EDITORIAL | From the mouths of babes, indeed, but where are the adults?
It says a lot of unflattering things about SA that it is young people who have to lead the fight against discrimination
Over the past weeks, at least four prominent high schools have been forced to do some sort of introspection after current and former pupils flagged underlying practices of discrimination. It started with the 2020 matric group of Bishops Diocesan School in Cape Town, who staged a peaceful protest and handed over a memorandum of demands to the school’s management.
“While we, as the matric group of 2020, applaud the individuals who have actively taken steps to dismantle this underlying discrimination, we are forced to realise that greater strides need to be taken,” the matric class said. “Racism is a systemic issue, and not one overcome by superficial codes of conduct and disengaged reminders of zero tolerance, but rather through a united desire for change.”
One of the Bishops group’s first demands was that “ground and cleaning staff’s children should have access to the same bursaries and funding schemes that are made available to teachers’ children”. With annual tuition fees for Grade 12 for 2020 standing at close to R160,000, that must have made school management flinch. But it is quite astounding that it took a group of young people to demand equal rights for all workers at the school. Where have the adults been all this time? ..