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Let’s end rape in SA schools

To the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga:

We unconditionally condemn the brutal rape of the Grade 12 boy in the Northern Cape -- our schools should be places of peace and diversity, not violence and intolerance. We call on you to conduct a nationwide investigation into the extent of violence in our schools. In addition, we ask that you undertake a complete review of the national curriculum -- in particular, Life Orientation -- to ensure our young people are positively engaging with issues of race, gender, and diversity in general. We want classrooms that enable learners to become the thoughtful and caring citizens of tomorrow.

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Let’s end rape in SA schools

First the four boys tied him to his bed. Then they covered him in shampoo, shaved his head, and raped him with a mop handle -- while 20 other boys watched and filmed on their cellphones. Humiliated and bleeding, the grade 12 boy waited for morning to get help.

The alleged attackers have been expelled and the school is now under scrutiny, however the wider problem remains. Schools should be places where young people embrace the values of freedom, diversity and respect. Yet a 2012 study found that one in five South African high school students is a victim of violence.

This recent assault confirms that something is horribly wrong -- but if enough of us act now, while there’s media attention, we can turn this nightmare into something positive.

We know that the Minister of Education, Angie Motshekga, is sensitive to public pressure. Let’s call on her to conduct an immediate investigation into the full extent of school violence and a complete review of the national curriculum. When we reach 20,000 names Avaaz will deliver the petition directly to the Minister -- sign now and then share with everyone you know!

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