Sadtu calls for urgent summits on violence, drug abuse at schools

2019-06-05 05:20
Kingombe Antonette Mabiala, the mother of a pupil who was allegedly killed by fellow pupils at Forest High School, Turffontein breaks down. (Gallo Images/Sowetan/Thapelo Morebudi)

Kingombe Antonette Mabiala, the mother of a pupil who was allegedly killed by fellow pupils at Forest High School, Turffontein breaks down. (Gallo Images/Sowetan/Thapelo Morebudi)

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The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has called on parents and affected communities to urgently convene summits to deal with violence, the availability of drugs and substance abuse in schools.

Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke made the call after a high school pupil was arrested on Monday evening in Dobsonville, Soweto, hours after he allegedly stabbed three fellow pupils, leaving one dead outside Forest High School in Turffontein, Johannesburg.

READ: Grade 8 pupils allegedly stab Grade 10 pupil to death outside Joburg school

Maluleke also conveyed the union's condolences to the family, school and community.

"We are shocked by this incident at a time when we are engaging with the DBE [Department of Basic Education] and SACE [South African Council for Educators] to deal with violence in our schools. We stand in solidarity with the teachers and pupils at the school. 

"The DBE must engage psycho-social professionals to help in the early identification of this behaviour, so that affected pupils can be assisted. The department must seriously partner with the SAPS in enforcing the search for weapons that are brought into our schools. The department must also, with urgency, engage with everyone to recurriculate Life Orientation to help build pupils' resilience," he said.

The union also urged social workers to visit schools and work with school-based support teams to pro-actively tackle signs of aggression and other related bevaviour. 

Parents are also being urged to watch out for these signs in their children to avoid a similar tragedy.

Support personnel

"Teachers and support personnel are not safe in our schools. It’s glaring that the way we deal with the safety of the teachers and support personnel lacks a sense of urgency. Parents and communities must, as a matter of urgency, convene summits to deal with violence, the availability of drugs and substance abuse. 

"The department and all of us must become fans of schools where we preach non-violence in our society. We must be the defenders of education and our schools. All schools must have security and psycho-social services to support pupils and teachers. All schools must be declared bully-free zones.

"Life Orientation must be enriched to change certain behavioural patterns. We must address inequality in our society so that everyone sees themselves as human beings, with their dignity being protected and respected," he said. 

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Read more on:    sadtu  |  education  |  crime
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