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Solidarity seeks to overturn suspension of Schweizer Reneke teacher

Elana Barkhuizen was sanctioned last week after her photo went viral, showing black and white pupils seated at separate tables in a grade R classroom.

Elana Barkhuizen, the suspended teacher from Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke.  Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CENTURION - Trade union Solidarity says it will approach the courts on an urgent basis, seeking to overturn the suspension of a teacher who was sanctioned for taking a photograph showing racial segregation at Laerskool Schweizer Reneke.

Elana Barkhuizen was sanctioned last week after her photo went viral, showing black and white pupils seated at separate tables in a grade R classroom.

The teacher in charge of that class has not been suspended.

Solidarity has now turned to the courts following the suspension of Barkhuizen, the teacher who captured the image that sparked national outrage.

Solidarity’s Dirk Hermann said: “Solidarity is meant to serve all statements before the end of this week, asking that the unlawful suspension of the Schweizer-Reneke teacher Elana Barkhuizen be lifted with a matter of urgency.”

Hermann also said Barkhuizen was suspended without being offered the opportunity to explain herself.

“No correct procedures were followed. No one followed the legal processes,” he added.

Speaking out for the first time, an emotional Barkhuizen has described how her suspension has caused great emotional distress not only to herself but also her family.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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