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  • Hoërskool Rustenburg U-turns on pupil’s drag show punishment

    Hoërskool Rustenburg U-turns on pupil’s drag show punishment

    Hoërskool Rustenburg in the North West made headlines earlier this week after punishing a matric pupil for attending a drag show on her 18th birthday. In a statement published on Monday 8 August, the school said it has withdrawn the “sanctions” taken against her and was not aware that she was stripped of her leadership role and school honours.

    ALSO READ: ‘Plain homophobia’: SA school PUNISHES pupil for attending drag show


    Desiré Duvenage celebrated her 18th birthday in January at Beefcakes, a popular LGBTQI+ restaurant and bar in Pretoria and enjoyed a drag show with her friends. According to MambaOnline, one of the drag performers grinded on Desiré and one of her friends caught the moment on camera. 

    The video was posted to social media and a few months later, one of Desiré’s teachers at Hoërskool Rustenburg found the video. 

    “[She] said that it’s very negative for the school and they don’t want this getting into the media,” Desiré recalled. 

    The pupil was allegedly told that she would be removed as the chairperson of the Land Service, a youth movement that assists young people in developing leadership skills. She was also informed that she would be stripped of her school honours for Land Service. 


    In a statement published on 8 August, Hoërskool Rustenburg said it would be withdrawing the punishment against Desiré Duvenage. 

    “The school governing body (SGB) was not aware of the incident or that actions were taken against the learner. After consideration of the facts, the SGB is of the opinion that sanctions were implemented against the learner without proper internal disciplinary procedure,” said Bernard Visser, the chairman of the Hoërskool Rustenburg governing body. 

    “The SGB is also satisfied that there are no grounds for further investigation or a complaint. The SGB has already set a meeting with the learner and her parent and a legal representative to discuss the matter.”

    ALSO READ: ‘Feeling more feminine’: Demi Lovato changes up her pronouns…again


    In the statement, Bernard Visser highlighted that disciplinary procedures should be followed strictly “to ensure all decisions and related sanctions are beyond reproach.”

    “A school’s disciplinary committee’s purpose is to ensure that the school’s code of conduct is applied in a fair and legal manner. When learners are subject to a disciplinary process following a valid complaint, all participants must be able to trust the process at all times.” 

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