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No probe, no suspension
Brackenfell High School

The provincial education department will not be conducting an investigation into the private matric party held at Brackenfell High school, but will be investigating other issues raised.

“We are not investigating the ‘private party’ – as it was a ‘private party’ and not a school event. Had media reports been true that this was a ‘whites only’ matric function organised by the school, the department would most certainly have acted against the school immediately. This would have been a violation of our Constitution,” says Bronagh Hammond, director of communication at the department.

“It is therefore nonsensical to suggest that we ‘charge’ or ‘suspend’ the principal or teachers – for an event that they had not organised. Whether some teachers attended as guests or not, is not relevant. They were within their rights to attend a dinner at the invitation of a parent,” she says.

In June this year, the department engaged all public schools over the absolute necessity for courageous and ongoing conversations in schools about issues of racism, prejudice and inclusivity.

“The department recognised that our schools needed to redouble their efforts in addressing the inequalities and prejudices that still exist within various schools, as well as, in society in general. While many issues have been resolved through ongoing conversations, and the implementation of various diversity strategies and policies, there is still much to be done,” says Hammond.

During these engagements schools were asked to condemn racism and prejudice; review the school’s Code of Conduct to ensure that all potentially discriminatory aspects are removed; and to initiate open conversations with all stakeholders in the school community.

This should include encouraging the School’s Governing Body to lead conversations with parents and learners.

Hammond says learners are encouraged to report racism or discrimination, of any form, to the department if not being addressed appropriately by the school.

“We have and will intervene where necessary and will continually address these matters until we eradicate it from all schools.”

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