Police deliver straight-talk on drug abuse in schools

Pelican Park High School pupils listen attentively to guest speaker, Colonel Dawood Laing. To his right is principal Carder Tregonning.

By Roshan Abrahams

Principals of schools in the Grassy Park policing precinct have taken their hats off to station commander Colonel Dawood Laing and spokesperson Wynita Kleinsmith for taking the time to visit schools to offer advice, practical examples and straight-talk about the dangers of drugs, gangsterism and crime.

Thus far, they have visited Grassdale, Pelican Park, Fairmount and Lotus high schools as well as Montague’s Gift Primary School.

Every year, said Colonel Laing, there were many “youths committing suicide and making the wrong choices”.

“We are doing this as a continuous thing. This is the end of the year and our learners can still change the outcome of the school year. They also go into festive season and they have a lot of free time on their hands and we want to encourage them to choose wisely and to make good friends,“ he said.

Grassdale High School pupils in their school quad while Colonel Dawood Laing talked about the dangers of drugs.

Colonel Laing encouraged the youngsters to dream but pointed out that the only way they’d be able to realise their dreams was by making difficult choices.

“The youth are important to us. We want to guide them in the right direction,” he said.

Dawood Tregonning, principal of Grassdale High, in Grassy Park thanked Colonel Laing and Captain Kleinsmith “for an interesting address to our learners”.

“Your message, insight and straight-talk about the challenges faced by our youth was well received. Thank you for your advice, practical examples and straight-talk about the dangers of drugs, gangsterism and crime,” he said.

Carder Tregonning, principal of Pelican Park High School, in Zeekoevlei, said he was very impressed with the powerful message to their pupils. “They are starting to talk about it as they are aware of the drug problem in our communities. It is up to us to make their (the learners’) mindsets strong for them to make the best choices and the correct decisions on a daily basis.

“The youth are facing an onslaught with these drugs in our communities, as it’s almost readily available.”

He said his staff had engaged with the pupils and started conversations about the drugs in the community, “which is a good starting point if they debate about it”.