Space cook­ies put pupil in hospi­tal

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - TEBOGO MONAMA

A PUPIL is re­cov­er­ing in hospi­tal after eat­ing muffins laced with mar­i­juana at her high school in Orange Farm.

The girl, who can­not be named as she is a mi­nor, and about 20 other pupils at Siyapham­bili High School in Orange Farm landed in hospi­tal nearly two weeks ago after eat­ing the drug-laced muffins, pop­u­larly known as space cook­ies.

The pupils bought the baked goods from an 18-year-old Grade 12 pupil.

The un­cle of the girl who is in hospi­tal said his niece col­lapsed at school after eat­ing the muffins.

“This is un­ac­cept­able. My niece col­lapsed and was in the ICU be­cause of the poi­son­ing. She said she got the muffins from her friend who bought them from an­other learner,” he said.

The girl was moved from the ICU on Wed­nes­day but re­mains un­der ob­ser­va­tion in hospi­tal.

The un­cle said the fam­ily de­mands that ac­tion be taken against the pupils who sold the space cook­ies.

Gaut­eng Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment spokesman Steve Mabona said they would do just that.

“The in­volved learner has since been sus­pended. It must also be noted that the al­leged

Coun­selling will be of­fered to pupils as well

per­pe­tra­tor is a Grade 12 learner at the school and he will con­tinue to re­ceive ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion,” he said.

Mabona said his par­ents have also been called in for in­ter­ven­tion.

The girl’s fam­ily opened a case of at­tempted mur­der against the boy.

Coun­selling will be of­fered to the pupils as well.

DA shadow ed­u­ca­tion MEC Khume Ra­mulifho said: “It is ex­tremely wor­ry­ing that chil­dren could have been ex­posed to this in a space that is sup­posed to be safe, where par­ents send their chil­dren, be­liev­ing they will be looked after and out of harm’s way.”

Ra­mulifho urged an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter and stricter mea­sures to keep drugs out of schools.

Mabona ad­mit­ted that dis­ci­pline is one of the big­gest prob­lems in schools.

“The MEC (Panyaza Le­sufi) wants cases such as school-based vi­o­lence, gang­ster­ism, drug abuse, cy­ber bul­ly­ing and other re­lated se­ri­ous mis­de­meanours to be ex­pe­dited, as well as to en­sure that the depart­ment is proac­tive in iden­ti­fy­ing pre­ven­ta­tive strate­gies to elim­i­nate these so­cial ills from schools,” he said.

Mabona said the depart­ment was not only in­ter­ested in as­sist­ing the vic­tims, but also the al­leged muf­fin seller. He said psy­choso­cial sup­port for him would also be pro­vided to en­sure he does not get in­volved in drugs again.

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