Principal warns teens to avoid parties or risk missing their exams

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It's not worth missing an exam
It's not worth missing an exam

We ask that we do all that we can as a community to end the 2020 academic year safely and successfully, says Mark Smith, principal at Westerford High School in Cape Town.

In a mail shared with parents and pupils, and Parent24, he draws attention the fact that "a large number of pupils from local schools have been frequenting some of the city’s clubs."

Also see: Cape Town high schoolers flocked to Tin Roof for night of cheap booze: Now at least 47 have Covid-19 

"Partying has happened with no masks worn, in crowded, enclosed areas, for prolonged periods of time," he writes.

In early October a large group was present at a Cape Town nightclub, he shares, and this event is now being regarded as ‘a super-spreader’ by local doctors, as 59 positive cases of Covid-19 have been identified from that evening alone.

"Most of the pupils present were Matrics. As a consequence of the non-observance of safety protocols at that club, there is now a large number of Covid-positive Matrics in neighbouring schools," he reveals.

"We are very concerned for the health of all pupils, teachers, family members, and especially of our Grade 12s," Smith stresses.

Should any Matric soon test positive, they would not be able to write the upcoming Life Orientation Examination, which will mean they will not matriculate, he warns.

"We must prevent that from happening," he says. 

He appeals "in the strongest terms" to pupils and parents to be aware at all times of "the extremely high risk of infection when health and safety measures are not being followed", and in particular when masks are not being worn.

His message to Matrics is that they need to be willing - they must be willing - to forego the short-term pleasures of partying, until the Final Examinations are behind them.

"To pupils from other grades who are frequenting parties: you, too, are placing our school community at risk, especially the Matrics who are on the verge of such important exams," he adds. 

To find out how to avoid Covid-19 exposure ahead of exams, see this doctors advice here: Doctor says don't let Covid-19 stop you from writing matric 2020

" We are approaching the end of 2020 teaching. Our Matrics start writing exams in the first week of November. It would be most unfortunate for any Matric to wait until 2021 to complete their schooling," Smith writes.

"Please, keep our Matrics and their future in mind. Please consider your own health, the health of all around you and, in particular, those who have comorbidities. Please take great care. Do what is considerate; do what is responsible."  

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