Limpopo’s Education MEC Polly Boshielo has expressed disgust after an alleged racist incident at the Ben Viljoen High School in Groblersdal. This after racist graffiti was written on the walls in the boys’ toilets, apparently by white learners.

The racist graffiti, “Of course Black Lives Matter; a dead slave is useless”, has apparently led to the Black grade 12 learners refusing to go to class.

Boshielo Spokesperson, Tidimalo Chuene, says the incident is being investigated.

“The incident if viewed in a serious light and condemned in the strongest possible terms. Racism is an unwelcome behavior that should never be allowed to rear its ugly head in our schools and that’s our undeterred attention to get into the bottom of this. We cannot afford to look away when such prejudice occurs at our schools. We call for calm from our stakeholders as we work towards resolving this matter speedily and creating an environment for our children to learn.”

In the video below, Eastern Cape school rocked by racism claims: 

The incident is one of many racism claims that have been levelled against former Model C schools in South Africa.

Racism and parenting

In a 24 June opinion piece by The Conversation, Cynthia Okpokiri, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Policy at Anglia Ruskin University said Black parents who try to protect their children from potential racial harm often appear controlling; especially to non-Black people and authorities.

She said this includes social workers, teachers and other professionals who work with children and families.

In her 2017 research, she found that Black parents worried that they were frequently misunderstood. On one hand, they feared that their children sometimes misinterpret or do not always appreciate their concerns.

“Black parents have to protect their children from the most destructive forms of racism by educating them through what is known as the talk.

During the talk, Black parents advise their children about how to conduct themselves with authority figures in order to survive. The process of explaining the harsh realities of inequality to children takes many forms. Parents choose the most appropriate age and style for sharing this difficult information,” she said.