A teacher from the Pinnacle College in Kyalami has been suspended after she allegedly said insensitive things to her pupils regarding the death of George Floyd in the United States.
The Gauteng Education Department said it will also investigate what took place.
TEACHER ALLEGEDLY MAKES INSENSITIVE GEORGE FLOYD COMMENTS
According to the Sowetan, the teacher allegedly threatened to re-enact the tragic death of Floyd on her pupils.
The way in which Floyd died has been making worldwide headlines. A police officer was filmed pressing his knee down on Floyd’s neck for several minutes until he eventually lost consciousness.
The United States has since been burning with protests against police brutality and for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The teacher at Pinnacle College in Kyalami allegedly told pupils on Thursday 4 June, that she would put her knee on pupil’s necks if they did not submit their assignments.
According to the Sowetan, the teacher later apologised, saying:
“It wasn’t my intention and I didn’t want to put someone down who lost their lives while people were watching and being helpless. I never wanted to offend you. I never wanted to offend Mr Floyd. I would never; I know you need time, but just know that I am not a person like that, I am not a racist person. I would never have done that. It was a silly thing that popped into my head,” she said.
EDUCATOR SUSPENDED, INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY
Pinnacle College Kyalami did not post a full statement detailing the incident but it did post a brief message on Facebook.
“The teacher was suspended with immediate effect. Pinnacle College has a zero-tolerance for racism. We deeply regret the pain caused. Investigations are ongoing,” it said on Friday 5 June.
A Facebook user commented on the school’s post saying:
“I don’t know her but judging from her statement, she used a daily saying in a very wrong time. We’ve all said, “so and so is on my neck with this task”. I think she was insensitive to what is going on in the world right now. But like I said, I don’t know her, maybe she did try to make a not funny racist joke about being sat on the neck literally as a punishment.”
Gauteng Education spokesperson Steve Mabona told The South African that an investigation is underway.
“If these utterances are attributed to an educator, it is indeed concerning, we will launch our investigation into circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident,” said Mabona.
“We have been promoting non-racialism and will always advocate for [the] same in our schooling environment irrespective [of] public or independent/private schools,” he added.