Couple accuse school of racial discrimination

Kabelo Adamson

“They were parents from hell!” Head hits back

Under-fire Tloaneng Primary School Head, Gagoitsewe Marata has rubbished allegations of racial discrimination directed against her school.

Her denial comes after Shane Wright and his wife, Esmeralda, accused the school of badly mistreating their seven-year-old son.

The couple, who hail from Serowe, insist they were left with no choice but to withdraw their boy – a Standard One pupil – for reasons they say border on racial abuse.

In an emotional interview with The Voice, the Wrights said they first began to suspect their son was experiencing difficulties at Tloaneng when he started leaving the school early and was reluctant to return in the morning.

They accused the school management of condoning acts of mistreatment of coloured students, claiming the problem was so deep-rooted it even extended to the groundsmen and cooks.

“We heard that the teachers were beating the boy for no apparent reason. He suffered a stroke when he was four years old and is bit slow but we got reports that teachers were beating him on the head!” revealed Wright, adding his child was called names such as ‘lekutwane’.

According to Wright, he would regularly arrive to pick up his son after school only to find the youngster waiting outside the premises.

When he went to meet teachers to find out what was going on, Wright says he was not given an answer until he finally demanded to see the school head.

“But she was hardly available. So we ended up talking to one of the teachers who told us to see the Deputy Head. But when we approached her and narrated the situation, the lady threw her hands at me!”

He says they were left with no choice but to remove their son from the school.

However, in response to the allegations, Marata had some strong words of her own, describing the Wrights as ‘parents from hell’.

“I don’t think they are normal parents! They never cooperated with the school management at any point in time. They even went to complain at the Kgotla and even to the ministry!”

The head insisted Tloaneng is a peaceful school with a proud recent pass-rate of over 60 percent.

She explained that the parents brought their child in March, when the first term was about to end. Despite this, she says they readily admitted the boy.

Soon after their son was enrolled, Marta claims the Wrights started causing trouble at the school and often stormed the classrooms to complain.

“They even threatened to beat other learners for allegedly abusing their son!”

The school head stressed that she pleaded with the parents to let the boy carry on with his studies while they pursue their complaint against the school but they would not budge and insisted on withdrawing him.

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