Once again Sowetan has had to report the shocking tale of pupils taking alcohol, drugs, weapons and pornography to school.
We, adults, have failed the next generation. We set a foul example of the values and behaviour we expect from them, and then we fail to provide them with an environment in which they can grow up as we dream they should.
Year after year we discuss providing guards at school who would be empowered to search the pupils and weed out the bad elements. And year after year we find excuses to justify why that has not been done.
Even if by some miracle a group of bright children were able to withstand social pressures to succumb to temptations such as drugs, alcohol and porn, we cannot even provide them with a friendly and secure environment to live that choice.
So many elements of our educational system have failed that many throw up their hands and declare we have no hope of going against the tide. But however gloomy things look now, we must take an optimistic view.
Education Minister Naledi Pandor must provide the leadership needed to establish a new culture at our schools in which it is unthinkable to carry booze, weapons or drugs to class.
Otherwise we condemn the future to our own sorry past.