Calls to suspend King David learner

A petition for Joshua Broomberg to be suspended for wearing a Palestinian scarf is being signed.

Joshua Broomberg (c) poses with his friends wearing Palestine scarf showing their support for Palestinians in Gaza. This picture caused an uproar of criticism and many people called for him to be removed from his leadership roles at the King David.

JOHANNESBURG - The King David Victory Park School says it will not suspend its deputy head boy for condemning human rights violations in Gaza.

Hundreds of people have signed an online petition calling on the school to remove Joshua Broomberg from all his leadership roles as deputy head boy and SRC member.

A photo of Broomberg and his South African National Debate Team members wearing Palestinian scarfs and colours in the form of a badge was posted on his Facebook page.

The South African Board of Jewish Education's Craig Kaseev says Broomberg is overseas at the moment and they will have a conversation with him once he returns.

"We really are open. We are school of diverse views. Kids have various different views and opinions, such will be it that there will be those who will express their views and I suppose we just have to have a conversation with Joshua."

Only a few days after the petition was started, a new petition by former head boys and head girls as well as their deputies has now emerged calling for the attacks on Joshua Broomberg to stop.

The school says it won't take away anyone's right to freedom of expression, adding he it won't be pressured into taking action against its deputy-head boy.

The South African Board of Jewish Education's Craig Kacev says, "We, as a school, are not going to be pressurised to make decisions through social media. We will wait for Joshua to return, we'll have a conversation with him. We're an education environment, it's an educational institution and we hope we will follow to in an educational manner."

Meanwhile, some former leaders of the school's SRC have come out in support of Broomberg, saying silencing young people is not in the spirit of the Jewish community and freedom of conscience and expression should be treasured.