It’s been just over two weeks since schools in South Africa reopened after the almost three months closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After a shaky start, school reopened on 1 June and 8 June consecutively.
As the parents and pupils were facing the new Covid-19 normal, several former ‘Model C’ schools in SA were being rocked by accusations of racism. The ongoing Black Lives Matter protests taking place in the US have spurred on students from South African schools to expose their experiences of racism at various semi-private and private schools in SA.
An Instagram account called @yousilenceweamplify has also emerged which anonymously shares pupils’ experiences of racism at their various schools.
These are some of the schools that have been listed by former and current students
Durban Girls College
Durban Girls College was hit with claims of trying to control how students talked about the Black Lives Matter protests on social media. The school allegedly sent out an internal email regarding social media messaging around the death of George Floyd urging students to use good judgment in their social media posts around the matter.
Celeb mom Nandi Mngoma, who went to the school, shared in the media how she, in fact, had heard the k-word for the first time in her life while at the school.
St Cyprian’s, Oranjezicht, Cape Town
The head girl, Malaika Ngwenya, from this private girls’ school, wrote an open letter demanding that parents do better and also detailed the racism she’d experienced at the school.
Ngwenya describes an incident where her class was studying The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
She said her class was reading a scene where one of the characters speaks about how being dark-skinned is perceived as not being beautiful and their teacher turned to her and asked her to explain why dark is perceived as less beautiful.
Bishops Diocesan College
The learners at this school, having had enough of what they describe as systemic racism at the school, organised a protest and handed over a memorandum of demands to the school principal.
Some of these demands include the elimination of their hair policy and the decolonisation of their curriculum.
Trinityhouse Randpark Ridge
A student here who posted about her experiences of racism at the school was told to take her social media post down and subsequently called into a disciplinary hearing.
Herschel Girls High
After the school posted a #blackouttuesday black image on its Instagram account, various social media users and former students accused it of performance activism as they had experienced racism at the school.
The above incidents and associated schools are just some of the incidents that have been revealed by students in South Africa but the list of the schools being implicated is extensive.