Parents must take responsibility for errant learners

This tuck shop owner near Richem Secondary undertook not to sell cigarettes to school learners

RICHEM Secondary School’s management is clutching at straws trying to put an end to learners gathering outside school premises to smoke cigarettes and use drugs.

More than 30 teens dropped off at school early in the mornings walk to a nearby tuck shop to buy substances from either the café or two men believed to be dealing drugs outside the establishment.

Richem Principal Fohana Deenanath said her hands are tied with the misdemeanours taking place outside the school parameters, and urged parents to ensure their children do not participate in the illegal activities.

‘We need to sensitise parents to speak to their children, especially those dropped off at school from as early as 6am.

‘We have reported the issue to ward Councillor (Erwin) Palmer and opened our school tuck shop at 6am in an attempt to attract the learners to buy breakfast and snacks within the school’s boundaries, but the problem persists,’ Deenanath said.

‘They continue to smoke cigarettes and take drugs before school, and then come into class late.

‘The consequence is lack of focus, which will no doubt have a negative impact on their school results.

‘Then there is the serious issue of road safety. One learner was recently knocked over by a school minibus.

‘This behaviour is tainting the school’s image that we have worked hard for.

‘But my main concern is the well-being of our learners.’

Councillor Palmer addressed the issue with the tuck shop owner, who showed a municipal letter confirming the shop is operating legally.

He denied dealing in drugs at the shop and agreed to stop selling cigarettes to learners before 8am or between 2pm and 4.30pm.

‘There are apparently men from Ngwelezana peddling drugs in the area and this has been reported to the police, who will patrol the roads near the school,’ said Palmer.

‘The tuck shop cannot be held wholly responsible since teens can buy cigarettes from other stores before or after school.

‘It is the responsibility of parents to take control of their children’s behaviour outside of school. We cannot be held accountable for what they get up to.’

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  AUTHOR
Mia Moorcroft

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