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W Cape Education Dept Steps Overturns School Suspension of Weed-Smoking Pupils; Says Pupils Over 18 Can Consume Cannabis

The Western Cape provincial education department has forced a Worcester school to overturn its suspension of five pupils for smoking marijuana.

The Sunday Times reported that the hostel management committee of Drostdy Technical High School slapped the Grade 8 pupils with suspensions, three of them permanently because of past transgressions, on 9 June 2021.

The parents of the evicted pupils had to fetch their children at about 11pm, though a curfew was in place from that time under the country’s alert level 2 lockdown regulations…


A concerned member of the community lodged a complaint with one of the province’s district offices about the unfairness of the suspensions.

Western Cape education department spokesperson Bronagh Hammond confirmed a district employee recommended to the school’s governing body that the suspensions be overturned because “the members who made up the disciplinary committee were not as prescribed by policy”.


Earlier this year her department issued a circular stating schools should note that pupils who are 18 years and older may use, possess and cultivate cannabis in private or in a private dwelling, except in the presence of children and non-consenting adults.

This was in response to a Constitutional Court judgment on 18 September 2018 declaring legislation criminalising the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis by an adult in a private place as unconstitutional.

The Western Cape’s circular stated that schools should note that while a pupil 18 years or older cannot use cannabis at school, on school property or at a school event, that pupil may fail any random drug tests if they have used cannabis as lawfully permitted.


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