Department to grill Gauteng teacher over 'George Floyd' threat to pupils

Gauteng teacher Sonya de Vynck was suspended after allegedly threatening to kneel on pupils' necks.
Gauteng teacher Sonya de Vynck was suspended after allegedly threatening to kneel on pupils' necks.
Image: Supplied

The private school teacher who allegedly threatened to kneel on pupils' necks - the same punishment that killed George Floyd in the US - faces a disciplinary hearing in Gauteng on Thursday.

Sonya de Vynck, a life orientation and art teacher at Pinnacle College in Kyalami, was suspended on Friday.

The alleged intimidation happened as the world rallies for justice for the family of Floyd, a black American man who died after a white policeman pressed his knee into his neck for more than eight minutes.

Provincial education spokesperson Steve Mabona confirmed that a disciplinary would be held.

“Indeed, we can confirm the disciplinary hearing is ... scheduled for Thursday. We await the outcome,” he said.

Pinnacle College COO Christo de Wit said in a letter addressed to parents on Friday that the incident had caused significant hurt.

“We are meeting with the students directly involved and commend them for the courage displayed in these discussions. We have also engaged with the staff,” he said.

De Vynck, who said during an online class if pupils did not hand in their drawings she would “maybe sit on your necks”, said in an apology afterwards that she did not mean any harm.

“It wasn't my intention and I didn't want to put someone down who lost their life while people were watching and ... helpless,” she said.

“I never wanted to offend you. I never wanted to offend Mr Floyd. I would never. I know you need time, but just know that I am not a person like that - I am not a racist person. I would never have done that. It was a silly thing that popped into my head.”

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