Learn­ers caught us­ing drugs

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Conelia Harry

SIX learn­ers from Richards Bay Sec­ondary School in Brack­en­ham charged with pos­ses­sion of dagga and us­age of drugs have been re­leased on warn­ing into the cus­tody of their par­ents. The pupils were ar­rested dur­ing crime com­bat­ting inspections at the school last Fri­day. A mem­ber of the school gov­ern­ing body alerted the po­lice to crim­i­nal ac­tiv­i­ties oc­cur­ring on the premises and they found chil­dren con­gre­gat­ing be­hind the class­room build­ing, smok­ing dagga. Af­ter a quick search, dagga was also dis­cov­ered in a plas­tic bag in­side the learn­ers’ school bags and they were charged on counts of pos­ses­sion and us­age of drugs. Richards Bay SAPS spokesper­son Cap­tain Debbie Fer­reira said learn­ers should not us­ing or in pos­ses­sion of any il­le­gal sub­stances and the school en­vi­ron­ment must re­main a safe place for learn­ers. ‘We need par­ents and community mem­bers to share drug aware­ness in­for­ma­tion with their chil­dren to help curb the prob­lem in our schools. ‘Drug-tak­ing among young peo­ple can make school a less safe and healthy place for all learn­ers, whether they use drugs or not. ‘Com­bat­ting drugs in schools needs to be a col­lec­tive ap­proach with community mem­bers, par­ents and schools work­ing to­gether. ‘Schools and com­mu­ni­ties have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to all learn­ers - in­clud­ing any who may be at risk from drug use; there are places which can of­fer help and we all need to work in part­ner­ship,’ she said.

Tips to keep chil­dren safe at school

• En­force zero-tol­er­ance poli­cies to­ward the pres­ence of weapons, al­co­hol, and drugs

• Es­tab­lish and en­force drug-and gun-free zones

• Es­tab­lish poli­cies that de­clare that any­thing that is il­le­gal off school is il­le­gal at school

• En­gage learn­ers in main­tain­ing a good learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment by es­tab­lish­ing a Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Coun­cil of Learn­ers

• De­velop pro­to­cols be­tween the SAPS and the school about ways to share in­for­ma­tion on, and han­dle, at-risk learn­ers

• De­velop re­source lists that provide re­fer­ral ser­vices for learn­ers who are de­pressed or oth­er­wise un­der stress

• In­volve learn­ers in de­sign­ing and run­ning pro­grammes such as me­di­a­tion, men­tor­ing, peer as­sis­tance and, School Crime Watch

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