Elana Barkhuizen, the teacher at the center of the controversial photo of a segregated classroom in South Africa, has vowed to fight against the officials who have decided to suspend her.
Recently, a picture from the Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke that was originally shared by Barkhuizen created outrage.
The elementary school teacher initially posted the photo of her classroom to help parents calm their nerves about their children’s first day of school.
At first glance, it seemed like an innocent post, but a closer look showed four young black children quietly sitting at a small table in a corner, separate from all the white children who are seated at a larger table in the center of the room.
One parent, who was shocked after receiving the class photo shared on the school's
The mother, who prefers to remain anonymous, was furious and added that "the white parents said 'dankie, dankie [thank you, thank you']" but none of them noticed that the children were separated by race.
The chairman of the school's governing body, Jozeph du Plessis, defended the teacher in a statement that said the children were "unsettled - you must realize they were five years old on their first day at school - and she grouped them in a way she thought would settle them quickly and comfort them."
Du Plessis claimed Barkhuizen had "no intent of racism or segregation" and added, "we are investigating - perhaps it could be a language issue, perhaps those kids are not speaking Afrikaans, but I can't speculate."
The controversial photo has prompted a group of parents to protest outside the school and demand answers and real changes.
Sello Lehari, the provincial Education Minister, said after visiting the school that an investigation is needed to handle the issue of racism.
Barkhuizen said she was merely updating the parents and there were not ill or racist intent and is preparing herself for a fight.
Do you believe the picture is racist knowing the history of South Africa? Should the teacher get fired for good after what she did?