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Heated Reaction On South African Principal’s Suggestion on Closing Schools

In Capetown, teachers and parents have rallied behind Wesley Neumann, the principal of Healthfiled High School, following an appeal written to President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet to shut down schools again until it is safe to return.

Neumann wrote in one of the letters on behalf of a group of principals, asking the government to reconsider their decision to reopen schools.

The decision to Open Schools on June 1st was Wrong

“We opine, with great conviction, that the decision to reopen primary and high schools on June 1 was the wrong one. We contend that the timing is bad as wintry weather brings with it seasonal illnesses such as influenza.

“The Coronavirus thrives under cold conditions and will also augment and exacerbate the onset of the flu and Tuberculosis. At the incident of writing this letter, incidents of teachers and children suffering and deaths due to Covid-19 are rising,” Neumann wrote.

According to Neumann, the group was “genuinely concerned about the health and safety of our children and teachers.” Yesterday, he said verbal confirmation from the circuit manager indicated that disciplinary action was imminent.

New Unity Movement secretary Michael Titus said Neumann was doing this in the best interest of students and personnel of Healthfield High, with full support of the school’s governing body and parents.

The Bold Principal Not Suspended

WCED spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond said Neumann had not been suspended. “No letters have been issued and we will not comment on hearsay.

” While Mr. Neumann is certainly entitled to his own opinion on the opening and closing of schools during the pandemic, he is a government employee. ”

He added that the conduct surrounding Neumann’s expression of his views and his general behavior during the course of his employment are a source of concern to his employer.

“For example, failing to open a school when you are instructed to do so by your employer is unacceptable,” Hammond said.

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