Brackenfell SGB: Claims of racism are not new

Brackenfell High School in Cape Town admits that the school has issues of race. Pupils submitted a memorandum of complaints and demands for action on discrimination at the school, in July. Courtesy of #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - Brackenfell High School said its proactively addressing concerns of racism after students shared stories of racist incidents on social media.

Tensions have been bubbling after EFF members clashed with parents outside the school over a privately organised matric function attended by only white pupils.

READ: Brackenfell pupils speak out on school racism

Brackenfell SGB chairperson Guillaume Smit said, "the community was established because we were contacted by some of the RCL leaders of our school regarding the BHS story Instagram page.

"We engaged with the organiser of that page and we had a meeting with her about the stuff that was on that page.
Their concerns, which they framed as demands, and as a result of that meeting we committed that as the school to establish a diversity committee."

Smit said the administration of the school was unaware of the page before it was brought to their attention. The pupils did not feel they were able to express themselves at the school.

READ: EFF says they won't disrupt exams at Brackenfell High School

"The leadership of children in our school brought this to the attention we then made the decision to do something proactively because we are standing for inclusivity and non-racialism," Smit said.

The pupils submitted their memorandum of demands, including the creation of an anti-discrimination policy and a system of reporting complaints of racism, to the school administration in July.

Smit explained action has been delayed from the school, "I am going to frame it that you have to also keep in mind that at that stage we were also dealing with the COVID pandemic where a lot of things were kept on the backburner."

READ: Violent clashes at Brackenfell High School condemned

"So the fact that the school is perceived not to have done nothing about these demands is exacerbated."

"Issues of race are prevalent in our whole society, therefore, I would agree that there are issues of race in the school and I would agree that we are proactively addressing it as a school and not because someone is forcing us. The parents and some of the children that were involved in that function have also received death threats," Smit said.


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