|8 Jun 2020|
No doubt many of you will have heard of or seen the memorandum handed to the school last Friday by the Matric 2020 group.
While this is a highly emotive issue, which is creating much debate, the OD Committee has taken a position that, while it understands this to be primarily a school matter, it applauds the boys’ courage and efforts to bring these very real concerns into focus. Furthermore, the OD Committee will adopt a position of listening, learning and engaging appropriately before contemplating further steps.
In the meantime, in response to a media enquiry over the course of the past weekend, we agreed on a “holding statement”, which follows below. Interestingly, the statement has not yet been used/published and the OD Union was not mentioned by the journalist and publication that made the initial enquiry:
The Old Diocesan Union's (Bishops Old Boys) position on racism is that it is unlawful and repugnant. The Union, which is an alumni association, is aware of the unfolding events surrounding the letter sent to the School by the Matric 2020 group. This presents an important opportunity for us to create the spaces to confront the issues, legacies, discrimination and injustices, and to contemplate the action that needs to be taken.
As the OD Committee, this statement summarises succinctly our rejection of all forms of discrimination, while also acknowledging the need for engagement and action around the issues raised by the current Matric group, which needs to involve the school council, executive, staff, boys, parents, and members of the OD Union.
The OD Union is home to all ODs. To this end, we, as the OD Committee, welcome your correspondence and input and would ask that, should you engage in debate on social media platforms, you do this in a manner that is respectful, polite and non-threatening to other participants.
We will continue to communicate to keep all ODs abreast of the unfolding events surrounding this matter going forward.
Wilbur van Niekerk (1985K)
Chairman: ODU Committee
On behalf of the ODU Committee