Two teenage girls in South Africa have been expelled for kissing
Two South African girls have been expelled for kissing each other.
The teenagers were thrown out of Durban’s Inanda Seminary, a private Christian boarding school for girls, after seminary officials said they were caught kissing for 20 minutes.
In June, South Africa’s Equality Court found that religion was no excuse for homophobia, ruling against a pastor who tried to justify anti-gay hate speech with his Christian beliefs.
The girls, who were in grades eight and nine, have both denied kissing.
The mother of one of the expelled students, Du Ndlovu, told local news agency GroundUp that the school’s matron called to tell her to pick up her child and not bring her back.
“I went the next day to find her isolated from other learners,” said Ndlovu.
“When I asked what had happened‚ I was told she was caught by the matron kissing the other girl for 20 minutes.
“I took her home and we came back to the school for the hearing. As a parent I was not given a chance to speak,” she continued.
“They asked her if she pleaded guilty or not. She pleaded not guilty. She said she had witnesses.
“I had also asked her, and she said they did not kiss.”
The seminary, which was founded by American missionaries in 1869, said there was an appeal from one of the girls’ mothers, but that “the verdict and sanction were upheld in the appeal.”
The school added that “the mother was informed that no further appeal will be permitted.”
The other girl’s grandmother, Bonakele Ngubane, said: “I did ask [my daughter] if she was involved in the kissing. She said she was not.
“I was told she cannot return to school.
“I was told to speak to the district office. I have not done that; instead I have looked for another school. I have not found another school.
“I am not happy about all of this‚” she added.
Ndlovu said that when she contacted the Department of Education, she was simply told by the region’s education minister, Mthandeni Dlungwane, that parents should use public schools instead of indepedent institutions.
Department of Education spokesperson Sicelo Khuzwayo said an investigation would be conducted into what happened at the seminary.
“The Department of Education does not allow any school to expel a learner‚” he explained.
Inanda Seminary’s executive director, Judy Tate, confirmed that the girls were expelled and defended her school’s actions.
“An internal disciplinary hearing was held in accordance with the provincial regulations‚” she said.
The seminary said that the girls were thrown out for “misconduct,” but would not provide any further explanation.
Tate added: “We are not permitted to engage further regarding the disciplinary outcome as this could now be a legal matter.”
Last month, a South African lesbian said she was raped at the age of 15 by her father in order to ‘make her straight.’
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