I want my daughters to grow up in an ‘inclusive environment’

The school told her that parents questioned her competency and that she was teaching their children. It is this ‘lack of inclusivity’ at the school that prompted Grant-Smith to join Parents for Change – a group of concerned parents whose children attend the school.

The parents broke their silence on Tuesday – saying that they could no longer sit back and watch young girls being exposed to an environment that didn’t prepare them for the future of this country. Grant-Smith says she wants her grade 5 and grade 3 daughters not to grow up in an environment where whiteness is the standard.

“I want my children to grow up in an environment where it is normal for a black person to be in a position of authority. I expect the school to also provide that kind of environment to my children‚” she said.

She believes that keeping quiet about the ongoing discrimination of other racial groups at the school would rob her girls of the opportunity that “I never got in the apartheid South Africa”.

“I already feel disadvantaged that I never got the exposure to interact with other races different from me. I feel terrible about my background. Yes‚ I cannot undo the wrongs of my childhood‚ but as a parent I feel that it is my duty to teach my children the right things and expose them to a more diverse community. School is one such environment where I feel that they need to see that‚” she said.

In a media conference on Tuesday‚ Parents for Change told journalists that the school so far has been “dysfunctional” and has failed to “prepare its young girls for SA’s diverse society and socially just environment” due to an entrenched racism. They believe that it is this racism at the school that led to the sudden resignation of Mthembu.

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