Scielo RSS <![CDATA[PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad]]> vol. 14 num. 6 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Delictual liability of the school sports coach a security matter</b>]]> SUMMARY Sports law can be regarded as one of the latest developments in law. As applied to the school setting, and with special reference to sport coaching, this article deals with the five fundamental elements of the law of delict that influence and inform the execution of the duty of care of the educator-coach. This article pays special attention to the legal aspects related to the security, on the one hand, of the learners as participants, but also the educator-coach in his or her respective roles as coach, organiser of sport events, referee and sport official on the other. The basic research question is: To what extent can educator-coaches increase their own security by ensuring safer participation of learners? How can these educators prevent or minimise the occurrence of serious injuries during practices (as coaches) and during meetings, contests or matches (as officials, such as being referees)? A certain amount of risk is typical of and inherent to most types of sports, especially those that involve physical contact or in which potentially dangerous implements are used. In contrast, many learners are coached by educators that do not necessarily have enough experience, skills or knowledge regarding the more advanced techniques of the specific sports code. This contrast between the inherent risks and the lack of expertise of many educator-coaches creates an amount of insecurity for both the participants and the coaches. This article includes a discussion of the application of the five fundamental elements of the South African law of delict to school sports coaching. To illustrate the ways in which courts consider sports law issues, examples from court cases related to different types of sports are analysed, and, where applicable, cases from other countries and from outside the sphere of education are also included. This discussion is followed by an overview of those legal provisions that impact on sports participation at school. The legal duty of care of all educators stems from the special relationship between an educator and a learner. Not acting to ensure the safety of a participant constitutes wrongfulness on the side of the educator-coach, which may lead to being held liable for damage to the participant. This article specifically considers the higher standard of care expected from the educator-coach, as compared to the normal reasonable person, based on the former's specific training in working with learners. The acts or omissions of higher qualified and more experienced educator-coaches will also be measured against a higher standard. This article concludes with the recommendation that educator-coaches should not be overly reassured by section 60 of the South African Schools Act. Ensuring the safety and security of learners should still be the main priority for all educators. Educator-coaches should remember that, true to their calling as educators, and consistent with section 28(2) of the Constitution, a child's best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child. <![CDATA[<b>Liability for the payment of public school fees</b>]]> SUMMARY The author highlights some legal issues regarding the liability of parents and other individuals to pay public school fees in the light of recent judicial precedent, specifically Fish Hoek Primary School v GW 2009 JOL 24624 (SCA). The various possible legal bases for the liability for such fees are examined. In this regard the common law duty to maintain as amended by legislation; contractual liability; and the concepts of household necessaries, stipulatio alteri, negotiorum gestio and unjustified enrichment are considered. <![CDATA[<b>Religious and cultural dress at school</b>: <b>a comparative perspective</b>]]> SUMMARY This article investigates and compares the different approaches towards the dress code of learners* in South Africa and the United States of America (US), as the US mainly base litigation concerning school dress code on their freedom of speech/expression clause, while similar South African court cases focus more on religious and cultural freedom. In South Africa, school principals and School Governing Bodies are in dire need of clear guidelines on how to respect and honour the constitutionally entrenched right to all of the different religions and cultures. The crisis of values in education arises from the disparity between the value system espoused by the school and the community, and that expressed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which guarantees learners' fundamental rights, including those of freedom of religion, culture, expression and human dignity. On the one hand, the South African Schools Act requires of School Governing Bodies to develop and implement a Code of Conduct for learners, and on the other, that they strictly adhere to the Constitution of the country when drawing up their dress codes. The right of a religious group to practise its religion or of a cultural group to respect and sustain its culture must be consistent with the provisions of the Bill of Rights (which is entrenched in the Constitution) and this implies that other rights may not infringe on the right to freedom of religion and culture. In the US, although there is no legislation that protects learners' freedom of religion and culture at schools, their First Amendment guides the way. Their Supreme Court respects the religious values of all citizens provided that they are manifested off public school premises. While we acknowledge the existence of religious and cultural diversity at South African schools, this paper focuses on the tension among and on the existence of different approaches towards the human rights of learners from different religious and cultural backgrounds in respect of dress codes. <![CDATA[<b>The obligation to provide free basic education in South Africa</b>: <b>an international law perspective</b>]]> SUMMARY In South Africa many learners are denied the right to basic education because of the levying of school fees and other educational charges, in spite of the international obligation imposed on government to provide free primary education. This article examines the exact nature and extent of this obligation by exploring the concept of "free" basic education. The applicable international instruments and their interpretation as well as the significance of the right to education as a central, facilitative right are examined in order to establish the content of the right to basic education and the legal obligations that ensue. Against this background, the implications of the South African Constitutional Court's approach to the realisation of socio-economic rights and the possibility of the establishment of a core minimum obligation are analysed. It is argued that learners in South Africa may come from different socio-economic backgrounds but as learners in the same public school domain and as equal bearers of their constitutional right to basic education all of them are entitled to the same type and quality of free basic education. <![CDATA[<b>The right to dignity and restorative justice in schools</b>]]> SUMMARY A retributive and punitive approach is normally adopted in dealing with misbehaviour in South African schools. Despite the legal abolition of corporal punishment, more than 50 percent of schools still administer it. Other forms of punishment generally applied are also punitive in nature. The right to dignity of all of the parties affected by misbehaviour in schools is considered in this analysis. The possibility of adopting restorative justice as an alternative disciplinary approach is examined as a way of protecting, promoting and restoring the dignity of the victims of such misbehaviour. <![CDATA[<b>Sexual harassment in the education sector</b>]]> SUMMARY Education should safely shape the minds and attitudes of young adults and children, especially with the in loco parentis principle in mind. Young adults who have experienced sexual harassment in the very environment that should have protected them as learners suffer greatly from social problems and from emotional and academic strain. Victims often become future harassers themselves. Sexual harassment should be eradicated from the education sector in toto to ensure a safe learning environment. High incidences of harassment have been found among college students in America, while a very small percentage of such transgressions have been reported. Similar statistics in South African universities are not available, the problem is therefore managed in a void. The position in schools is more alarming. In South Africa it has been found that 30 per cent of girls are raped at school and that male learners and educators are the main culprits. Not only is the magnitude of this problem gravely underestimated, but the effect of sexual harassment on learners has also not been managed properly. The authors argue that the focus is on avoiding legal responsibility and accountability, rather than on being proactive. The historic invisibility of sexual harassment in education can be attributed to the wrongful silencing thereof.