The headmaster of one of South Africa most exclusive private schools has apologized to pupils and the public for the way he dealt with a senior geography master making blatantly racist comments to students in his class.
Keith Arlow was put on final warning, demoted and given a pay cut for saying pupils’ performance in exams was determined by their race.
He has since resigned from St John’s College and left with immediate effect.
In radio interviews yesterday (Friday), headmaster Paul Edey preferred to call his teacher’s remarks stereotypical rather than racist.
He refused interviewers’ requests that he repeat exactly what Keith Arlow had said.
This was after the member of the Gauteng provincial executive for education Panyasa Lesufi called on the school and demanded the teacher be sacked.
A petition by old boys of the school made a similar demand.
Since the days of apartheid private schools have jealously guarded their independence.
Their status as church schools afforded them some protection and allowed them to defy the racist government statutes by admitting black pupils.
Lesufi maintains that independent schools cannot disobey the constitution which takes a hard line against hate speech and racism.
He wants Keith Arlow reported to the South African Council of Educators. If they find him guilty he will be struck off the roll of teachers.