PIETERSBURG Hoërskool in Polokwane intends to expel a black learner based on the suspicion that he is a drug dealer. The school has recommended to the Limpopo Education Head of Department, to expel the learner who has been found guilty by the school’s disciplinary hearing for allegedly selling drugs to white learners.
According to the family of the learner, the school recommends that the charge of possession of drugs be dropped but he is found guilty of probabilities of drug dealing, despite the drugs never being found on him. The recommendations further state that if he is not expelled by the department, he be slapped with 12 months community service punishment at the school. The two white learners who were caught with the drugs and failed a drug test got six months and two months respectively.
African Times last week reported that during the internal disciplinary hearing at the school, the learner was blamed for selling dagga to the two white learners who tested positive for traces of the drugs in their urine and they were found in possession of the drugs by a teacher. The black learner still maintains his innocence and refutes the claims that he is a drug dealer.
“I went out to buy food from a shop outside the school with another friend. I was shocked the next day when I heard that I had gone to get dagga from the other guys, I know nothing about dagga,” he said.
“That teacher that caught them never liked me from since I started at grade eight. I have been intimidated by her,” he said.
The learner’s mother who also spoke on condition of anonymity said there was more to the story than the school let on.
“One of the boys who was not supposed to be at school got six months for usage and possession and the other one got two months just for usage. How does he [her son] get a recommendation for expulsion or 12 months community work while they found nothing on him? How do you charge a person on a probability? My son never did drugs. How do you recommend for someone to be expelled over a probability and 12 months community work would also be unfair because they found nothing on him? It’s not fair how he was charged in the first place because he was not in possession and they admitted to me that much. They found drugs on the white kids but give them only six and two months,” said the mother.
She added that the recommendations document also dug up misdemeanours the learner had in primary school prior to getting into Pietersburg Hoerskool and contain demerits and detention records that had nothing to do with high school.
“How could they dig up such old stuff when he was a baby in Primary school? Children get naughty. He should get a clean slate going into high school like any other child,” she said.
The school had earlier unlawfully suspended the learner for 17 days and only took him back after Limpopo’s Department of Education’s (DOE) legal division intervened, stating in a letter to the school that the suspension was unlawful.
DOE’s spokesperson Sam Makondo said that they were still waiting for the report to the HOD before they could comment on the matter and how it was handled.
“Such a report emanating from a disciplinary proceeding has not reached us as yet but we know that the disciplinary hearing was held on the 21/08/2018,” he said.
When asked about racism in schools he said: “Issues of racism at schools were issues we are not aware of but should there be any learner who feels treated along racial lines, it’s a matter worth pursuing because racism has no place in our schools and in the country.”
He said that as the department they encouraged learners and parents to complain if there were things that they were not happy about in all our schools in the province.
“When it comes to procedures of disciplinary hearings a learner and the parent have to be served with a letter indicating the following: Nature of the charge, Right to be represented and Date, time and Venue of the hearing,” he said.