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.

Read: Enough excuses for racism say Parents For Change

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.

Also read: Why SA schools must tackle systemic transformation issues, not the symptoms

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:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
[LISTEN] SA's Ndlovu Youth Choir through to America's Got Talent semi-finals

[LISTEN] SA's Ndlovu Youth Choir through to America's Got Talent semi-finals

The choir has been wowing TV audiences in the US and across the world with their energetic performances.

Surfer comes up with insp-EYE-ring way to ward off sharks - take a look!

Surfer comes up with insp-EYE-ring way to ward off sharks - take a look!

Large eye stickers are being stuck to the bottom of surfboards in order to deter sharks.

'The long wait is over'  - PSL returns to SABC following blackout

'The long wait is over' - PSL returns to SABC following blackout

The end of the impasse comes after weeks of high-level meetings between the public broadcaster, government, and MultiChoice.

Zuma maintains he did not call Hanekom an apartheid spy

Zuma maintains he did not call Hanekom an apartheid spy

The former president has filed papers with the Durban High Court in response to Derek Hanekom's defamation charges.

Why SA schools must tackle systemic transformation issues, not the symptoms

Why SA schools must tackle systemic transformation issues, not the symptoms

Educator and author Roy Hellenberg discusses how to measure inclusivity and social cohesion in schools.

Enough excuses for racism say Parents For Change

Enough excuses for racism say Parents For Change

Parents for Change explains its stance on the Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School racism claims.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] SA's Ndlovu Youth Choir through to America's Got Talent semi-finals

[LISTEN] SA's Ndlovu Youth Choir through to America's Got Talent semi-finals

The choir has been wowing TV audiences in the US and across the world with their energetic performances.

Surfer comes up with insp-EYE-ring way to ward off sharks - take a look!

Surfer comes up with insp-EYE-ring way to ward off sharks - take a look!

Large eye stickers are being stuck to the bottom of surfboards in order to deter sharks.

'Ramaphosa wants to find ways to force pension fund managers to invest in SOEs'

'Ramaphosa wants to find ways to force pension fund managers to invest in SOEs'

Daily Maverick associate editor at Scorpio Sikonathi Mantshantsha takes a look at the week's financial news.

Lion cub worth R50k rescued from house in Cape Town

Lion cub worth R50k rescued from house in Cape Town

The feline was found by detectives at a property in Athlone on Wednesday following a tip-off.

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir shines once again with latest AGT performance

[WATCH] Ndlovu Youth Choir shines once again with latest AGT performance

The inspiring South African choirU2's Beautiful Day at America's Got Talent quarter-finals.

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

SA’s richest woman opens up about being a refugee and becoming a billionaire

Magda Wierzycka – Sygnia’s renegade CEO – on her attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.).

Mystery solved: Why smelly, blue sewage has been leaking into Cape Town forest

Mystery solved: Why smelly, blue sewage has been leaking into Cape Town forest

The reason for the leakage has been revealed, explains Table Mountain Aerial Cableway MD Wahida Parker.