Parents urged to check school bags

2012-11-21 22:15

Johannesburg - Parents must inspect their children's school bags to help curb crime and violence in schools, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday.

"A small contribution such as checking what is in your child's school bag every day, can go a long way," she said in a statement.

"Open communication between learners and parents and teachers can also assist to detect any signs of bullying or abuse at school."

An 18-year-old Grade 11 pupil shot dead a fellow student at Phineas Xulu Secondary School, in Vosloorus, Boksburg, on Tuesday.

The firearm belonged to his mother, a metro police officer.

The 18-year-old was allegedly bullied by his victim, a Grade 10 pupil, and two other boys. They had stolen his cap and cellphone the previous day.

The youth shot dead the Grade 10 pupil in class on Tuesday. Motshekga sent condolences to his family.

The Grade 11 pupil will appear in the Vosloorus Magistrate's Court on Thursday on charges of murder and possession of a firearm.

Ekurhuleni mayor Mondli Gungubele condemned the shooting.

"This is an extremely shocking incident, and it could not have come at a worse time, considering that the children are writing their final examination," he said.

"Such [conduct] cannot be tolerated in our schools."

He said the Gauteng department of education was working to quickly bring the school back to normal, to allow examinations to be concluded.

Gungubele said parents, community organisations, churches, political parties and young people should come together to confront problems faced by pupils.

  • sally.lewitt - 2012-11-21 22:46

    Angie..? Is THIS your only advice AFTER the fact.. How about seeing to it that children are properly educated PERIOD. Waste of a lot of space..

  • jack.trend.3 - 2012-11-21 22:54

    They didn't need to check our bags before.

      godesha - 2012-11-22 06:39

      No Jack, they didn't. The only thing my mom checked my bag for was forgotten sandwiches. Parents and teachers were allowed to discipline the kids back then.

  • willem.v.hoven - 2012-11-22 02:15

    Angie... do you really mean this? ... and what will happen if I miss one morning???

  • brionyl.french - 2012-11-22 05:01

    How about we teach our children how to behave properly instead of allowing this behaviour to continue? Remind these kids that prison is where you go if your naughty!!!

  • sipho.dube.564 - 2012-11-22 05:53

    Searching the children bags is a temporal solution and what they will do will find hiding spots for whatever they have. Kids need to : be brought up with strong authority and moral standards. They need to be encouraged to love , protect ,care and be responsible. Taught to says no whether they are uncomfortable about something and how to handle peer pressure, how to remain safe and how to be street smart. However as parents we are consumed in our careers and hoping teachers who are mostly under trained and under resourced will teach our kids life skills, discipline and how to treat others. Unfortunately some of these kids are a problem from home and when they get to schools they take that aggression and bad conduct to school . Our kids are actually dangerous and violent , teachers are afraid of them. We also have youth structures like COSAS who encourage these kids to beat up teachers. I need not say more , however as parents we need to take charge and instil correct grooming to our children. We also need to apply ubuntu , a child in the neighbour is my child and if they do wrong... I try to help them get back in line.

      godesha - 2012-11-22 06:42

      True words Sipho.

      hermann.hanekom - 2012-11-22 06:52

      Sipho good piece, but as far as parents checking the kids school bags go it is a lost cause as there are certain societal misfits known as human rightists who will call it violation of the child's privacy.

  • thaluki.malema - 2012-11-22 06:19

    No that's a no no. It's invading your child's privacy, that can't be allowed. It's not political or socially correct.

      bernard.tome.7 - 2012-11-22 06:33

      If searching a child underpants is necessary to find the knife he plans to murder an innocent child with, do you really care about political and social norms? How many more innocent people must die because of your norms?

      laurencebenravenhill.merry - 2012-11-22 06:39

      This is the reason kids don't get disciplined -.- I'm not even a parent and I can fathom how brainless and harmful this kind of upbringing can have on a child and those around him/her.

      christi.roestorff - 2012-11-22 08:48

      Thaluki, it's that type of reasoning that creates these child monsters we are seeing more and more of!

  • anne.erasmus - 2012-11-22 08:33

    How about we make sure that a parent - a 'trained' Metro Police officer at that - is severely disciplined for leaving a firearm within reach of her children - and apparently not noticing it was missing until it was too late! If the parent is so irresponsible how do you expect the kid to do any better? A parent should know what is in their kids bags - because they should be aware of what is going on in their kids' lives and be helping them handle it rationally and humanely. Communication goes a long way - and responsible gun ownership!

  • - 2012-11-22 08:44

    Just reading the story of how a little amount has been put aside to build proper schools and do away with mud huts...Now a pupil has been murdered and Angie Motshekga's only advice is to look into ur childs school bag?? U cannot be serious!! If we had the proper education system - kids wouldnt need to result to violence...all boils down to the government and the lack of interest !! Disgraceful indeed!!

  • bontle.kgosi.5 - 2012-11-22 09:10

    OH Angie...Is that the best you can come with to curb problems in schools? How about instilling a culture of learning in schools by providing necessary resources such as textbooks and sporting facilities?

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