Eight learners expelled from Dominican Convent School for drug abuse

HARARE – Harare’s Dominican Convent High has expelled eight of the upmarket school’s learners caught using illicit drugs during a school trip to Nyanga recently.

In a notice to parents on Thursday, Sister Kudzai Mutsure, head of the Upper School at the Convent, said a disciplinary committee found the girls guilty of violating the Catholic run school’s drug policy.

“I write on a sad note to notify you that the 8 girls we had put on suspension pending investigations on an incident that took place at the 2023 U6 leadership camp which was held in Nyanga from the 12th to the 15th of January, have been excluded from the school with immediate effect,” she said.

“The disciplinary committee exercised all principles of procedural fairness and found the girls guilty of violating the school 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.”

Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling vapour containing drugs such as nicotine and flavouring produced by a device designed for that purpose.

Sister Mutsure advised that the expelled learners get rehabilitation and counseling.

“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,” said the school head.

In a leaked conversation from the parents WhatsApp group, one parent said the girls were raided and found with the illicit substance in their bags.

“The senior girls had camp at Troutbeck last week. And some were caught red-handed using drugs. Then they were raided. A number had drugs packed in their belongings.

“We are raising drug dealers and drug users and addicts unknowingly. Be wary of their outings to QOH (Queen of Hearts). Too much drug usage there. Weed, crystal meth and vaping,” said the concerned parent.

Zimbabwe is experiencing an upsurge in drug abuse cases and most of those abusing the drugs are young people.

The youths are turning to hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.

According to the government, at least 57.1 percent of Zimbabwe’s youths are taking these illicit drugs and substances.

In efforts to deal with the vice, government set up an inter-ministerial committee tasked to raise awareness around drug and substance abuse as well as proffering solutions such as rehabilitation of victims of drug use.

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