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. . .

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