Manenberg parents are kwaad at a school which they claim is sending their kids home for not wearing the proper uniform.
They say Manenberg High School requires the kids to wear navy blue jerseys and jackets and while they understand the rules need to be followed, they dress their children in other jerseys instead because the uniforms are too expensive.
Mother Rozetta Abrahams says the combined cost of a new jersey and jacket is R500, with the jersey costing R130 and the jacket R370.
“Not every parent can afford to buy the proper jersey and jacket, so we send them to school with a plain black or blue jersey, but then the principal (Cameron Williams) sends them home,” she says.
“I understand if the children are wearing colourful tops to school and if that is the case, then they must be sent home because it is not a klopse school or a fashion show.
“The thing is black is black and blue is blue but the principal does not want to hear us out about this and our children end up feeling despondent.”
Rozetta added that the parents understand the school’s strict policy, but feel the principal is making a mountain out of a molehill.
“I get that the school has to deal with a lot because many of the children nowadays do not have discipline and they make the teachers’ jobs difficult, but why is the principal focused on something as small as this?
“We have tried to speak to him about this but nothing gets done and we are concerned because six children have dropped out of school in one class alone because they cannot afford the uniform.”
The Western Cape Education Department, however, denies the claims that pupils have been sent home for breaking the dress code.
Spokesperson Bronagh Hammond says: “The principal strongly denies having refused a learner access to their education for not being able to afford school attire.
“Any parent is welcome to engage with the principal if they cannot afford the school uniform.
“The school has a social responsibility programme for their learners, to assist needy learners with school uniforms, should they not be able to afford certain items.
“The principal and teachers have made donations to this programme which contributes towards school socks (grey and white), white shirts, jerseys, shoes and rain jackets.
“For years, staff and parents have been digging deep into their own pockets to clothe their fellow learners in the school uniform.”
Rozetta, though, says this is not true and remains concerned over the well-being of their children.