How should principals handle difficult learners?

The principal of South Peninsula High School (SPHS), Brian Isaacs is suspended for allegedly assaulting a Grade 12 pupil, calling another pupil a scum and showing insolent behaviour towards a WCED.

His suspension raised questions on the power afforded to principals in running the schools. What actions can principals take with a learner who disrupts an entire class or school from learning?

A document on discipline in schools by the Western Cape Education Department states that the governing body can suspend a learner from school for up to a week for serious misconduct (e.g. possession or use of liquor or drugs, assault, theft, immorality, absenteeism and disgraceful conduct).

CapeTalk’s John Maytham spoke to Professor Mary Metcalfe, Head of the School of Education at Wits University about the suspension of problematic learners from school.

Listen to the full conversation below:


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