Chuck the rotten apples if you’re down South

January 15, 2008 at 11:17 am (education, injustice) (, )

Sorry, you’re not smart enough – go away.

That seems to be the bottom-line message of a principal at a school in Cape Town. South Peninsula High principal Brian Isaacs finds himself on the defensive after a mom revealed her kid was told not to return because she wasn’t achieving the A’s the school wants.

I must confess I thought something else must be behind it all because what educator in their right mind would chase away a child simply because she’s not getting top-level grades?


Just a quick look at readers’ letters in local newspapers reveal the rot is deeper than I thought. Parents and ex-pupils have been penning their stories – it seems this is not the first time the principal has turned a child away for this reason.

But more shocking are the letters and smses who say what he did was right. Parents and ex-pupils write in to say it’s good if the school gets rid of “bad apples”, as they call them.

Excuse me? Since when is a child who struggles at school a bad apple?

To be fair, we haven’t really heard much from the school’s principal and perhaps he does have a valid reason (although, at this point, it seems unlikely). But it’s clear others encourage him to think this way and would gladly kick a struggling kid to the curb.

I’m so glad I went to an average Cape Flats school – at least I have some self-respect. The people who want the principal to do this clearly don’t.

I wonder how often it happens and at how many other schools it’s happening. . .


  1. Louisa said,

    That’s terrible…

    When I was in school the closest thing to this that they did was putting pressure on pupils to drop from higher grade to standard grade in the hope that you would find the work less challenging and that your marks would subsequently get a boost from it.

  2. tbhanks said,

    I know that happened a lot at our school Louisa. Even that wasn’t always good because sometimes the child could do it with a little help.
    This is the first time I’ve heard the kid is pressured to leave the school entirely though. I think it’s absolutely appalling!

  3. boegels said,

    Take them to court. They are not allowed to turn a child away for that reason. Like your blog. Come check mine out.

  4. Batman5172 said,

    This is soema kak Toby. I mean ma how the hell do you turn away a child that actually wants to learn and not be on the bloody streets or out making babies. Mr Isaacs needs to have his head checked out. FOOL

  5. Toby Hanks said,

    batman, I agree. He’s a fool of the worst kind. No wonder kids become gangsters and tik monsters.
    It’s because of shit like this. Makes my blood boil when kids, especially those on the Flats, are given such a raw deal.

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