Learners of Heathfield High School have been ordered to stay at home on Wednesday after fighting broke out between learners and police officers on Tuesday, 17 August.
According to IOL, learners reportedly stoned police vehicles following a tense standoff between the two parties after officers were deployed by the Western Cape Education Department to search for drugs and other contraband.
Tensions at the school have been high due to the WCED’s decision to fire former principal Wesley Neumann after a disciplinary hearing found he had failed to follow the departmental directive to keep the school open at the height of the pandemic.
Law enforcement officers found an array of weapons and drugs. Once the search was complete, students were ordered to go back to class but refused to do so. According to the governing body of the school, learners felt that their privacy had been violated during the search.
The founder of Parents for Equal Education South Africa (PEESA), Vanessa le Roux, has since stated that officials had every right to conduct the search, however, she noted that the department needs to play a proactive role in engaging with students and parents at the high school, as per EWN.
In a circular sent out to parents, the school acknowledged the incident and what it noted as “the violent aggression displayed by learners when fights break out.”
“Disappointingly, some learners decided to cause a disruption, which resulted in violence towards the law enforcement officers. The SAPS was called to the scene to assist, and the situation was stabilised.”
Nearly 15 police vehicles were on the scene which included a metro police tactical response unit.