11 October 2017

Zambia: Chengelo Bullying - Assailants Kicked Out

Photo: Daily News
(File photo).

The two Chengelo School boys who assaulted a fellow pupil in an incident that was recorded on a camera phone and went viral on social media have been expelled.

The decision to expel the two boys, both fourth-formers who joined the school last year, followed a meeting of the school board's disciplinary sub-committee.

There may be further bad news for the expelled boys (who cannot be named for legal reasons) after Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said police would deal with the 'assault aspect' of the case, and described the conduct of the assailants as "barbaric".

This is the second expulsion of one of the boys, said to have moved to Chengelo in Mkushi after being kicked out of another private school for similar behaviour.

The video clip, which ignited public interest and debate, shows two boys assaulting a fellow pupil using fists, kicks and a belt as well as abusing him verbally. The incident was believed to have happened on Friday last week.

According to a statement issued by the school yesterday, further investigations would follow on the involvement of other pupils in the dormitory where the incident took place.

The school reiterated that it did not tolerate bullying of any form and would continue to review as well as strengthen policies and student support mechanisms to safeguard the welfare of its pupils.

Chengelo also indicated that the names of the pupils involved could not be revealed as it was against its child safeguarding policy.

"Investigations and interviews regarding all students involved will be ongoing during the course of this week and we are working with and supporting the active police inquiry. Counseling services will be made available to students and we will be holding specific sessions with all classes to discuss and review the incident itself and the broader issues involved," the statement said.

The school would further look into any unreported similar incidences in the past.

Mr Kampyongo said in an interview on the matter that the police were also conducting independent investigations.

The minister said that despite the school dealing with the matter administratively, the police would deal with the assault aspect of the case.

"That kind of barbaric behaviour is unacceptable and uncalled-for. The people we say are the future leaders of the nation must grow up with proper morals, but what we saw can only be described as barbaric," he said.

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