“13-year-old who shot principal could be crying out for help,” says expert

todayFebruary 21, 2024 248

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Director of The Teddy Bear Clinic, Dr Shaheda Omar, says the actions of the 13-year-old who shot his school principal could be a cry out for help.

The Grade 6 learner was arrested on Friday after shooting the 51-year-old Primrose Primary School principal.

He was allegedly angry after the teacher chastised him and other pupils, ordering them to gather in the school’s foyer to study.

Speaking to YNews, Omar says this case has to be looked into to find out whether the learner has any psychological issues or if they have been exposed to some kind of violence in their surroundings.

She says the boy could be mirroring something that he has seen.

The Teddy Bear Clinic’s Clinical Director says while this kind of action cannot be condoned, it needs to be looked at in a deeper sense.

The Gauteng Education MEC, Matome Chiloane, has described the pre-teen as a troublesome child who has had a brush with the teachers and had been reported to his parents.

According to officials, the teenager had planned the incident with his friends and was also targeting the deputy principal and another teacher.

Omar, however, says it is a cause for concern that young people could come together and discuss such a brazen crime.

She says this incident also speaks to what thoughts the learner has had.

She believes the planning, in a way, also shows premeditation on the end of the learners.

Omar says a gun free society would be ideal and would even reduce the increasing cases of violence in the country.

Her main concern, however she says, is the access and availability of the gun that the 13-year-old primary school learner had.

She says social media and media in general have also played a role in how the society reacts to issues.

Dr Omar says the country’s moral fibre has deteriorated to a point where violence is no longer shied upon, but isĀ  seen as a way to solve issues.

During the conversation with YNews, Omar also spoke about how this issue needs to be approached in various ways.

She says dialogues need to be had on basic solving skills and assisting families with skills to be able to address conflict without resorting to violence.


The learner who made his first appearance in the Germiston Magistrates court on Monday will be back in court on the 19th of March.

His father was also arrested for negligence.

Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris

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