Pupils outside Parkhill Secondary School where classes were disrupted because of their protest against alleged racism at the school. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Classes were disrupted at Parkhill Secondary School in Greenwood Park after pupils boycotted lessons on Tuesday, alleging that a teacher had made several racist remarks to black pupils.

Pupils claim that they have been called k*****, “monkeys” and “baboons” by a senior teacher at the school.

On Tuesday, nearly 100 pupils said they were forced out of the school by the principal after they demanded that action be taken against the teacher.

The pupils are refusing to return to class unless action is taken.

When the Daily News arrived at the school, scores of pupils were seen milling around.

According to teachers who spoke to the Daily News, no classes had taken place.

Some of the teachers said they were sympathetic to the pupils’ concerns and wanted the issue resolved.

A Grade 11 pupil told the Daily News that the teacher would call her a “fat baboon”, because of her weight.

“She has been doing this since I was in Grade 8. She calls me fat all the time and when I try to report her, I am told to calm down.”

Matric pupils said they were told that if they did not end their protest, they would not write their exams.

Pradashni Govender, a teacher at the school, said some of the teachers were pitting coloured pupils against African pupils in the way they treated them.

“They do not respect African pupils; they think they are just stupid,” Govender said.

Another teacher, Mandla Sene, said he supported the pupils’ protest.

He said the principal should address the issues raised.

He added that it was not just pupils who had experienced racism but teachers, too, at the hands of the same teacher.

The principal, a Mr Wagner, referred all questions to the Department of Education.

Education spokesperson Kwazi Mthethwa said, “We condemn racism and we are going to make sure that those who continue to promote this barbaric act are punished.”

Daily News