Gauteng teacher not guilty of racism

2014-09-30 17:42

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Johannesburg - A teacher from the National School of the Arts (NSA) who was at the centre of a racism scandal has been found not guilty, the school said on Tuesday.

"This follows two intensive independent legal investigations and a disciplinary hearing," school governing body chairperson Brenda Sakellarides said in a statement.

"On learning of the allegations the NSA immediately placed the educator Mrs Nell on precautionary suspension, while the Gauteng department of education [GDE] and the NSA launched separate legal investigations into the allegations."

Sakellarides said neither legal firm found conclusive evidence that the teacher was racist, but both revealed possible breaches of the SA Council of Educators (Sace) code of conduct and recommended that the school conduct a disciplinary hearing to probe all allegations further.

In June The Star reported that a Grade 8 history teacher allegedly told her class the reason government was failing was because it was led by black people.

A 13-year-old girl sent an SMS to her mother saying the teacher told the class blacks were stupid for voting for the ANC, and that in the Western Cape people were "more than happy" with the DA, "thanks to white people".

The school said the disciplinary hearing, presided over by an independent presiding officer, also found no evidence of racism and the teacher was cleared on this charge.

"She was found to be in breach of certain Sace clauses relating to discipline and insensitivity. However, none of these breaches indicated a racial bias," she said.

The SGB had accepted the findings and recommendations of the disciplinary hearing, Sakellarides added.

The teacher's suspension has been lifted with immediate effect.

"This has been a very challenging and potentially destructive time for the NSA," said Sakellarides.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  johannesburg  |  education  |  racism

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