Police warn pupils about dangers of drug abuse

Pupils were told to empty their school bags and stand against the wall before they were searched.

Pupils at Intlanganiso High School in Site C got a surprise visit on Thursday September 8, when Site B police officers conducted a random search at the school.

Ten classes were searched but no illegal weapons or drugs were found in the school bags of the pupils.

The officers also took the opportunity to warn the pupils about the dangers of drug abuse.

They urged them not to be lured into criminal activities and emphasised the importance of studying hard.

Captain Ntandazo Mncanca said they were glad they did not find any illegal items because it meant the pupils were abiding by the law.

He said one of the school parents had informed police during an awareness event at the school that her daughter was smoking dagga on the school premises.

Captain Mncanca said they felt the need to conduct a search and send a strong message to pupils that illegal drugs and dangerous weapons were not allowed in school.

Captain Mncanca urged the parents to search the school bags of their children when they leave the house and to talk openly about any issues with their children.

“This is the first search and seize operation and we will visit others schools as well.

“I appeal to the parents to inform the police when they suspect that their children are using drugs. And dagga is a drug and parents should not take it lightly,” he said.

Captain Mncanca called on the community to report the people who sell drugs in the community and said they were destroying the future of their children.

Principal Khaya Tshimise told Vukani they had called on the police to conduct the operation because they discovered that some pupils were smoking dagga and cigarettes on school premises.

He said they noticed that the behaviour of the pupils changed when they smoked as they became unruly.

He said it was the boys in particular who were smoking at the school.

Like other township schools, he said, the school battled with gangsterism and theft.

“Boys use the toilets to smoke dagga and cigarettes. I don’t believe girls smoke but I can’t rule out the possibility that some do smoke.

“Some pupils steal and as teachers, you just can’t leave your bags in the class unattended,” he said.

Grade 11 pupil Oped Mabetha, 20, described the search operation as unnecessary and said he did not like it because it made him feel as if they were criminals.

He believes the police should be out there in the streets apprehending criminals, instead of searching pupils. “I did not like the search at all and for me it was a waste of time. There were criminals who rob us when we go to school and the police should be patrolling around the schools protecting us,” he said.