South Africa

Principal Cape Town guilty of illegal activity for refusing to open school at peak time in Covid-19

Members of the Heathfield High School community protested outside the school and urged the department to withdraw all accusations against Principal Wesley Neumann.

Gallo Images / Brenton Geach

  • The Cape Town principal was convicted of allowing worried parents to keep their children home while waiting for the peak of a Covid-19 infection.
  • Wesley Neumann of Heathfield High says he listened to his parents’ concerns.
  • The Western Cape Education Department states that parents had the option of applying for a class-based learning exemption.

The principal of Heathfield High School in Cape Town was convicted in a disciplinary hearing that he did not reopen school as directed in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wesley Neumann allowed students to stay home because his parents were worried about the surge at the time.

However, this ignored the Western Cape Education Department’s instructions to instruct staff and students to return to school.

The department confirmed that Neumann was found guilty of six illegal acts, including being rude to former department head Brian Schroider.

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“The process has not yet been finalized, so sanctions have not yet been decided,” said spokesman Bronha Hammond.

Neumann was uninterrupted.

But his supporters stated what he was a victim of Schroider’s abuse of power and what he was doing in the best interests of his students.

The accusations related to the fierce controversy are:

1. Cheating: By tapping the student’s face and pointing his finger, he attempted or threatened the student’s assault.

2. Illegal Act: Neumann was unable to carry out the instructions given by the Dean by sending a letter to his parents stating that the student had to return to school from August 3rd. Make sure your 12th grade teacher teaches every day of the school week. We will then notify the school administration (SGB) of these instructions in writing. He also had to communicate that SGB directives and coercions were outside the scope of governance and oversight functions.

3. Illegal behavior: At work, he showed contempt for Schroider, abusive or arrogant behavior towards him, and made the following statements. “Instead of engaging in school, I relied on the Verscap method of giving instructions in a pre-1994 way.”

4. Cheating: Including “All Media Houses” in emails to Schroider has damaged the department’s reputation.

5. Cheating: His position or heath in the department through social media platforms by encouraging staff, students, and the community to stay out of school or report their obligations during the Covid-19 pandemic. He abused his position as a representative of Field High’s SGB.

6. (Substitute for Main Charge) Cheating: Photos, videos, and commentary distributed on Facebook criticizing government policy.

The complex story stems from the last-minute instructions of Minister of Education Angie Motshekga to return to school on June 1, 2020, as not all schools were ready to reopen.

Water problems occurred in some areas and the cleaning process was not completed in other schools.

Students returned on June 8, 2020, not when Motshekga expected all schools to be ready.

However, the ministry says the school is ready and expects grades 7 and 12 to return to class by June 1st, allowing them to catch up with the lost semester.

He added that it was also the return date of the government gazette at the time.

But, like many, parents at Heathfield High School were worried that their children might still be at risk.

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Alan Leebenberg, a spokesman for Neumann’s parents’ lobby group, told News24 that the school was never closed outside the direction of the National Ministry of Basic Education.

Cape Town, South Africa-April 21:

Members of the Heathfield High School community protested outside the school and urged the department to withdraw all accusations against Principal Wesley Neumann.

“The school was open and attended by the principal and staff,” he added.

“Parents resolved at an SGB meeting to return their children to school when the infection curve went down. This was done in many countries.

“The question here is who has a greater say in the education of the child under these circumstances. Parents or the education department, and where does it leave the principal? He is an educator. And a community leader. “

Mr Leebenberg said he felt Neumann was mistreated by Schroider.

There was also an allegation that the staff “received a bribe” in the extension of their contract when they testified to Neumann again.

The ministry said the allegations were investigated and found to be untrue.

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Hammond added that there is a clear policy for parents who are afraid of risk to their children, or for people in homes with comorbidities.

“They can apply to keep their children out of school.

Cape Town, South Africa-April 21:

The Heathfield High School community supported the principal, Wesley Neumann.

“Then, parents and schools will agree on the responsibilities of both the school and parents on how to manage their child’s learning at home.”

Meanwhile, as President Cyril Ramaphosa declared, the ministry’s instructions could allow parents who want their children to go to school, she said.

Hammond added that the overwhelming majority of parents in the Western Cape have adopted this option.

Asked if the principal had the autonomy to close the school for health reasons, she said they had to apply to the state director for this.

“This department temporarily closed hundreds of schools during Covid-19, subject to the necessary procedures and approvals.”

Principal Cape Town guilty of illegal activity for refusing to open school at peak time in Covid-19

Source link Principal Cape Town guilty of illegal activity for refusing to open school at peak time in Covid-19

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