My teacher is hurting me (corporal punishment and possible abuse)

Teachers might discipline learners in different ways, and sometimes that’s part of being at school. But it’s important to know when it’s OK and when it’s not.

The way your teacher is disciplining you is NOT OK if:

  • You are not being allowed to eat or have rest breaks
  • You are being insulted, humiliated or threatened
  • Your teacher stops speaking to you, or stops your classmates from speaking to you
  • You are forced to touch something that hurts or feels uncomfortable
  • You are being hit, pinched, kicked, shaken, slapped or beaten
  • You are forced to sit, stand, or stay somewhere against your will

Corporal punishment (physically hurting a child to discipline them) is illegal in South Africa. If your school or teacher is doing this, they are breaking the law.

What you can do:

  • Tell an adult you trust (a parent, family member, pastor etc.)
  • Call Childline on 08 000 55 555
  • Report it to the police
  • Tell a social worker or counsellor in your school or community
  • Tell a nurse or a doctor at the clinic

Being disciplined is not fun, but it’s there to teach us a lesson and help us grow. If the way you are being disciplined is hurting you physically or mentally, it’s not helping anyone. You don’t deserve to be abused, and you can get help. Know your rights!

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