News / South Africa / Local News

Thato Mahlangu
1 minute read
23 Aug 2017
2:43 pm

Primary school teacher suspended for ‘humiliating’ learner

Thato Mahlangu

His mother said her son was called “gay” for having plaited his hair.

Picture: Thinkstock

A teacher has been suspended from a Mamelodi east primary school in Pretoria after a situation arose concerning a learner’s plaited hairstyle.

Gauteng department of education spokesperson Steve Mabona said the department removed the teacher, who allegedly referred to the learner using a homophobic slur, from the school as soon as it became aware of the issue, Rekord East reported.

“We strongly condemn the conduct,” said Mabona.

“The implicated teacher was moved to the district (office) pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Mabona said the department was still investigating the matter.

He said learners were advised to report any misconduct to teachers and school management.

“The department also calls upon all educators to refrain from all types of misconduct and assist to create an environment conducive for effective learning and teaching.”

The boy, whose name is withheld because he is under age, told Rekord he felt humiliated.

His mother said her son was called “gay” for having plaited his hair last week.

She said he was paraded around and shown as an example of what a boy’s hair “was not supposed to look like”.

“I was shocked when I heard this. Why couldn’t they have called me to come and take him home? I would have cut his hair,” she said.

“His hair was plaited after he had grown an afro. I thought he would look neat and tidy,” she said.

She told Rekord last week the teacher apologised.

“One of the teachers apologised for her actions,” she said.

Mabona said the department would be hosting a summit in September with all independent schools to address among others, codes of conduct.

Caxton News Service

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter