High school pupil’s racist rants get her suspended
A GRADE 11 Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School pupil – believed to have repeatedly used the word “k ***** ” in two audio recordings which have now gone viral on social media – has been suspended.
The girl’s identity cannot be revealed because she is a minor, but the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education’s spokesperson, Kwazi Mthethwa, yesterday confirmed her suspension.
He said they had prepared a letter to her parents, informing them she was being suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.
Mthethwa said that any further disciplinary action would depend on what was revealed in the investigation.
“Our main aim is to correct her behaviour,” he said. “She was not born racist, no one is. She has picked this kind of language up from somewhere.”
He also said the department was going to broaden its investigation and probe allegations that this was not an isolated incident. The recordings sparked an outcry on social media.
One Twitter user said: “Maybe now they’ll actually address the constant issue of racism at that school since it’s affecting something they care about. Qhubekani.”
In another post she said: “I remember, in 2015, a yt girl in Grade 11 then, said black girls don’t need an education to be maids. What was done about that konje? Lol! (sic).”
Another Twitter user, and pupil at the school, said: “We writing exams. Teachers went around to every class telling girls to calm down. Apparently they said she was stressed and confused.”
Mthethwa said the department was also looking into this.
Meanwhile, a petition – calling for the school governing body to take action against the girl allegedly involved, and racism in general – has been created.
Those behind it want:
The girl to issue an unreserved, public apology, “in writing as well as in front of the whole school at assembly”.
The girl is to be banned from taking up any leadership positions at the school.
The school houses are to be renamed in honour of “South African women who were involved in the Struggle against apartheid”.
A zero-tolerance anti-racism policy to be implemented, with a transparent process for reporting racist incidents at the school.
Pupils being admitted to the school to be made to attend a compulsory course on race relations in South Africa, “covering things such as the history behind the use of the k-word, the constitution and the necessity of transformation in an unequal society”.
Pupils at the school have planned a silent protest on Friday.
In the first of the recordings at the root of the furore, the girl says: “I’m so offended right now. F ****** k ****** don’t know how to pronounce my name. Yoh they going to get it from me on Monday. You don’t dare put me on that… (sic)”.
In the second, she says: “But at the end of the day I still have to put up with this whole flipping grade. Flipping k ****** not knowing how to flipping spell and pronounce my name. ’Cos you’re not in my shoes right now.”
The recordings were circulated widely on various social media platforms and it is understood the rant was spurred by someone on the Spring Ball committee for the Grade 11s misspelling the name of the girl in the recordings.
The SGB has issued a statement condemning the language used in the recordings and stating it has a “zero-tolerance” policy on racism.