St Francis College has dealt with an emerging culture of substance abuse within its premises at the course of last year. This unprecedented culture of substance abuse led to the poor academic performance of all those who were involved in such horrible deeds.
Last year, the culture of substance abuse was rife at the school and at both boarding facilities. An exclusive interview was held with one of the members of the Disciplinary Committee, Ms Khuboni. “It came to attention of the committee when teachers were constantly complaining about the behaviour and poor performance of the grade 8 learners and we decided to carry out an investigation”. They then found the cause of such behaviour and performance. It was an emergent drug known as incika or lean. It is a mixture of a cool drink, sprite to be precise, and cough mixture or syrup. It causes drowsiness and concentration loss, thus causing the learners to sleep in class while a teacher is facilitating a lesson. “As the investigation continued, many cases of this drug were unveiling around the school environment”, said Ms Khuboni.
The use of this drug increased significantly in the second term. When these learners were caught and interrogated about this drug, they at first denied. The learners were then asked to tell their sides of the story to their registration teachers. When this was done, their stories contradicted each other.
Some learners were found hospitalised, with proof of its use. The disciplinary process was followed and they were removed from school. They were mainly in Grade 9 and 10. They were removed as the Code of Conduct allows the school to remove those who breach it. Unfortunately, in a school situation, substance abuse is difficult to remove totally, but the school is committed to ensure that it has not incidents of substance abuse.
The expulsion of these learners was a portrayal of St Francis not wanting anything to do with drugs, let alone deal with its learners who put drugs as their first priority.
This year, we started on a clean page and at present, we are still going at the enthusiastic pace we had at the beginning of the year. The school is now a safe environment for all and we all trust and hope that there will never again be any incident as the previous year. As St Francis students, we say NO TO DRUG ABUSE!