Rustenburg SGB: Allegations against school didn't support a finding of racism
The School Governing Body (SGB) at Rustenburg Girls' Junior School (RGJS) has broken its silence on allegations of racism at the school.
This after former grade five teacher Nozipho Mthembu accused the school of discrimination.
Mthembu was the first-ever black class teacher at the school.
The SGB's head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation sub-committee says the allegations facing RGJS don't support a finding of racism.
Sarah Henshall says the media has deviated from the facts of the story.
According to Henshall, Ms Mthembu herself told the school management she didn't believe RGJS had been racist.
Meanwhile, the SGB has rejected calls for it to resign with immediate effect, citing that only 5% of parents at the school wanted to see them go.
Henshall says the school is tackling implicit or unconscious bias through a more diverse interview panel, broader advertising channels for teaching posts and by grooming student teachers enrolled in learnerships at the school.
She adds that focus groups and parent engagement evenings have been held to better understand how pupils can feel "entirely themselves" at school.
At the moment, approximately 64% of the school children are white.
There are 80 black learners in the school this year. Henshall says in 2014, there were only 48.
Henshall maintains that RGJS will continue working on broadening the norms, traditions, symbols and cultural experiences at the school.
This, she says can be done through things such as school signage, extra-mural activities and the admissions policy,
She discussed the challenges facing former model C schools with a legacy of whiteness and apartheid geography.
The bigger question here is transformation... and the numbers are only the beginning of the journey.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
Approximately 5% of parents are calling for us to resign... I don't think that resignation is the answer... People always want a scapegoat.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
Things at Rustenburg are far from perfect, but a lot has happened in the last nine months since we've been on the SGB.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
We understand that institutionally, we need to change.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
For us as the SGB, the reason we didn't come on earlier is because we wanted to take some time and reflect on what had happened.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
The allegations didn't support a finding of racism.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
Ms Mthembu herself says she didn't believe the school had been racist and that she was grateful for the support she has received.Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
If we have to make to make places available for children who live in that area, we are going to end up with more white children. But we are trying very hard to accept children from further away,Sarah Henshall, head of inclusivity, diversity and transformation subcommittee at RGJS SGB
Listen to the conversation on The John Maytham Show:
Tarryn developed rheumatoid arthritis at age 18 and is dedicated to helping create accessible spaces for wheelchair access.Read More
Safety and security during tourism season in the Cape is everybody's responsibility, says Winde.Read More
The Solidarity Research Institute's Monica Mynhardt gives insight into the union's tenth annual Bank Charges Report.Read More
Dave Hurwitz of Simon's Town Boat Company describes the remarkable sight of massive super-groups of whales near Saldanha Bay.Read More
Heartlands Baby Sanctuary in Somerset West cares for little ones who are ill. abandoned, neglected or have special needs.Read More
The centre trains visually impaired people to become massage therapists, impacting both clients and employees in a remarkable way.Read More
Load shedding is back. Eskom will implement stage 2 load shedding from Thursday afternoon.Read More
Truecaller Insights report ranks South Africa second in the world for sms spam, ninth for spam calls.Read More
Willem Breytenbach currently faces two charges, one of indecent assault and one of sexual assault.Read More
CapeNature has come under fire after it emerged that it euthanised the lion cub which was rescued from an Athlone home in August.Read More