A white teacher at a private school in Kyalami, Johannesburg, who
allegedly threatened pupils with the same fate that befell George Floyd
has been fired.
Sonya de Vynck, a life orientation and visual art teacher at Pinnacle
College Kyalami was dismissed earlier this week. This was after she
allegedly threatened to re-enact the moments that led to Floyd’s death,
an African-American who died after a white policeman pressed his knee
into his neck while he lay sprawled on the ground in handcuffs.
In a letter addressed to parents on Thursday, Pinnacle Colleges chief
operating officer Christo de Wit said: “The disciplinary process for Mrs
de Vynck has been concluded and thus we wish to inform you that as of
the 23rd of June she will not be returning to Pinnacle College Kyalami.
In line with Labour Relations Act and our internal Disciplinary Policy
Mrs de Vynck’s right to appeal the outcome has been communicated with
De Wit also said the school’s principal is still on special leave following the incident.
During an online class on June 4, De Vynck allegedly said: “If you don’t
hand in your practice drawings when we get back, then I will give you
something to protest about, and maybe sit on your necks.”
She was suspended on June 5 following an outroar from parents and
learners from the school. In an apology De Vynck made after her remarks,
she said she didn’t mean any harm.
“It wasn’t my intention and I didn’t want to put someone down who lost
their lives while people were watching and being helpless.”
I never wanted to offend you. I never wanted to offend Mr Floyd. I would
never – I know you need time but just know that I am not a person like
that, I am not a racist person. I would never have done that. It was a
silly thing that popped into my head.”