Missing Brian Isaacs

Christopher Bezuidenhout, Mitchell’s Plain

As an ex-parent of South Peninsula High School, a school of excellence as the principal always greeted his students wherever he finds them, I want to make a few comments.

It was a sad and disgusting day when the principal of South Peninsula High – Brian Isaacs – was dismissed by Education MEC Debbie Schafer on September 9, two days short of his 62nd birthday.

Mr Isaacs spent 39 years in education. Ms Schäfer has spent three years in education. Now is this the way of the future? Is this the way Western Cape Education Department (WCED) intends bullying teachers through its watch-dog the Labour Relations Department?

Mr Isaacs is a well qualified teacher, holding B.Sc and M.Ed degrees. So much for the WCED saying it does not have enough science teachers.

He is part of a team of teachers who succeeded in building SPHS into an excellent academic institution. If he had not been at the helm at SP many of the achievements would not have been realised.

He exposed the students to politics of the day, instilling in them their human-ness and not to be judged by the colour of their skin. He insisted on students being disciplined if there was a need for it.

He was fair to those who worked with him. He listened to the complaints of parents, teachers and students. However, if he was not convinced by counter-argument, he would not be a lame duck principal.

Mr Isaacs is a man of vision and integrity who saw potential in all the students who passed through South Peninsula High School in his 39 years of experience.

He served as a principled teacher, yet he was dismissed for speaking truth to power.

He refused to accept normal retirement from WCED. They would drop all charges for his exiting the system immediately. He refused to be bribed. He has lost out heavily on financial benefits but he was not prepared to have blood on his hands. There is also a deafening silence from most officials within WCED, principals and teachers. Most remain cowardly nil per mouth. Are they in a comfort zone or have they been bullied into submission by the WCED?

Brian Isaacs has shown you what you can achieve if you are prepared to be honest with yourselves.

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