Solidarity launches ‘legal action’ over Schweizer-Reneke teacher’s suspension

Our schools, our rules.

Trade union Solidarity will on Tuesday announce the legal action to be taken to have the suspension of Schweizer-Reneke teacher Elana Barkhuizen lifted.

Barkhuizen was suspended last Thursday after a photo of four black children sitting at a separate table behind a door away from white pupils in a Grade R class at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke went viral. 

The North West school last week dismissed any allegations of discrimination or racism at the school.

“(On Tuesday), trade union Solidarity and suspended Schweizer-Reneke teacher Elana Barkhuizen will address a joint press conference on recent events at the town’s primary school,” the union said in a statement.

The union said it would also announce certain steps to be taken following action taken by North West education MEC Sello Lehari.

Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said Lehari’s hasty and populist actions had led to Barkhuizen’s unlawful suspension while she was innocent.

Hermann said had Lehari listened to the other side, he would have reached a different conclusion.

“However, he charged and convicted her in bundu court fashion in the presence of a worked-up crowd,” Hermann said.

Solidarity said it would also announce steps to be taken against political parties that had exploited the incident for political gain.

Solidarity said Barkhuizen would make a brief statement but she would not be in a position to take questions or grant interviews.

TimesLive

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