DRUG abuse and drug peddling have hit Dominican Convent High School in Harare, with eight girls being expelled on Wednesday.
The expelled students were found in possession of crystal meth, vape and weed, among others.
In a statement, the school’s headmistress, Sister Kudzai Mutsure, said the eight were found guilty by the school’s disciplinary committee following their suspension during a leadership camp held from January 12 to 15 in Nyanga.
Parents were called to a meeting at the school on Wednesday where the administration expressed concerns that they were breeding drug dealers and addicts.
Some senior students were caught red-handed using drugs at their camp at Troutbeck Inn, and when their bags were searched, more drugs were found.
The school has since demoted all prefects and banned all students from visiting Queen of Hearts and Sam Levy’s Village without their parents.
Of concern was that sugar daddies picked up some girls that should be on movie dates and return them in time for their parents to pick them up.
There were also concerns at Wednesday’s meeting that some parents were deeply involved in drugs.
So bad is the situation at the school that security guards now use sniffer dogs for random drug checks.
Sr Kudzai said the disciplinary committee exercised all principles of procedural fairness and found the expelled girls guilty of violating the school’s drug policy.
“My heart aches for these girls and their parents, but my duty of care is to ensure that the school environment is, as far as is practicable, safe and free from all risks.
“I have a responsibility to the whole school community and possessing, using or supplying a restricted substance, including vaping is not acceptable. Investigations are still ongoing and we will not hesitate to weed out any more culprits to sanitise the school space,” Sr Kudzai said.
“I pray that the girls will receive the rehabilitation they need and that all parents take an active role, in partnership with the school, to modify the inappropriate behaviour of their children.
“I believe that school officials’ efforts to protect students from the dangers of substance abuse are sometimes hampered by parents and community members in denial about the pervasiveness of the problem and the potential for any child to succumb to the lures of drugs.
“I appeal to parents to be more vigilant and active by refining their parenting skills and being aware of their children’s activities as our investigations show that the pervasive behaviour started at home. I will keep you posted on any further developments,” she said.
Meanwhile, police detectives moved into the school yesterday following a statement issued by school explaining the expulsion of eight senior students for drug usage and peddling.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed the investigation saying the school never reported the case either in Nyanga or Harare.
“Police have learnt from social media about the case involving drugs found in possession of students. The school never lodged a police report against those found in possession of the said drugs,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“Investigations with a view to establish sources of the drugs, types of the drugs, current state at the school and where the school authorities placed the drugs has begun. More details will be released in due course,” he said.