Principal fired for ‘misconduct’

2016-09-20 06:00
Brian Isaacs, who was the principal of South Peninsula High School, has been fired from his position after he was found guilty of misconduct. PHOTO: Die Son/ MELINDA sTUURMAN

Brian Isaacs, who was the principal of South Peninsula High School, has been fired from his position after he was found guilty of misconduct. PHOTO: Die Son/ MELINDA sTUURMAN

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Steurhof residents have been left with mixed feelings after the department of education fired Brian Isaacs who was the school principal for South Peninsula High School (SPHS) for 32 years.

Isaacs was found guilty of various charges of misconduct leading to his dismissal.Others applauded the department for doing the “right thing” whilst others say they will fight to make sure that he is re-instated.

On Friday 9 September, in a statement, Debbie Schäfer, provincial minister of education, said in June she received an appeal from Isaacs following the outcome of his disciplinary hearing.

“An independent presiding officer found Isaacs guilty on various charges of misconduct. Due to the nature of the misconduct, the presiding officer found that Isaacs should be dismissed from his post.”

Schäfer says this appeal only relates to the first of two disciplinary hearings.

“There is a further matter in which Isaacs was found guilty of serious charges by a different independent presiding officer. The finding in that matter was also that Isaacs be dismissed from his post. He has also appealed that finding and the process of considering that appeal is still underway.”

Some parents have expressed relief following the WCED decision, with some saying he was “not fit to serve as principal”.In the finding of the disciplinary hearing released by the WCED it states that he was found guilty of the two charges on allegations of insolent behaviour towards persons in authority.

It was found that Isaacs was guilty of Misconduct in terms of section 18 of the Employment Educator Act, after having “displayed disrespect” towards a circuit team manager in the workplace “in the presence of learners, educators and school clients” by “going off on a tirade about (his) role as a messenger for the WCED and not representing educators” and shouting at him to “leave his school”, calling him a “spineless bureaucrat”.

The second charge found Isaacs guilty of calling another circuit team manager a “henchman”.

A resident, Alexis Serra, says it must be understood that Isaacs’ long service and the school’s good results cannot be used to justify any misconduct.She alleges he shouted and insulted both staff and pupils, as well as entering into conflict with Steurhof residents

Enrico Marinus, spokesperson for Isaacs, says they are not accepting the decision by the department. “We are going to appeal this decision at the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) if that decision is not overturned. The SPHS community is still in support of Isaacs and they says he is still their principal.”

Beverley Davids, who has on numerous occasion dealt with the department, says what they did was wrong.

“Isaacs is one of the old-school educators who value education, respect and humanity. The department should not have dismissed him. We deserve more respect from them as we are the parents of the children they have to teach. In our education system we find way too many bullies and a huge lack of respect, compassion, humanity and empathy. This is a bad decision,” she says.

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