A primary school student from Fish Hoek has been withdrawn from school after watching a movie version of the classic Shakespearean play, Macbeth. As a result, the student has attended 10 trauma counselling sessions and is now being homeschooled.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, the father of the grade 7 pupil stated that at no point was he or his wife made aware of the audiovisual content that was shown to their daughter. According to him, his daughter started becoming more tearful and anxious as the audiovisual content she was being shown at school became more “disturbing, harmful, age-inappropriate and violent”.
Her class was shown Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, despite Shakespeare only being prescribed during high school English classes. The film is R-rated, which means that viewers who are younger than 17-years-old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The pupil also alleged that they were shown a film titled Amistad, which is based on the true events that transpired on a slave ship called La Amistad in 1839, and is also R-rated. “The scene that still sticks out most for my child is that of the captured slave woman giving birth at the bottom of a slave ship and then dying,” her father said.
The Western Cape’s Department of Education has now launched an investigation to recommend clear guidelines that will be issued when selecting appropriate audiovisual material.