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Protestant school does not accept Catholics

MIDRAND - A resident of Midrand, who has asked to remain anonymous, alleged she was declined a place for her child in Grade 1 because she is Catholic.

The woman said she emailed Christ Church Preparatory School to ask about enrolment and more information about the school on 19 November.

“I wanted my child to attend the school because it is very close to where I stay,” she said. “I was surprised to be denied a place because I am Catholic and I was told the school only takes Protestant pupils.”

Principal of Christ Church Preparatory School, David Bell and the school’s spokesperson, Martin Morrison said the school was not segregating or discriminating against anyone.

“We are a Protestant school,” said Bell. “We have nothing against children who were not accepted. We are also not against other religions and faiths, especially not Catholics. We have to safeguard our basis of faith by employing staff and office bearers who are in agreement with all our beliefs.”

Morrison added that the school enrolled pupils who share the same beliefs as the school. “Many schools in South Africa have the same religious standards,” he said. “There are Hindu, Christian and Jewish schools that strictly accept children from the same faith background.”

Morrison explained that Christ Church Preparatory School was a voluntary association and it was not a section 21 school. The school makes no profit.

“For a child to be accepted at the school, one of the parents has to become a member of the association,” said Morrison.

Bell said, “Our school is run by the board and the board members are part of the association. We have not had such incidents in the past. Many people understand and accept our policy when we explain that we are a Protestant school. Nothing malicious was intended when we turned down anyone.”

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