The incident has also prompted outrage on social media and a petition in support of the pride pupils.

A parent of one of the affected pupils also spoke out this week, slamming the school for targeting the pride pupils rather than those who targeted them.

“Instead of disciplining homophobic students, the school management was implicitly condoning homophobic views by banning pro-pride sentiments. There needs to be a programme to educate people, to bring this out into the open,” said the parent, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of inviting further verbal abuse of his child.

The pride pupils were reportedly surrounded while sitting together on the school grounds, some of them wearing pro-pride badges. They had previously been denied permission to organise an ‘official’ pride event.

“Instead of being greeted with understanding and treated with respect, they were subject to hate speech by queerphobic students and staff,” said a statement attached to an online petition in support of the pride pupils at the school.

“The group of LGBTQ+ students were surrounded, threatened and intimidated till the end of break.

“As a government school, DF Malan High School’s responsibility is to ensure that all their students feel safe and included to generate a successful learning environment.

“The fact that no action has been taken against the queerphobic students, and the LGBTQ+ students have been blamed for the hate speech against them, is a violation of constitutional rights.

“We are calling on DF Malan High School to give a public apology for silencing the queer community in their school.”

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