Race row teacher flees
THE suspended teacher at the centre of the race storm at Laerskool Schweizer-reneke has apparently fled town.
Yesterday, while the school was open, many parents did not send their children to school, while some white parents arrived during the morning to remove their children.
The school was the site of protests by various organisations, with many calling for the headmaster to be suspended pending a probe into the school management.
At the school, the situation was tense yesterday as black parents chanted outside the locked gate while white parents held the gate to prevent black parents from breaking through. On the other side of the school, white parents broke the fence and removed their children from the school.
“The principal must be suspended,” protesters told the North West Education MEC, Sello Lehari.
The outrage comes after a picture depicting four black children seated at a corner table separated from a large group of white children in the Grade R class went viral on social media on the first day of term on Wednesday.
The teacher, a Ms Barkhuizen, reportedly sent the picture to parents in a Whatsapp group showing them that the children were settling in well on their first day at school.
Lehari held a meeting with school management and announced that the teacher had been suspended with immediate effect.
Reports yesterday indicated that she was traumatised and she and her family did not feel safe. Parents came to her defence, saying she loved her charges.
The school is the only one in the town, and is predominantly white.
The Young Communist League said the school should be closed temporarily to allow the affected children to heal. They called for the suspended teacher to be replaced with a black teacher.