Probe launched after Durban teacher tells pupils white people ‘genetically smarter’
Westville Girls’ High School says it has launched an investigation after a teacher allegedly told pupils that white people are “genetically smarter” than people of colour.
According to a source, the incident happened during a Grade 12 Afrikaans class last week.
Pupils in class did not immediately react, but some were distraught after class, according to the source.
Steven Tait, chairperson of the school governing body, confirmed that the alleged incident happened on Friday.
“We take any incidents of this nature very seriously. The incident has triggered an internal investigation by the school and we’re also seeking external legal advice,” he said.
“At this stage I can’t talk specifically on the case. Our priority is the girls and creating a good, safe learning environment for them.”
Last year, the school was embroiled in a racism scandal when a teacher allegedly used a derogatory term in class, referring to black people. After an outcry by parents and civil organisations, the teacher resigned.
Tait acknowledged that another racist incident did not look good for the school, but said provisions were in place to deal with the issues expeditiously.
Thirona Moodley, spokesperson for the National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of SA, said there was no place in a learning institution for such a teacher.
“We would have hoped the school would have workshopped their teachers to not make any more controversial comments, and on appropriate conduct,” she said.
Kwazi Mthethwa, spokesperson for the Education Department, said it had not received a report about the incident. “The department is generally against any forms of racism and any teacher found to be guilty of such will face the music.”