Pupil accused of selling drugs allegedly assaulted

SANDI KWON HOO

2022-08-05T07:00:00.0000000Z

2022-08-05T07:00:00.0000000Z

African News Agency

http://diamondfieldsadvertiser.pressreader.com/article/281590949327871

NEWS

A PARENT has opened assault charges against a teacher and a security guard at Kimberley Technical High School after her 18-year-old son was allegedly assaulted and chased off the school premises when he was accused of being in possession of drugs. However, the Northern Cape Department of Education has indicated that the pupil was found in possession of “a lot of dagga” that was “rolled and ready to be sold”. The pupil’s mother stated that the incident took place on Monday, when her son’s school bags were searched. “A security guard, who was dressed in civilian clothing, allegedly threatened him with a knife,” said the mother. “My son, who is in Grade 9, used to use drugs but now he is clean. They only found a set of keys, taxi fare and a cellphone, the drugs must have been planted on him. My son was pushed and shoved and is very traumatised following the incident. He is afraid of going to school. He is also falling behind in his studies as he had to repeat Grade 9 and it appears as if he is being targeted. Why did they not subject him to a drug test?” She added that her son was previously falsely accused of selling drugs, being in possession of a knife “that was planted on him” and of an attempted rape that was committed by another pupil. “My son is innocent and I am not just saying that because he is my son. I would have seen drugs hidden in the house if he was involved. “No drastic action is taken if other pupils or teachers smoke or sell drugs. I would not mind if he was transferred to another school. I did send him to a psychologist but I am a single mother of three children, who is struggling financially.” Northern Cape Department of Education spokesperson Sydney Stander stated that the mother’s version of events was “without substance”. “According to the school principal, the sector police were at the school on the day of the incident. An educator spotted the pupil selling some substances to another pupil. The educator confiscated the substances, which were found to be rolled dagga, from the learner. At this point the learner pushed the educator and ran away,” said Stander. He added that witnesses confirmed that the teacher never assaulted the pupil and that all proper procedures were followed when the pupil was searched. “An educator assistant accompanied the educator as a witness when he confiscated the dagga. There was a lot of dagga found in possession of the pupil, where it was already rolled and ready to be sold. The pupil was not searched as he was found with the drugs in his possession and was busy selling it.” Stander said that the pupil did not suffer any injuries. “The pupil ran away and jumped over the devil’s fork fence. No one threw him out of the school. He came back to school with his parent and no injuries were suffered. The accusation of him being dragged around school is really not what happened. Security guards are dressed in uniform at all times and he did not have a knife in his possession.” He also stated that the pupil had a history of drug abuse, where he had tested positive for drugs twice this year already. “He was suspended before for seven days and had a 30-day grace period to produce a negative test, which did not happen. There are other cases of misconduct and disciplinary issues dating back from 2021.” Stander denied that the pupil had been falsely accused. “We never target or falsely accuse pupils as our intention is to help the learner, especially when there is a drug problem.” Stander added that in terms of the departmental guidelines, a pupil could be tested if there was a reasonable suspicion of drug use. “Drug abuse by some learners is a problem at the school. Assistance is provided to parents with problematic pupils. “If the pupil tests positive, he/she is suspended for a maximum of seven days pending a disciplinary hearing. After this, the pupil is allowed to return to school and corrective measures are taken. We refer learners to a psychologist and social workers, who work hand in hand with the school and refer repetitive cases to a rehabilitation clinic.” He stated that the pupil would be suspended for seven days for being in possession of drugs on the school premises and would be subjected to a disciplinary hearing. “He has previously been tested for drug use on more than one occasion and tested positive each time.” He indicated that the police and officials from the Department of Correctional Services conducted random searches at schools. “Where there is a reasonable suspicion, bags are searched for contraband items, as mandated by the departmental policies.” Stander added that principals were obligated to report any incidents of school violence and drug abuse by pupils. “The department has not investigated because the incident has not been recorded on the HRMS system, which is a mandatory system where school principals are obligated to report incidents of school violence and drug abuse by learners. “The parent has not officially lodged a complaint but has been invited to the school to collect the suspension form.” Kimberley police spokesperson Sergeant Dikeledi Gopane said the police were investigating a common assault case. “A pupil was allegedly assaulted and threatened by a known male person who accused him of being in possession of dagga. Police investigations are continuing,” she stated.

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