Rylands High School
Cape Town - An Athlone mother is calling for urgent intervention at Rylands High School after her child was robbed and intimidated by alleged gangsters at the school.

The 35-year-old mother, who asked not to be named to protect her son, says the school is being overrun by gangsters who openly sell drugs and carry weapons on the grounds.

The teens from Manenberg allegedly call themselves Ugly Americans.

A learner at the school told the Daily Voice they are “proper gangsters with tattoos en alles” (with tattoos and all).

The boy also says older gangsters from Manenberg accompany the teens and hang around the school during the day.

The mom says her 14-year-old son has become a target of the thugs who are in Grades 10 and 11.

The Grade 9 learner was robbed of his ring and had the tyres of his bike slashed.

“I didn’t even know, another child at the school told me,” says the worried mother.

“A boy by the name of ‘Lange’ took the ring and then they stabbed his tyres and he pushed his bike all the way home. He was too scared to say anything, it happened two weeks ago.”

The mom went to the school last Wednesday and says she was shocked to hear the principal was aware of gangsters operating on the school.

“He told me he feared for my child’s life and told me to make sure I take him in and fetch him every day. The principal is also scared and the police were called to the school,” she says.

“While we were waiting, the one boy went in to fetch a bag from another learner and openly took dagga and money out of the bag and just walked out. How can the school just allow this?”

After writing his exams last week, the boy and his 18-year-old cousin took another route home after they spotted the gangsters waiting for them on a corner.

“One of the girls at school told me they were planning something so we walked towards Vanguard side,” the boy tells the Daily Voice.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesperson, Millicent Merton, confirms they were aware of gangsters targeting children at the school and that this particular matter was reported to Safe Schools.

“The robbery took place outside the school and the perpetrators are not learners at the school.

“The principal immediately attended to the incident referred to and a resolution with the parent and learner was reached within an hour of it being reported to him.”

Merton says the school conducts random searches for dangerous weapons at the gate.

“There were approximately 20 searches and seizures this year,” she says.