‘Attending San Souci a privilege’

Andrew Newall, Three Anchor Bay

I read about the girl at a Pretoria girls school who was chastised about her “traditional” hair style and thought it was a storm in a tea cup.

This nonsense has spilled over to other schools especially the special and exclusive Sans Souci girls school and I have a problem with this.

Sans Souci is not a racist school and I do not think that the head mistress nor her fellow teachers have one ounce of prejudice in them.This school has produced many hundreds of fine well-educated eloquent students who have and will continue to become leaders in society.

They have featured many times in the Atlantic Sun (the Tatler’s sister newspaper) for their excellence in debating competitions, sporting, and academic achieve-ments. Always a mixed group of pupils.

Sans Souci school was started in 1885 and over the years has established their own brand of teaching, dress code, etc.

To be able to attend this school is a privilege, yes, privilege. Now a handful of unhappy pupils want to break down what has worked for over a hundred years, and especially since 1994.

They think that because their parents pay a lot of money to send them there they can now dictate their own terms. If they don’t like Afrikaans lessons and if they are discouraged from speaking their mother tongue during breaks so that they can improve their English, then they have a problem.

They can save their parents a lot of money and go off to the very good Model C schools nearby.

The majority of very happy pupils will carry on as before and the school will continue to produce star pupils of all races for may years to come in their old fashioned way.

What I also find disturbing is how all the headmistresses are now scrambling to appease this small group of discontents.

I asked my Xhosa staff members if any of the hairstyles I showed them were “traditional” and not one said they were. The hair styles all originate in America.

Any of the young ladies with their provocative hairstyles wanting to join the police or armed forces will be in for a shock.

Their hair styles will not be allowed.

Not racist then though.