School racism probe mooted

Human rights body reacts to growing number of cases

AN investigation into racism at schools is being considered by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in the wake of cases reported across the country.

In an incident reported to The Times at the weekend, a teacher at a school in Witbank, Mpumalanga, allegedly swore at a parent over the phone.

For nearly a year, the woman’s daughter had complained of physical, verbal and emotional abuse at her new high school.

But a call to the school on Thursday turned sour for the concerned mother when the Grade 9 head allegedly lost his temper and insulted her.

In a recording sent to The Times, a man is heard shouting at the 39-year-old mother: “I said f **k you. Don’t you understand? F,– ,– , K. F**k you.”

The man goes on to tell her that she is stupid for wasting her airtime, before calling her a baboon.

The woman’s 17-year-old daughter, a Grade 11 pupil, started attending Reyno-park High at the beginning of last year after the family moved from Cape Town.

She said her daughter had started complaining of mistreatment at the hands of teachers a few months into her Grade 10 academic year. But it seems the girl is not the only victim of alleged abuse at Reynopark, which is estimated to have more than 90% black pupils.

Complaints of alleged misconduct against staff members include:

  • Teachers drinking at school or coming to work drunk;
  • A teacher smoking dagga during school hours; and
  • Corporal punishment and the harassment of pupils.