People who lack the facts are far too quick to jump to conclusions
THE year 2019 is off to a bumpy start. South African drivers were determined to drive intoxicated and injure and kill during the holidays. The Clifton beach narrative suggested to the world that South Africans are uncivilised and unable to manage conflict without slaughtering animals in public spaces.
Black beachgoers screamed racism, white residents claimed selfdefence against crime.
Without any shame, Eskom announced a huge increase in the price of electricity. At the same time, some towns in our province claimed that the drought had inflicted damage of biblical proportions.
As school restarted, some unwise teacher posted a classroom picture on the parent group chat where black kids sat separately from white kids. While logic suggests that no teacher with racist intent would post such a picture, all hell broke loose in any case. The SGB suggested that racism was not intended but rather, the black kids were weaker in English and required special attention. Some media reported that the kids were more calm amid their own.
Who knows what the truth is? After 10 years as an SGB chairman of a primary school, I was aware of practices at various schools that may seem prejudiced. For example, some teachers separate pupils by ability. Thus those weak in maths would be in a different class from those who were strong. In some classes weak pupils sit in front, and in other classes naughty pupils sit closer to the teacher for easier monitoring. Some years ago, a principal separated the girls from the boys as that specific year the boys were too hormonal, which created needless problems. After these boys graduated the problem left with them.
Since nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes, it is vital for parents to note that each school has a principal, a governing body and a school management hierarchy via which problems must be resolved. When we reduce everything that we think, we hear and see to our emotional constructs without genuine proof, chaos will result as parents then regard themselves as revolutionaries.
As parents we must remember that teaching, like nursing and police work, is thankless work that has limited financial rewards. Thus we must not jump at every chance to annoy those who do this work.
We must also be aware that it is an election year and that devious, selfish politicians without integrity will use any opportunity to grandstand and will use racism as a weapon.