Racism at school a disgrace: DA

Bloemfontein - The Free State education department must fire racist teachers, the Democratic Alliance in the Free State said on Thursday.

“It is a disgrace that children at a public school in a democratic South Africa can be exposed to insults and racist abuse by teachers,” DA Free State leader Patricia Kopane said.

A total of 267 public school teachers have been fired over the past two-and-a-half years, says Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. Credit: AFP

The DA has welcomed the findings by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) into allegations of racism at Dr Viljoen Combined School in Bloemfontein this week.

The SAHRC found the staff at the school to be guilty of using hate speech towards black and coloured pupils.

The commission started investigating allegations that pupils at the school were exposed to dehumanising and racist treatment by the school's staff, including the principal in May 2013.

The children at the school alleged the school's staff called them by racist, derogatory, and belittling names.

The commission made various recommendations for the school and the Free State education department to follow and to report on to curb racism in local schools.

Kopane said the education department should implement the recommendations in the report and educate teachers at the school to treat all pupils with dignity.

“But crucially, the teachers found guilty of racism must be fired and barred from ever teaching again,” she said.

Kopane said public schools should be places of quality education, where children were taught the value of human dignity.