School slaps sports ban on pupil over ‘untameable’ mom

23 August 2018 - 08:00 By Dave Chambers
Charlotte Damgaard and her daughter Sienna Noon.
Charlotte Damgaard and her daughter Sienna Noon.
Image: Supplied

A Grade 5 netball star was dropped from her school team after the principal described her mother as “untameable”.

Now the Cape Town girl’s mother has been threatened with legal action by the chairman of the Sun Valley Primary School governing body after she distributed a letter to other parents about the principal’s move.

And the Sun Valley principal has written to Sienna Noon’s mother, Charlotte Damgaard, accusing her of having “little self-control”, of putting her daughter through “trauma … each and every day of her life” and of being an “unloving mother”.

The drama began when Damgaard e-mailed Reddam House, saying their coaches were extremely biased when umpiring netball matches. She then wrote a critical letter to Sienna’s teacher, sparking a response from Sun Valley principal Gavin Keller, who said that in the face of an “untameable ... unruly” Damgaard, for the first time in his 36-year career he had issued an instruction that Sienna was not to be picked for any teams.

Spokesperson for education MEC Debbie Schäfer, Jessica Shelver, said: “Our circuit manager has discussed the matter with the principal, who indicated that the learner was prevented from playing because she did not attend practice, and that the learner was not banned from sport as the parent claimed.

“The school’s district official will be meeting with the parent, Mr Keller and the SGB chairperson on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the matter and hear both sides of the story. We will provide full comment following this meeting.”

Damgaard said she had not been invited to Tuesday’s meeting.

Neither Keller nor the school governing body chairman Noel Frost responded to requests for comment.

*This article has been amended to make it clear that the school principal is from Sun Valley.

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