission, was duly obliged.
“The aggrieved parent has since terminated our services,” said Mr Kline.
He said the parent has since lodged complaints with the police, the MEC for Education, the MEC for Social Development and the City of Cape Town’s Health official, a formal incident report was compiled and submitted to the various departments.
“Our centre has consequently also received visits and scrutiny by the various department and their official reports are awaited,” he said.
Mr Kline said this is the first time in the facility’s 35-year history that they have experienced this kind of incident.