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Joburg’s prestigious St Johns College has found the ire of South African Twitter after failing to remove a teacher found guilty of racist misconduct.
Geography teacher Keith Arlow underwent an internal investigation where he was found to have consistently undermined black students’ intelligence, labelled Indian students “Nawab” and called Greek students “dirty”. He was punished with a final written warning.
Parents of the discriminated students told Huffington Post (which broke the story) that they are unhappy with the how the school dealt with the issue and want more than just a promise of “healing”.
Twitter believes much the same. Just a few hours after the story broke, #stjohnscollege was the top trending topic in the country, with many calling for Arlow’s removal.
— Kgomotso (@KgomotsoModise_) July 27, 2017
— MaManyama Modiegi (@ModiegiTheo) July 27, 2017
If the #stjohnscollege allegations are true, Arlow had best pack his bags. Racists have no place teaching South Africa’s future leaders.
— Jonathan Meyer (@jonathangmeyer) July 27, 2017
Among them were alumni who said they were well aware of the school’s racism problem. Former deputy head prefect Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh said that his proposal for an anti-racism policy was denied by the school.
— Waheed Vadi (@WaheedVadi) July 28, 2017
— Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh (@SizweMpofuWalsh) July 27, 2017
The incident adds to South Africa’s growing list of school’s embroiled in a race crisis. On Monday, Kempton Park school Windsor House Academy came under fire for kicking girls out of school because their hair was in braids — despite the nationwide anger last year at schools like Sans Souci and Pretoria High School for doing the same.
You are shocked that a white school didn’t fire a white teacher over racist comments, yall are special #stjohnscollege
— Kwabena (@LynetteBlqpearl) July 27, 2017
One Twitter user thought it best to take matters into his own hands.
Thinking of opening a private school that will cripple the likes of #stjohnscollege … Any other (Black) shareholders? 😊
— Tumisang Kalagobe (@_Tumi10) July 28, 2017
According to EWN, Arlow has left the school, but it is unclear whether he was fired or if he resigned.
[JUST IN] #stjohnscollege A teacher found guilty of racism at the school has now left his job with immediate effect. TK
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) July 28, 2017
The news elicited some relief, but others wanted to know how situations like this would be avoided in the future.
What about the headmaster and his chomies who tried to save him?
— Jonathan (@Rasimione) July 28, 2017
May he be banned from ever being an educator. #stjohnscollege
— Skroef Magwaza (@pholo890) July 28, 2017
— Katlego Semusa (@semusakatlego) July 28, 2017