As the country commemorates Youth Day on 16 June, it is an opportune time to consider the safety of our own youth in 2019. Picture: Henk Kruger/ANA/African News Agency
Cape Town -  As the country commemorates Youth Day on 16 June, a tribute to the pupils who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 uprising in Soweto, it is an opportune time to consider the safety of our own youth in 2019.

“Safety is a priority and must be top of mind for everyone, particularly teenagers and young adults who are especially vulnerable to crime,” said Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing & Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT.

The events which unfolded this month at Forest High (in Gauteng) are sadly not new and point to the fact that schools in South Africa are becoming more violent and dangerous for both teachers and learners.

Last year the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, admitted that the 2018 spate of stabbings and attacks at learning institutions across South Africa was cause for major concern. 

Hattingh says Fidelity ADT regularly conducts routine educational sessions or searches at schools to empower students to say no to drugs and violence. 

“Parents and educators all play a vital role in encouraging communication and clamping down on both substance abuse as well as the carrying of dangerous weapons by students at schools,” she says. 

She provides the following advice for Youth Month:
  • Monitor your child or teenager’s social media feeds to protect them from predators and bullies.
  • Educate your children about the dangers and risks associated with taking drugs.
  • Stamp out the carrying of any type of weapon which could cause harm.
  • Instil an ethos of zero tolerance to violence and drugs.
  • Encourage fee and open communication amongst your teenagers so they feel empowered to talk out on issues and report abuse.
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