Tempers flare at St John's School

HARARE - Tempers flared during a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the St John’s Education Trust to discuss disclosures by the school’s deputy headmaster to the effect that he was gay.

The chairperson of the trust Charles Msipa had sent mail to parents and guardians inviting them to the meeting held on Monday, which yielded no resolute conclusion, with some parents shedding tears, fearing for their sons.

This followed disclosures by Neal Hovelmeier, the school’s deputy headmaster, of his gay status.

Msipa came under fire during the indaba, with parents demanding answers as to why he was in support of homosexuality, yet he is aware of the laws of the land.

A clash in sentiments, emanating from race and religious beliefs was palpable during the meeting, with a lesser fraction of parents in attendance supporting the gay tendencies.

“We have no problem with anyone’s sexual orientation, but the venue, audience and time at which the proclamation was made. We think it is an invitation for our children to adopt certain sexual beliefs, we are scared our children will be recruited,” said a fuming parent during the meeting.

“A committee with parents’ representatives needs to sit without school authorities and make decisions.”

Another parent said in this era of technology children have information on their fingertips, and they should be allowed to make their own decisions.

“This has become racial. There are different types of teachers here, of different races, and different religions. If you think your children are so vulnerable, you don’t know how much time they spend on the Internet. They are able to make their own choices,” she said.

“This is an act of discrimination; someone went to the papers with this. From here your boys are going to universities. I don’t know how many are going to stay here and enrol at the University of Zimbabwe. Most of our boys will be out there in South Africa, the United Kingdom, and America. Will you be able to protect them?”
Some parents said the news of the gay teacher shocked them because they enrolled their children at St John’s believing the institution upholds Christian values.

“We are concerned about the psycho, social upbringing of our children. We look at value systems when we look for schools for our children,” said a parent.

A mother broke down in tears before Msipa after the meeting, narrating how her Form Two son has experienced nightmares over the past days after Hovelmeier’s proclamation.

Msipa said parents interested in forming the committee to discuss the matter can email him, a conclusion that was booed at by most parents who were largely unsatisfied.

In a letter, a former teacher at the elite school from 2006 to 2007 said during that period the first scandal involving homosexuality with the staff occurred.

While for many years homosexuality was a dismissible offence in schools, it has been tolerated and embraced in some schools.

The St John’s College developments come as Zimbabwe’s gays and lesbians have recently welcomed the possibility of the ruling Zanu PF finally embracing gay rights.

Although the Constitution prohibits same sex marriages, it is still silent on gay relations.

Comments (9)

Just because your son's teacher is gay doesn't turn your into a gay person. Most teachers are promiscuous and have small houses would that make your son a promiscuous person? Grow up people. Seriously. I'm really encouraged by this teachers courage. It's high time we let people live their lives without this culture or bible thing being used to justify bigotry. My son went to a Catholic boys school. Did it make him Catholic or religious? What's wrong with us seriously? Aren't you more worried about cholera, etc? There's more pressing things out there

Moe Syszlack - 26 September 2018

You cant protect children when they leave home to some foreign university but that must not be an excuse to support the teacher's selfish actions. Let them find out that stuff by themselves but also parent and aunts advice their puppies on hiv and condoms at an early , like 13 or 14 when the pewbs start mushrooming triggering all sorts of qns in their inquisitive minds. During the 80s and 90S Borrowdale was a place for mouth gonorrhea and other sti amongst black people according to health records , people that worked for white masters at home , men especially , they were forced into gay sex , and i have no doubt that this contributed hugely to the spread of HIV....where there is less European population in Africa there is also less HIV , the proportion is direct. This is not new. It is an offence , the teacher and the head must face the law to protect children.

Nowt good - 26 September 2018

There is nothing called born gay , sex is a state of mind's health. There are lots of people that went through university thinking they are gay during freshman yr , then in further years they got someone they liked of the opposite sex - students' sex like rabbits , each night comes with a new partner , its a learning platform , and by the time they reach senior years they are much more comfy with sex , relationships and themselves , an evolution , an emotional timepiece. I am talking about the late teens. The dark side of men sex is young people that have financial problems will not find it difficult to have sex with men their parents age to get that jimmy choo , Gucci or Givenchy to impress at college. Gays are shiny you know....but all that glitters are not academia diamonds. Let young minds grow organically.

32 bits sb - 26 September 2018

Yahahaha the chefs pay the mega bucks only to have homos have fun with their sons. Yahaha maybe they should rename the school St Bums. Yahaha or maybe the school should be called the chocolate biscuit feeding school, yahahaha.

Pierre Trumpette - 26 September 2018

The bare butt band competition was the turning point. They won....for a reason.

The kilt order - - 26 September 2018

I am impressed with the courage this teacher showed. And also the support the school has given him. His honesty will help a lot of gay kids at the school - it will stop bullying, and increase tolerance among pupils.

david taylor - 26 September 2018

Make $5,000 per week trading, i never believe it until I saw it myself and I started doing it. Go to Emini S&P Trading Secret and these guys will help you to win cash like me. So go for it and start now.

Robert Jassy - 27 September 2018

They are not gay kids - u mean sensitive if they are boys and the opposite if they are girls ?. Have you ever thought of intimating the two and observe the outcome ?...try the science , it make education sense. You will learn a lot - the physics of beings , the biology spectrum and interesting psychology.

Earl of magwegwe - 27 September 2018

There was a military intel base where St Johns college is now , what went on ?

St 7th Brigade - 27 September 2018

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