SADTU condemns the racist conduct of Crowthorne Christian Academy and is calling on the Department of Basic Education to rein in private schools

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) strongly condemns the assault and expulsion of a 13-year-old Crowthorne Christian Academy learner for refusing to cut her  dreadlocks. SADTU regards this whole saga as downright racist.

We condemn the granting of bail to the husband of the school principal and owner of the school who dragged and pulled the 13-year-old’s hair as he forcefully removed her from the classroom in full view of other learners. Such an act was a gross violation of the learner’s right. Children have a right to be free from all forms of violence,  to enjoy their education and not to be treated in a degrading manner.

It is quite alarming that nearly 30 years into the new democracy, some schools are still using hair policies to discriminate against African learners. African hair is at the centre of the many reports of learners being discriminated and barred from schools due to their hair not conforming to the schools’ code of conduct which use Eurocentric or Westen values to define what is neat.

SADTU is calling on the Department of Basic Education to rein in private schools as some are  being run like spaza shops. Apparently, the principal of the school called her husband, who happens to be the owner to the school to remove the learner. According to media reports, the parents interviewed said the school’s new hair policy was communicated via WhatsApp. We call on the Department to conduct proper background checks on individuals before granting them licences.

While the legality of the school has also come under the spotlight, we urge the Department not to grant owners of the Crowthorne Christian Academy the licence to run any school as they have clearly demonstrated they have no empathy for children and education but use the school as a profit-making venture. We reiterate that  education is not a commodity but a public good.  

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat


General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

Secretariat Officer, Xolani Fakude: 071 355 1566

Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157