Parents protest DSK teacher’s reinstatement

Parents of pupils at the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt (DSK) are outraged that a teacher who allegedly uttered racial remarks at pupils has been reinstated.

Parents who protested outside DSK on Tuesday afternoon want a teacher accused of making racist remarks, expelled.

The teacher is said to have told Grade 11s that black pupils would not succeed because of their skin colour.

“My 11-year-old daughter has seen, experienced racism at this school. It’s 2021, why are people thinking they are superior because of the colour of their skin? Why is this being allowed at the school,” said mother of two Madichaba Milosevic.

“We believe she (teacher) was suspended but now she is back. That should not be happening. We want the Human Rights Commission to investigate this matter.”

Ms Milosevic also claimed that only black children had been searched when a camera was stolen at the school.

The posters with messages of disappointment from the parents.

Another mom, who did not want to be identified, said she expected the school to issue a standard, politically correct statement in response.

“They (DSK) have a TDI (Transformation, Development and Inclusion board) that is shut down when there are issues of racism. When the kids experience such racist incidences it’s not heard,” she said.

“In 2019 I recall them preventing me from talking about these issues. They want to maintain this image that they are open-minded and that there is no racism at the school.”

In a response emailed to Atlantic Sun, DSK headmaster Alexander Kirmse said: “Given the seriousness of the allegations, the school temporarily suspended the teacher and instituted a disciplinary process in accordance with school policy.

“The disciplinary hearing was chaired by an external labour law expert and statements from the students and teacher were presented. Counselling was made available to the students. The school has followed all the recommendations in the report compiled by the independent expert.”

Aika Swai, a mother of a seven-year-old pupil, believes there are “cultural misunderstandings” at the school that can be addressed, but for now she said “we want the truth about what happened”.

“Can we see some transparency? We understand there are labour law and due process and confidentiality, but if three weeks have passed since the incident, how long must we wait to find out that a case of hate speech has occurred? As parents we need to know what is happening here as we send our children here and we need to know about these acts of hate.”

The German School’s SRC joined protesting parents at their picket on Tuesday afternoon.

“The students are troubled by this (racist allegations) and we are here to represent them and to stand up for our rights,” said Grade 11 pupil Zanele Mbulali.

Another Grade 11 SRC member Oscar Dahl said: “Students had a silent protest last week and although we have not organised this (protest) we are here to give the concerns of the students to management and vice versa. Racism is a thing and we had a couple of complaints regarding it.”

The SRC representatives joined the protesting parents.