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White Teacher: “You disappointed the blacks by getting a good mark”

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One of South Africa’s most elite schools, St John’s College in Johannesburg in a racism storm!

The Huffington Post reports that a teacher found guilty of misconduct in an internal hearing about a racist campaign against South African black, Indian and Greek students, as well as foreign students, has been given a final written warning but retained by the school.

Geography teacher Keith Arlow is alleged to have:

  • Told a black learner who received high marks in a test, “You disappointed the blacks by getting a good mark”;
  • Told black learners in his class that the only reason they were getting good marks is because they sat next to white learners;
  • Told a black scholarship learner who got a good mark, “Well done, you’ve started thinking like a white boy”;
  • Called Indian learners “Nawab”, a term used to describe native governors during the Mogul Empire. It is used as a term for Muslim nobles or a person of high status. Not all Indians at the school are Muslim;
  • Admitted publicly to disliking learners in the sixth form because there are too many foreigners in that grade and called foreign nationals “aliens”;
  • Told a learner he was “dirty” because he is Greek;
  • Told Indian learners in his class they were all going to be Golf GTIs because they are Indian, and then laughed; and
  • Claimed the geography teachers at a dinner were bus drivers because they were black and so should not be served.

In a letter to the school community this week, headmaster Paul Edey said “…the staff member has been found guilty of serious misconduct and, having taken into account a number of mitigating factors, has been issued with a final written warning”. Arlow has been stripped of senior positions and his salary and benefits reduced, said Edey in the letter.

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