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– NewsDay

PARENTS of children at Hellenic Academy in Harare have raised racism allegations against the school authorities.

They told NewsDay that as a result, one of the “racist” teachers had since been disciplined after using derogatory words in reference to black students and staff members.

In another incident, four white students are alleged to have attacked a male black pupil and broke his arm last month, resulting in the child arming himself with a knife to defend himself. He was suspended for the incident, while his assailants walked scot free.

The incident led to protests by other students at a sports day event recently.

A senior teacher at the school (name supplied) was subjected to a disciplinary hearing after one student reported him for calling him a “kaffir” during lessons.

Parents had initially accused school authorities of protecting the elderly teacher.

Responding to questions from NewsDay, school head Suzanne Joscelyne said the academy did not take issues of racism lightly, and was engaging stakeholders to deal with all suspected cases.

She said a stiff penalty had been imposed on the elderly teacher, who was also ordered to apologise to the affected student.

On the fight between black and white students, Joscelyne said:

“The incident was not even a big issue because it ended there. No one even reported that, but it only became an issue when the student sent an audio on social media threatening the others. He also posted a video of a knife he wanted to use to attack the others.

“He was put on a plaster and told by his doctors to stay home until he recovers. On Thursday, he came to school and took the knife out of his pocket. Prefects had to intervene and the issue was not about the initial fight, but somebody making a threatening message. He was not even suspended initially. We just said he needed some time out.”

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