The Eastern Cape education department says the culprit behind the mass coming-out scandal will “face the wrath of the department” after 38 girls at Ulwazi High School in Mdantsane, East London, were forced to reveal their sexual orientation to their parents.
School principal Nomampondomise Kosani was reported by The Daily Dispatch as having rounded up the parents, guardians and teachers of the girls, aged between 14 and 18, at the school to watch as the pupils pointed out their girlfriends.
Kosani’s actions come after two girls were found kissing in the bathroom. She then allegedly pinpointed 38 pupils and sent them home with a letter ordering them to come to school with their parents.
Some pupils said they felt their rights were being violated and were made to feel as if being lesbian was a crime.
The incident has apparently put the pupils in danger of violence and abuse at home, as some parents allegedly said they would force their children to stop being gay.
Some parents, however, were shocked by the school’s actions and believed their children had the right to identify with the sexual orientation they felt comfortable with.
Eastern Cape education department spokesman Malibongwe Mtima was quoted by the Dispatch as saying: “Whoever is behind this will have to face the wrath of the department.”
The legal adviser for the provincial Commission for Gender Equality, Kerry-Anne Oosthuyzen, said the matter could be taken to the commission and then the Equality Court.
Kosani refused to comment and said the manner in which she dealt with the “problems” at her school was not a concern for the media. The school is known for producing some of the best matric results in the province.