Cape Town school hostel superintendent is out of a job – despite being cleared of racial discrimination


Cape Town school hostel superintendent is out of a job – despite being cleared of racial discrimination

TMG Digital | 2017-02-09 14:31:22.0

Wynberg Girls High School.

Image by: Facebook/Juliet Brendan Powell

A hostel superintendent at Wynberg Girls High School has been cleared of racial discrimination.

She was put on special leave late last year after pupils from the school’s Waterloo boarding house took to social media to accuse her of racial and verbal abuse.

The school said in a statement on Thursday that the School Governing Body had commissioned an independent investigation of the allegations by a member of the Cape Bar and former Acting High Court Judge.

After interviewing a wide cross section of learners and hostel staff‚ Advocate Diane Davis submitted a written report to the School Governing Body containing her findings and recommendations.

“The chief finding in the report is that the Hostel Superintendent has not broken the law. More particularly‚ she has not committed sexual assault or harassment‚ emotional abuse‚ theft‚ hate speech‚ racial discrimination or unlawful breaches of confidentiality or privacy‚ all of which she stood accused of by certain learners in Waterloo House.

“Advocate Davis found that the learners at Waterloo House had a legitimate cause for complaint‚ however‚ regarding inconsistent treatment and the lack of a uniform set of rules and disciplinary code. This situation lent itself to unfortunate misperceptions which‚ while unfounded in fact‚ were the cause of understandable unhappiness.

She also found that there had been a breakdown of discipline in the hostel‚ and that the re-establishment of good discipline and order at Waterloo House needs to be addressed as a priority.”

Recommendations made in the report include:

– the appointment of a Xhosa speaking Hostel Superintendent;

– the preparation of a revised disciplinary code which sets out clear rules; and

– bringing in professionals to work with the hostel learners and hostel staff in an effort to promote better understanding in the hostel for the benefit of all its learners.

Despite being cleared on the main accusations against her‚ the former superintendent is not retaining her position.

The school statement said: “The School Governing Body and the Hostel Superintendent are in mutual agreement that her employment contract be terminated due to the operational requirements of the hostel and the school. A fair termination of her employment contract has accordingly been agreed upon.”

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