A teacher at Wessel Maree Secondary School in Odendaalsrus, Free State, has been suspended after being caught on camera pushing a student violently.
The Free State’s education department said it has suspended the teacher with immediate effect and will investigate the incident.
“We have launched an investigation to investigate this unfortunate incident. At this stage, we do not know all the details regarding the incident,” Education MEC Pule Makgoe said in a statement.
In the video, which is widely shared on social media, the male teacher is face to face with the male student. The teacher appears to be telling the student to leave the classroom.
When the student continues to try to get past the teacher, the teacher pushes the student back. The student is pushed so hard that he tumbles over a desk before falling to the floor.
Commenting on the video, the Free State’s education department said it condemns violence, bullying, corporal punishment and racism in schools.
“Schools should be centers of learning and teaching that are conducive to the delivery of quality education,” Makgoe said.
Makgoe also called for calm following the incident and warned against using the incident for political mileage.
“There are villains who may want to use this incident to fuel racial tensions… We must work together for the good of our students and not allow opportunists to drive a wedge between us,” he said.
Makgoe said the department will decide what action to take once the investigation is complete.