Home News #Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke: Teacher ups ante, ropes in Solidarity

#Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke: Teacher ups ante, ropes in Solidarity

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An announcement by the teacher and Solidarity is expected today.

Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke. Picture: Molaole Montsho/ANA

The teacher embroiled in the Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke matter has upped the ante in her quest for justice and has roped in trade union Solidarity for assistance.

On Tuesday, Elana Barkhuizen was together with Solidarity expected to announce legal action to be taken in what they term as her unlawful suspension.

The North West Department of Education suspended Barkhuizen last week for taking a picture showing schoolchildren in a racially segregated classroom.

The picture showed a group of white learners sitting together while their four black classmates sit at a small table near the door.  Barkhuize sent it to the parents to show that all was going well on the first day of schooling. However, one parent leaked it and it ended on social media where it quickly went viral and caused a huge outcry with people saying the school needed to be dealt with for its blatant racism.

The department went to the school the following day and the MEC, Sello Lehari, immediately suspended Barkhuizen for taking the picture,saying the classroom was a place to teach and not take pictures.

However, it’s not yet known who segregated the class and departmental spokesperson, Freddy Sepeng, said they were not getting assistance at the school. Even the school principal was not forthcoming with information, he said.

According to Solidarity’s Chief Executive Dr Dirk Hermann, Lehari’s “hasty and populist” actions led to Barkhuizen’s unlawful suspension while being innocent. 

“Had he listened to the other side, he would have reached a different conclusion. However, he charged and convicted her in bundu court fashion in the presence of a worked-up crowd,” Hermann said.

He said they would also announce legal action to be taken “to have the unlawful suspension of Barkhuizen lifted” as well as steps to be taken following action taken by Lehari.