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6 ST MARK’S PUPILS EXPELLED FOR DRUGS

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MBABANE – A total of six pupils from St Mark’s High School have been expelled for drug abuse.


This follows a video that went viral on social media and finally landing in the hands of the school’s authorities who have no tolerance towards drug usage amongpupils. The video is alleged to have been taken by a passerby, who immediately posted it on the social media pages; Instagram. It shows the pupils purportedly abusing drugs at the Coronation Park.


A well-informed source said following the leaked video, the school was questioned by parents during a meeting and authorities had to take serious action.  According to the source, parents of the children concerned were called and engaged on the matter and the video was also shown to them. “They were also told of the consequences their children were going to undergo,” said the source.


Volunteered


The source also alleged that there were parents who volunteered to remove them from St Mark’s, although some were fighting that the pupils continue at the same school. “This will not assist in rehabilitating the pupils as they were going to be subjected to discrimination by teachers and other pupils.” In an interview with the head teacher of the school, Zanele Zwane, she confirmed to have dismissed the pupils. Zwane said school rules were clear and pupils were quite aware of their stance regarding drugs and alcohol abuse.


The head teacher said this was not the first time pupils were dismissed from the school for substance abuse, adding that these rules had assisted them in keeping the school clean from substance abuse.


“Children are strongly warned against using the route that cuts across the park because it is known for being the supplying of drugs,” she said.
Further, she said there was no first, second or third offender according to the rules but anyone found abusing substances was dismissed. This, she said, helped to discourage others from committing the same offence. 

Hhohho Regional Education Officer (REO) Thuli Langwenya said they received complaints from parents about a week ago on the dismissal of the pupils.  Langwenya said the Ministry of Education and Training was addressing the matter with the concerned parties.


She said her office had gathered from the parents that between April and August, the school engaged the affected pupils and parents, who were served with letters. “The parents also produced the letters, showing them to the office,” she said.


Langwenya said following the decision taken by the school, the parents went to negotiate thereafter. “What we gathered is that the school has been quiet since then, until November 15, 2019 when they served the pupils with letters of dismissal.” 

 
The REO said the school should consider giving the pupils a second chance as some of the rules had been violated.
Langwenya said the communication between the parents and school was not effective enough as the letters of dismissal were served on November 15, which was unfair for the parents.


Deny


According to Langwenya, they did not deny the fact that the matter was a dismissible offence but procedure had been violated by the school.
Meanwhile, Public Information Officer at the Municipal Council of Mbabane, Lucky Tsabedze encouraged the teachers to report their concerns to either the police or the municipality. He said to keep the park safe and secured, they had deployed security guards and there were others who also patrolled the area. Tsabedze stated that in case there was a need for back-up, they also worked with the police. 

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