LenzPolitics objects to Lenz High School’s heavy-handed tactics on Palestine

Opinion by Ismail Vadi – LenzPolitics

LenzPolitics objects to the unconstitutional attempt made by the school management of Lenasia Secondary School to stifle freedom of expression and the right to organise peaceful solidarity action in support of oppressed Palestinians, who are the victims of intense Israeli-Zionist violence, brutality and occupation.

The peaceful placard demonstration was organised by the Representative Council of Learners (RCL) after consultation with the school principal last week. Then in an abrupt about-turn learners were told by the school management not to proceed with the Palestinian solidarity placard demonstration outside of school premises and before the start of the academic day. Student organisers were threatened with suspension and disciplinary action should they proceed with the demonstration. Later, an official from the education department was called in, presumably to further intimidate learners.

Protesters outside Lenz High School

The fact that learners proceeded with their solidarity action in the face of intimidation is a positive step that must be applauded by the Lenasia community. The school’s management should be educated about the constitutional rights of all South Africans, including learners, to freedom of expression, association and peaceful protest.

Historically, Lenz High School had on many occasions organised protest actions against apartheid and other progressive causes locally and abroad. It is a sad day for our community that the school management and a handful of reactionary teachers had acted the way they did, supposedly for the “safety of learners”.

Let us all learn a lesson from this regrettable incident. The school management of Lenasia Secondary School should know that the progressive community in Lenasia will not allow the stifling of student initiatives around issues of social justice, oppression, occupation and peace. It, together with a small reactionary core of teachers in that school, will not decide the course of our school and community’s history. Let it be known that LenzPolitics will not tolerate any future victimisation of learners at Lenz High either by teachers or the school management.

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