Parents told to open case after search

2018-02-20 06:00

Parents concerned that their children were “inappropriately touched” during a recent police search at Ocean View Secondary School will have to lodge a formal complaint­.

Police carried out a search at the school (“Drugs, gangs bust”, People’s Post, 13 February) following reports of drug merchants recruiting children to sell drugs inside the school premises.

Reports were also received that gangsters and drug merchants were lining the school fence during break times, and that teachers had been threatened by them.

The search targeted Grade 10 learners, after reports that some learners in the grade had affiliations with local gangs.

However, following the search, parents came forward to say their daughters had been inappropriately searched and requested meetings with police and the school. The most recent of these took place on Monday 12 February.

The education department had not commented on the allegations at the time of going to print.

Ocean View police spokesperson Sergeant Leon Fortuin says the station “is aware of the concerns raised by some of the parents” at Ocean View Secondary.

“Ocean View police station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Monwabisi Buzwayo met with the parents of some disgruntled learners at a meeting which took place at the high school.

“From this meeting, parents informed that the female police officers ‘inappropriately touched’ learners during the search.

“Buzwayo informed the parents that this was a lawful search carried out by the police and that he was present during the entire search and there were no irregularities.”

Ocean View Community Policing Forum chairperson Kathy Cronje says she was present at the operation and also did not notice any inappropriate behaviour by the officers.

The only procedures for a search are that men are searched by male police officers and women are to be searched by female officers, Fortuin says.

“Buzwayo informed the parents of this and further stated that if they were unhappy, they could lodge a formal complaint at the police station and it would be investigated by an independent body.”

According to Fortuin, parents, teachers and the school governing body were all satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and no further action will be taken by the station unless a formal complaint is laid.

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