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School CP - November 1989

Corpun file 1988 at

Sunday Times, Johannesburg, 19 November 1989

Bottom line for Johnny

Father fumes after schoolboy flasher is given "vicious" six of the best for classroom jape

By Herman Jansen

Teenager Johnny Buckingham got more than he bargained for when he dropped his trousers in front of his classmates for a dare.

Johnny, 15, wanted to buy a skateboard with the R40 he could "earn" from four friends for the dare but his quick flash earned him six of the best instead.

Now his angry father, Mr John Buckingham, has laid a charge of assault against Mr Piet Otto, the teacher who meted out the "vicious beating" on Monday. The matter is also being investigated by the Transvaal Education Department.

Johnny's classroom flash took place before other Std 6 Hoërskool Randburg pupils, including girls.

The rueful schoolboy said this week: "My four friends were supposed to give me R10 each for what I did.

"But they also got three cuts each for daring me -- I don't think they will pay up.

"I feel terrible about what I did. I don't know what went on in my head."

Johnny's greatest regret is that, because of the beating, he could not act as ball-boy at the SA Open Tennis Championships in Johannesburg on Monday night.

Said his mother Carol: "Tennis is his first love. He dreams of becoming a Wimbledon champion one day."

WEALS .... Johnny Buckingham's bruised bottom after his whipping at Hoërskool Randburg

Mr Buckingham said he phoned Mr Otto as soon as he saw his son's backside.

"I asked Mr Otto to come over like a man so we could discuss the matter -- otherwise I would go to the police. He did not come.

"Johnny's backside was black and terribly swollen.

"He had a blood blister as thick as my finger where three of the cuts had landed on top of one another.

"What my son did warranted a good hiding. If a teacher had not done it, I would have," Mr Buckingham said.

"Hoërskool Randburg is a great school and I have the greatest respect for the headmaster. But he could have approached us about such a serious matter.

"Instead, without our knowledge, Johnny was spanked viciously a week after the incident.

"You don't even beat an animal like that."

Mr Buckingham, who owns an electrical business, took his son to a doctor on Monday afternoon where pictures were taken.

He then laid a charge of assault against Mr Otto at the Linden police station.

Police yesterday confirmed that the charge had been laid. Johnny claimed a schoolgirl who had not even witnessed his action had complained to her dad who had informed the principal, Mr M J Potgieter.

Johnny said he was only called in a week later and questioned.

He also alleged that he had had to wait for two "anguished" hours in the sickroom before Mr Otto spanked him in his office in the presence of deputy headmaster Mr Piet Grobler.

Mr Potgieter told the Sunday Times this week he could not comment because the matter was sub judice.

"Also, it involves a pupil -- what's best for him is my first priority," he added.

Mr Potgieter referred inquiries to the TED. But, when approached for comment, a TED spokesman said: "These matters are considered to be internal and are treated as such."

However, a Hoërskool Randburg teacher, who did not want to be named, said there was more to Johnny's action "than meets the eye".

The teacher added that Mr Otto had acted "completely within set regulations".

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