Heathfield residents, joined by the school governing body were expected to handover a memorandum demanding that the charges against Heathfield High School principal Wesley Neumann be dropped. Picture Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Heathfield residents, joined by the school governing body were expected to handover a memorandum demanding that the charges against Heathfield High School principal Wesley Neumann be dropped. Picture Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Residents, school body demand charges be dropped against principal Neumann

By Athandile Siyo Time of article published May 11, 2021

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A GROUP of Heathfield residents have demanded that the charges against embattled Heathfield High School principal Wesley Neumann be dropped.

Neumann faces six charges following his refusal to reopen the school amid the Covid-19 infection peak last year.

Parents, pupils, the School Governing Body (SGB), and advocacy groups have come out to support Neumann, saying he did what was best for learners at the time.

SGB treasurer and Action Committee Member, Brandon De Kock said: “We as staff, SGB, students, and Community will be handing over a Memorandum to the Head of Department (HOD) of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) from the school community of Heathfield High. We demand that the charges be dropped. Mr. Neumann did what was best for the students and we support him.

“We have received lots of letters of support from various organisations and people calling for the charges to be dropped as well and we will be handing over the memorandum in this regard.”

A group of close to 50 academics have penned a letter to the new WCED head, Brent Walters, saying: “We believe these charges and the ongoing and protracted disciplinary hearing are grossly unfair, unjust and selective.

“They detract from efforts to create an environment at the school conducive to learning, teaching and administration. In these uncertain and unprecedented times, the matter of school attendance should be resolved through collaborative and ongoing discussion and decision-making in the interest of the school’s learners.”

They said Neumann should be applauded not punished for his engagement with the school community about the safest way forward at that difficult time.

This is a developing story. For full details see Wednesday’s Cape Times.

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