A classroom photo that appears to show students separated by race has outraged a group of South African parents.
One mother, whose child was seen in the classroom, says she immediately grew infuriated when she saw the image. According to her, the photo was shared by the teacher on the first day of school to the class’s WhatsApp group.
"This was meant to be an exciting day for me, but it's not," the unidentified mother told TimesLIVE.
The mother said she and other parents dropped off the students and were asked to leave the grounds. Later on that morning, they received the photo from the teacher, who wanted to show how the day was progressing.
The picture showed 18 white students at single large desk in the middle of the classroom, with four Black students at a smaller desk in the corner.
"All I saw was messages from the white parents saying 'dankie, dankie' ['thank you, thank you' on the WhatsApp group], but no one was saying anything about the separation of the learners," the mother told the news outlet.
The mother revealed she spoke with another parent outside of the WhatsApp group and that parent contacted the school principal to ask about the seating arrangements. According to TimesLIVE, the principal said she was not aware of the situation.
African activist Mcebo Dlamini shared the photo to his Facebook page, where it went viral.
"What is most provoking about this image is not that black kids are ostracized from white kids, that is common in our supposedly post-apartheid Africa. Rather what becomes painful is that there are black people who still insist that racism has ended and who think that blacks and whites can have peaceful relations that do not have undertones of racism," he wrote on his Facebook page.