Homophobic discrimination: Learners banned from observing Pride Month

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More than 11 000 people have signed an online petition in support of pupils at DF Malan Hoerskool in Cape Town who claim they were subject to homophobic discrimination.

The Triangle Project, a non-profit LGBTQ started the petition after word got out that the group of matric pupils were discriminated and banned from celebrating International Pride Month at the school on Monday.

It is alleged pupils were subjected to homophobic comments from other learners when they attempted to observe International Pride Month during their break.

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According to an ECR radio news bulletin the school principal was alleged to have used the word “queer” when reprimanding the learners and banning them from behaving “provocatively”. It is further reported, by IOL, that the pupils who were subjected to negative commentary on a WhatsApp group called “F*ck the F*ggots”.

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DEPARTMENT CONDEMNS HOMOPHOBIC DISCRIMINATION

The Department of Education in the Western Cape is investigating the allegations against the school.

Expressing concern over the incident, Minister Debbie Schafer said the department was alerted to the incident on Wednesday.

“I am deeply concerned by the allegations of discrimination against LGBTQI+ learners at DF Malan High School. Such behaviour has absolutely no place in our schools. An investigation by the district is currently underway to establish the full facts of the matter, and we await the outcome thereof,” said Schafer.

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Schafer said the department would work with the school to prevent such incidents in future.

She indicated the department was committed to ensuring schools were inclusive spaces where equality and non-discrimination prevailed. There was a need for the school to work actively to promote such an environment she added.

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The Triangle Project requested that the school apologise to affected pupils, and called for disciplinary action against pupils who perpetrated the victimisation.

The school governing body reportedly supported the decision to ban International Pride Day activities to prevent the victimisation against the LGBT learners that unfolded.

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