Some pupils at Chemhanza High School in Hwedza are nursing visible back injuries after allegedly being assaulted by the deputy head, with no details of the possible misconduct yet available.
But a report has been made to the police and pictures showing what are said to be the pupils’ wounded and bruised backs have been circulating on social media, drawing condemnation.
While corporal punishment of schoolboys is not explicitly banned in Zimbabwe, any disciplinary action that amounts to physical or psychological torture is barred under the latest amendments to the Education Act, and which have been argued to amount to a ban on beatings.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said while a report had been made, the police were yet to get full facts.
By the end of yesterday, it was not clear who had made the report to the police.
There are also different versions of the story. Some sources alleged that the pupils were caught in compromising behaviour and that parents, on being informed, advised the use of corporal punishment. But the sources stressed these were just allegations.
Another parent said the pupils, who are writing public examinations, were assaulted for making noise during examination time. “I heard that they were punished for making noise, but one wonders why they would be severely beaten for that,” said a parent.
“I saw the wounds and bruises on their backs and it is something unacceptable. The punishment is not commensurate with the offences allegedly committed.”
School authorities could not be reached yesterday to comment on the issue.