THE incident involving a teacher and his student at Kukum SDA primary school last week has now been resolved yesterday following a reconciliation ceremony at the school.
Early this week, the weekend Sunday paper reported that a teacher allegedly bashed up the young student and later locked him for an hour.
The issue has raised concerns after it came out in the media.
On Thursday the student’s father and the teacher came together and settled the issue in prayer.
The teacher Bradley Lekezoto, Thursday denied all the claims as reported in the media.
“I didn’t kick this student. What I actually did was, I pat the student on the side of his hip to do an exercise I told the class to do.
“I have given the class work to do and went away to deal with two other boys who disobeyed the rules and needed to be dealt with.
“On my way back to the classroom, I heard noises from the classroom.
“I came in and saw that it was Obberly Topuhu who sat at the back making noises and never did his work.
“So I went to him and pat him on his hip with dirty shoes and said wake up. You are not doing your work, are you sleeping?
“After that Mr Obberly dropped his head on the desk for more than 15 minutes while the class was on,” he revealed.
“I never went back to him because I thought he was shy and so we continued with our class for the day.”
The teacher said, he never thought that this issue would be made public.
“I thought that it’s a classroom matter between me and my student.”
Mr Lekezoto said, this was not his first time to approach students like this because he believes that this kind of approach had shaped most of his past students to become some body in the country today.
“I did not kick the students as stated in the report but just woke him up to do his work.
“What the media has blown out is totally unjustified and misleading,” Mr Lekezoto said.
Mr Obberly’s father Melgibs Topuhu who came out with the issue in the media expressed regret to Mr Lekezoto and said he was so sorry with had happened.
“The thing that pressured me to put this on the media is because you (Mr Lekezoto) didn’t even say sorry to my son after you approached him like that.
“If only you apologised to my son at the time, I believe nothing would have happened like this which ended up in the media and facebook social group for discussions.”
He said, as a teacher himself such approach should not be expected.
“You should go to him (Obberly) and touched him and told him what he should do instead of patting him which he assume you are kicking him,” the parent said.
He told Mr Lekezoto to change his way of approach to students.
Another teacher Hillary Casper who was part of the ceremony said, the child was affected by the incident.
“The three parties namely the parent, the teacher and the media who were involved in this situation had disturbed the child in his study,” he said.
“See, Obberly this week has missed a lot of his classes due to the situation.
“Parent, you should come to the teacher and deal with it here at school instead of going to media.
“Media, you should check up with the school before publishing this story. I know that your work is to publish balance stories and not one-sided story like this, which has put shame on this student.
“I appeal to the media to be independent, don’t publish stories one-sided,” he said.
Mr Hillary said, now that the matter is being resolved it was an opportunity to learn from such an incident.
The two parties ended the ceremony with a prayer.
Young Obberly was expected to resume his classes on Friday to prepare for his coming grade six exam.
By LESLEY SANGA