n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - A comparative analysis of learners' perceptions regarding substance abuse in two Tshwane public schools

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This article deals with the results of a survey undertaken during 2001 at two Tshwane schools in order to identify key concerns regarding illegal drugs and related matters, and to make information available to legitimate and interested stakeholders in order to establish partnerships for the development of problem-solving strategies. The central hypothesis addresses the learners' opinions on drug-free schools. In the case of both schools the null hypothesis was accepted at the expense of the alternative hypothesis.

It was established that the overwhelming majority of learners who had no knowledge as to whether their school was drug-free or not, also expressed ignorance pertaining to the knowledge of drug selling in their school. This was also the case when learners were asked to express their view regarding the illegal drug problem in their respective schools. Additionally it was revealed that more learners had witnessed drugs being sold in their neighbourhood than drugs sold in their schools or on school grounds. It is noteworthy that almost one-third of learners in school A who perceived their school as being non-drug-free, also had knowledge of peers in their school who were selling illegal drugs, whereas among school B respondents only 11, 5 percent expressed similar views. Furthermore it was revealed that one-quarter of the learners who viewed school A as being drug-free, also knew of pupils who sold illegal drugs at their school, while almost 30 percent among learners of school B who perceived their school as being non-drug-free assumed likewise.
Ten principles that foster the creation of a protective school and can be applied by educators, school administrators, policy makers, community leaders, and parents are also suggested. Ultimately logic should dictate that the appropriate information ought to be conveyed to the authorities in order to enable them to promote the quest for drug-free schools.


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