Curro takes allegations of racism seriously, says the school

Curro takes allegations of racism seriously, says the school. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Curro takes allegations of racism seriously, says the school. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Feb 14, 2024


The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Gauteng has welcomed the suspension of Curro teacher who has slurred racial slurs towards three black learners, referring to them as monkeys on Friday.

It is reported that the said teacher hailed these slurs as the response to the learners’ disruptive behaviour in the classroom.

In condemning the incident, Cosatu said any form of racism, discrimination, or derogatory language, particularly in educational institutions should not be tolerated in any way.

“Such behaviour not only violates the principles of equality and human dignity but also undermines the values that should be instilled in our children through the education system.

“We commend Curro Holdings for taking swift action by suspending the teacher pending an investigation into the matter. The investigation must be transparent, and impartial, and appropriate disciplinary measures must be taken if the allegations are substantiated.

“Whilst we appreciate steps taken by Curro, we blame the sluggish government economic policies that are failing to transform society and eradicate our racially skewed levels of employment, income, poverty and inequality. If society is not economically transformed, then racism imposed by a wealthy elite will never stop,” the trade union said in a statement.

Curro spokesperson Nosi Mlotsana said the school became aware of the incident on Friday, adding that it immediately instituted an investigation on the matter.

Mlotsana, however, alluded that the incident took place in 2023 during the first quarter of the academic calendar.

“At the time, no formal complaint was made through any channels at the school or within the Curro organisation. The executive head of the school also became aware of the allegations on Friday and immediately informed the Curro head office.

“On learning of the allegations, Curro has suspended the teacher with immediate effect and launched a disciplinary inquiry in terms of our policies and procedures. These will proceed following due process over the coming week.

“Curro is committed to providing counselling or other support to the affected learners after engaging with their parents,“ she added.

COSATU Gauteng called on the Department of Education to monitor the investigation closely and ensure that it was conducted in accordance with the law and also urges Curro Academy Protea Glen to engage with the affected learners and their parents, providing the necessary support to address the emotional impact of the incident.

“We further call on all stakeholders, including educators and learners, to actively contribute to creating an environment that fosters tolerance, respect, and appreciation for our diverse society. Racism has no place in our schools, and we must collectively work towards building an education system that upholds the values of equality, unity, and justice.”

The school further said it had demonstrated previously that it took racism allegations seriously when incidents like racism had been brought to light.

“We view them as urgent matters requiring due process of thorough, fair investigation and a considered response to ensure that the outcome is appropriate.

“Across all its schools, Curro Holdings reiterates that it is completely committed to unity, racial cohesion, and dignity for all. We do not condone any form of discrimination, bullying, intolerance, hate speech, or derogatory language that affects human dignity.”.

The Star