The Gauteng department of education is currently investigating the case of a teacher who allegedly threatened to “put her knee on her students’ necks and give them something to protest about” if they failed to submit their assignments.
The statement was an obvious reference to the murder of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died in police custody after a policeman was recorded with his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked protests against racism across the US and other parts of the world.
A news report by EWN details how Sonya de Vynck, a teacher at Pinnacle College in Kyalami, allegedly uttered these comments during an online conference and later apologised after pupils and parents reacted with outrage.
De Vynck reportedly said, “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.”