Pupils have a say on crime

2016-03-15 06:00

Pupils of Ocean View High School are speaking up against crime. A group of pupils, all members of the representative council of learners (RCL), recently presented a petition at a public meeting on crime in the area. The pupils appealed to police to help reduce drugs and crime at the school.

The school faces drug dealing and violent behaviour among some pupils, says RCL vice-chairperson JP Rossouw. He says the pupils were invited by the local civic association to voice their concerns.

He believes more sports activities need to be made available to pupils, as the school’s current programme offers pupils a safe space and has proven its success.

“We need more police visibility because kids are scared,” he also says. “The crime in the community affects pupils’ academics, especially in the lower grades where there is poor performance. We hope the police’s involvement at the school will increase due to the petition.”

Three police raids have been carried out at the school in the last two months.

Captain Angie Latchman, Wynberg police cluster spokesperson, says the Ocean View police are working in partnership with the school to address and prevent assaults, intimidation, drug abuse and drug dealing among learners.

“Ocean View police have implemented regular patrols and increased police visibility, awareness campaigns focusing on drug and alcohol abuse, the introduction of the safer schools programme and intervention with parents,” she says.

Shereen Klein, the staff member liaising with the RCL, says the school faces a number of safety challenges. Some pupils are known to have associations with gangs, but the school’s “hands are tied” unless transgressions take place on schoolgrounds.

“Pupils also come to school highly traumatised and there is a lack of counselling facilities for those who have witnessed crimes.”

Klein believes parents need to take an active interest in their children’s lives and provide positive role models.

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