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Another school in South Africa has this week gone viral on social media for all the wrong reasons.
Norkem Park High School, located in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, is at the centre of online furore following a number of violent videos posted to Facebook.
Said videos depict a number of the school’s students facing off in physical confrontations. An accompanying image also shows one person seemingly bearing a firearm.
“This is what it has been happening at Norkem Park High since yesterday until today. Student fights which lead to some of them calling their friend/families to come with Guns to school to help them [sic],” writes the initial user who posted the videos to Facebook.
“Today one student stepped another student with a scissor. I wonder what is going to happen tommorow. Serious intervention is needed [sic].”
‘Norkem Park High’ and the social impact
The post has gained traction on the social network since it was published on Tuesday (15 August), racking up between 20 000 and 55 000 views per video, and over 460 shares.
However, the videos have also found their way onto Twitter.
While first mention of the hashtag appeared Thursday afternoon, #NorkemParkHigh began trending mid-Friday across South Africa.
— Lunny (@lunnypinion) August 17, 2017
Twitter users weighed in with their thoughts on the incident, with some suggesting the school shutter its doors.
One user cited “lowering standards, removing corporal punishment and having a violent Deputy minister as a role model” as negative influences.
I remember when schools resolved fights among pupils with detention. Now the system requires the police and govt officials. #NorkemParkHigh
— Boitshepo Monaledi (@Boi_Boi_08) August 18, 2017
#NorkemParkHigh Close down the school!!!
— Tlotli Tshey (@TshepisoNkhabu) August 18, 2017
#NorkemParkHigh is a result of lowering standards, removing corporal punishment and having a violent Deputy minister as a role model
— RocLeFatshe (@Rocason1) August 18, 2017
Google has also seen a rise in search traffic for the terms “norkem park high” and “school fight” on Friday.
According to SABC journalist Chriselda Lewis, two students have been expelled, while a further 10 have been suspended.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi will also today visit the school, he confirmed on Facebook.
South African schools and social media
It’s not the first time this year a South African school has been at the centre of a social media firestorm.
Last month, another Kempton Park school, Windsor House Academy, was ridiculed by the internet for expelling a group of students for breaching the school’s dress code.
St. John’s College, also faced the wrath of social media in July after it failed to remove a teacher for racist conduct.