A KwaZulu-Natal school teacher was suspended for allegedly locking a Grade 3 pupil in a Donnybrook school classroom overnight for not doing homework, according to KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi.
"We were shocked as the department to learn of such insensitive and inhumane behaviour by this teacher," Mahlambi said.
"We suspended the educator with immediate effect [on Wednesday] and [the teacher] has been charged with gross misconduct. We view this misconduct in a very serious light for this is insensitive, inhumane, barbaric and very unprofessional.
"We expect our educators to be parents to our learners [and to] inculcate love for the school and education. If you do this to a Grade 3 learner, he may grow up fearing school. We will need to support the child psychologically. The MEC will visit the school after Easter holidays," Mahlambi told News24.
It is understood the child was locked in after 14:00, when the school finished for the day.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that Donnybrook police opened a case of ill-treatment of a child.
"It is alleged that [on Tuesday] afternoon, an eight-year-old boy was locked overnight inside the classroom by the suspect after the child failed to complete his schoolwork.
"The docket will be transferred to Port Shepstone Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for further investigation," Mbele told News24.