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Gang-raped at school?

Who will take responsibility for this environment our children are growing up in?
By Marlon Abrahams

Pic: Dare

Article originally in Parent24
Monday mornings are challenging at the best of times, but to wake up to a radio bulletin discussing the alleged rape of a Grade 8 pupil by three Grade 8 fellows is enough to make you want to regurgitate your cornflakes in the traffic.

Caller after caller spewed bile and disgust, yelling for the boys to be flogged and thrown off the Tarpeian Rock. One or two callers said they were ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and that the law should run its course.

What makes this alleged crime even more heinous is that the incident was recorded on the cell phones of some other kids watching the horror unfold, yet choosing not to intervene. According to reports the girl was drugged and then raped.

A parent's fears

As a parent of three young girls, this is an extremely difficult thing to digest. The shock, anger and disgust were quickly replaced by fear and angst over the well-being of my own daughters.

What the hell is the world coming to when our kids (given that these children are in grade 8, we can assume their average age to be around 13 or 14) are resorting to this kind of behaviour? A legal expert called in to the radio and said that the courts would now have to prove that these boys knew what they were doing, before they could be prosecuted as criminals. Who do you hold accountable?

I say the parents of the boys should be arrested and tried for the alleged crime. Where do we get our values and morals from? Who is responsible for teaching us and ingraining into us the importance of doing the right thing and suffering the consequences of straying off the path? As parents we have a responsibility and duty to ensure that our kids at least know the basics of human decency.

What kind of a teenager allegedly drugs a young girl, and then gang rapes her, while others are filming the event? A teen whose parents don’t give a damn! A teen whose parents are quite happy for their children to get their moral education everywhere else except in their own home. A teen who was probably morally abandoned years ago!

Parenting is probably the most important job we all have. It affects the fibre of our society and leaves its mark on us as a nation, as a species. As a parent you cannot abandon your kids to television, or peer pressure, or delinquent culture. And I don’t care about the stereotype excuses that were also raised in the discussion. ‘Maybe they were abused themselves, maybe their parents had their own issues etc etc.’

You are responsible for them as their parents! This is your baby. Remember when they were born? All the amazing love and joy you experienced?

What the hell went wrong, how could you allow that amazing creation to deteriorate into a thing that could commit such a vile and monstrous act? You as the parents should be held accountable for your failure to be there for your child.

And we as South Africans cannot get away from this incident as a reflection of an ill society as a whole. It affects us all and tarnishes us all. And we have to be more vigilant in the raising of our young boys and girls. My God, is that too much to ask?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

Who do you think is to blame? The teens, the parents or society? Share your thoughts below.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.


Supporting rape survivors

2015-07-28 08:43

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