Ayanda Borotho takes on Bracken High School after 'sexist' remarks to pupil
A teacher allegedly made an inappropriate GBV comment about a female pupil's dress code
Isibaya actress Ayanda Borotho was among several outraged parents who took to the streets this week to protest against a deputy principal at Brackenhurst High School who allegedly made an offensive remark to a female pupil about her clothing.
A pupil at the school in Alberton, Johannesburg, told Sowetan the deputy principal allegedly told a female pupil who was wearing a summer dress: “If something happens to you, it is your fault”.
Pupils and parents labelled the remarks inappropriate, offensive and sexist. They held protests at the school to demand that the deputy principal be expelled.
Ayanda's daughter attends the school, and the star was among those at the protests.
She took to Instagram on Thursday to label the incident "racial gender-based violence (GBV)", and detailed her battles with the school.
“You will not have your way with our children”, she wrote, before describing how she had requested to “confront” the principal about the incident and was apparently denied a meeting.
“The children had been in the sun for two days. I called him, he hung up on me. I then called Bhuti (Gauteng education MEC) Panyaza (Lesufi), who acted immediately to get us assistance. I called other organisations to help. I sent an e-mail to the principal stating this will not go away.”
She said she was invited to meet with the school governing body and principal to discuss the issue over “tea”, but refused.
Ayanda said pupils had apparently been “gaslighted and dismissed in the guise of 'you are misquoting me',", and said they were hurting.
“We are ready for war. Enough!” she said.
Gauteng education department spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed to TshisaLIVE that the teacher had been suspended and would “report to the district office”.
“The Gauteng department of education wish to confirm the incident at Bracken High School. It is alleged a teacher made inappropriate comments to a female pupil about her dress code.
"We immediately dispatched our officials to the school on September 9 2020 to attend to the matter. Our officials met with the school and concerned parents, and assured them action would be taken. The implicated teacher was removed from the school and will report to the district office.”
He said an investigation into the matter had been launched and a preliminary report would be shared with parents on Friday.
“It is anticipated the matter will be finalised before the end of September,” he said.
In a letter to parents and pupils this week, the school said the department had requested interviews with some pupils which “would take place sometime next week”.
Steve said that a team had been dispatched to the school to provide counselling, and the department was saddened by the incident.
“We are very disappointed that such disturbing comments could be attributed to a female teacher. A school environment should be conducive to teach pupils to uphold values. We know what GBV has done and continues to do to our women and children. It is unfortunate that such an incident allegedly occurred in our space. We sincerely apologise to the school community at large about this regrettable incident."
When contacted by TshisaLIVE, the school said they were currently in a meeting to discuss the matter and would comment once a statement had been drawn up.