#teacher | ‘Had abuser been a male teacher, we would have had a crazy outcry from society’

Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town has launched an investigation following reports that a school teacher had a sexual relationship with a matric pupil.

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In a statement on Tuesday, school principal Guy Pearson confirmed that there have been several boys who have been affected over a number of years.

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The teacher at the centre of these allegations, Fiona Viotti, has since resigned from the school.

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates a discussion on sexual misconduct at the school with L & N Advisors director Lovelyn Nwadeyi, St Johns College deputy headmaster Allan Magubane and counselling psychologist and diversity facilitator Thembelihle Mashigo.

Viotti’s father Dave Mallet wrote a letter to the teachers after the story broke.

Nwadeyi says the language in the letter is very problematic and distasteful.

I thought it was very insensitive to have sent that kind of letter. The bigger problem the words used in the letter speak to the toxic code that exists in boys schools.
Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Director – L & N Advisors

Mashigo says the language Mallet used in the letter is linked to the power that he has in the school.

On the other hand, I think he was ill-prepared to deal with this issue and is dealing with it in his toxic masculinity, that says: ‘It is business as usual, we don’t talk about emotions, we get on with business.’
Thembelihle Mashigo, Counselling psychologist and diversity facilitator

Magubane says society needs to move away from the language that says: ‘Oh but she is hot.’

That type of language doesn’t equip young men to recognise sexual grooming.
Allan Magubane, Deputy headmaster – St Johns College

Had this been a case where a male teacher sexually assaulted a female student, there would be a crazy outcry from society.
Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Director – L & N Advisors

Listen below to the full conversation:

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