South Africans shared mixed reaction on social media on Friday after news broke that a Grade 2 learner in Ekurhuleni had taken a gun with live rounds of ammunition to an East Rand school to allegedly "deal with" another learner who had reportedly bullied him.
Steve Mabona, spokesperson for the Gauteng Department of Education, said police were called to the Brakpan scene on Thursday to confiscate the gun.
He said although the child was taken to the police station, he was not charged and subsequently released. His father was contacted and a case has been opened.
Brakpan police are in pursuit of the father.
Social media users took to Twitter to not only express shock but to also recall their own childhood.
A Grade 2 pupil caring a firearm in school, because of a bully 😨 what happened to; sohlanga after school, ngizok'bonisa kuthi nguwbani?" 😧 pic.twitter.com/vO6ndIiWrQ— PennyM (@Penuel_Mashele) September 28, 2017
This is what i was doing in Grade 2 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/up7RWJnTnn— Rey (@Rinaesing) September 29, 2017
The only criminal activity I did in Grade 2 was to steal erasers— Loud Speaker (@usisiwakho) September 28, 2017
When I was in Grade 2, I couldn't even operate a toy gun. 😕😕— Urban Zulu Prince 👑 (@AZeeTheMonster) September 29, 2017
Then some kiddo be gangsta like that??
Thug life...! Grade 2 pupil pull up like..! pic.twitter.com/DH58r43el7— BlackMeaning (@Kagiso_molapisi) September 29, 2017
Teacher : What Were You Going To Do With The Gun ?— KAY B* (@HimThird) September 28, 2017
Student [Grade 2] : pic.twitter.com/q7p9V5LpTK
Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi was among many expressing shock at the reports:
Pray for us, Aowa, this can't be. A Grade 2 with a gun! pic.twitter.com/Oh3mcanhNS— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) September 28, 2017
1. Seek immediate help from an adult and report bullying and victimization incidents to your teacher.
2. If you see someone being bullied speak up and/or offer support to the victim when you see him or her being bullied (e.g., picking up the victim's books and handing them to him or her)
3. Privately support those being hurt with words of kindness.
4. Express disapproval of bullying behaviour by not joining in the laughter, teasing or spreading rumours or gossip.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident on Wednesday, a toddler in Detroit, US, shot and injured two other children at a home daycare facility.