News24 reports that 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. Maluleke also conveyed the union’s condolences to the family, school and community.
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 behaviour. Parents are also being urged to watch out for these signs in their children to avoid a similar tragedy. “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.
by Ntwaagae Seleka