‘Nobody will go to school’: Parents will burn tyres if children not admitted

LET US IN: Parents gathered outside John Bisseker Senior Secondary School in Pefferville on Monday to protest the exclusion of their children
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Tensions continue to rise in Parkside, with protesters threatening to burn tyres and shut down schools in the area if their children were not admitted.

On Monday February 16, concerned parents gathered outside John Bisseker Senior Secondary School to air their grievances, which were first aired at a meeting on February 8.

As reported by the GO! & Express last week, parents had raised concerns about schools taking in students from outside the community while local children were excluded.

At that first meeting, parents wrote down the names of their children in a book as well as the school they wished to be enrolled in. The book was then shown to local schools, who were given two days to accept the new students.

CHECK IT TWICE: Community leader Schalk van der Sandt, centre with book, goes through the list of names of children and the schools they wish to enroll in
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Speaking at the protest on Monday, community leader Schalk van der Sandt said that they had met with school officials the week before and had been told that their children would be accepted.

“We want all our children to go in and not to fight the school anymore,” van der Sandt said.

“If our children can’t get into school, we will close everywhere here, we will burn tyres and nobody will go to school.”

Parents were also enraged by the alleged theft of money by an employee of the school.

According to van der Sandt, the woman accepted deposits of R600 from parents on the assumption that this would enable them to enrol their children.

The employee has not been seen again.

“People have been asking where their deposits have gone and the school just says ‘she’s been fired’,” van der Sandt said.

Parents said this sort of behaviour is not new from the school. Another complaint raised was that John Bisseker had withheld final reports from children with outstanding school fees and would only release them after parents paid R200.

“I had to go to a loan shark to get the money for my child’s report,” one parent said.

John Bisseker Senior Secondary School declined a request to comment.

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