Pupils’ panties inspected

2014-06-03 00:00

AFTER a cleaner found a used condom in a bathroom at a private school in Turffontein on Thursday, the principal immediately asked all the girls in the school to report to their classrooms and show their panties to two teachers.

Cidalia Olivier, the principal at Jordao College, informed the girls’ parents in a letter the next day that the purpose of the inspection was “clearly to identify” any blood marks stemming from participation in the alleged sexual deed.

The boys were not inspected.

The pupils wear jeans and golf shirts as their uniform.

Olivier informed the parents the two delegated teachers had acted professionally during the inspection, adding that no physical contact took place between the pupils and the two teachers during the inspection in the privacy of the classrooms.

No “clear evidence” of sexual activity was found among the female pupils.

A parent of one of the pupils said she was shocked when her daughter informed her of the inspection on Thursday.

She said she did not expect something like this from a so-called “good school” and demanded that the Human Rights Commission (HRC) investigate what she termed the violation of her daughter’s privacy. “The principal not only owes the pupils an apology, but also the parents … She must learn to treat people with respect and communicate better with the parents,” the mother said.

She said if she were the principal, she would first have contacted all the parents and asked their permission to inspect the pupils.

Olivier wrote in her letter to the parents it has always been her aim to act immediately in cases of any activity or action by staff, visitors or pupils that goes against the school’s code of conduct.

The first paragraph of the code is titled “Human Rights” and it stipulates that while pupils recognise the dignity and equality of all people, Jardao College will make use of “both positive and negative reinforcement” for those who act in an unbecoming manner. The paragraph concludes that “no individual right is greater than the group’s right”.

Olivier apologised if any pupil felt her right to privacy had been violated.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi condemned the incident in the strongest terms, but said Olivier had defended the school’s position. “The school felt what they did was correct and that it protected the child’s interests. I, however, feel differently — you do not treat a child in this manner.”

He has asked the school to again apologise to the pupils and said he will act on the recommendations of the HRC.

HRC spokesperson Isaac Mangena said they are investigating the incident, although they have not yet received an official complaint.

The school referred all media inquiries to the department.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.