Time for parents to wake up and rein in their soiled 'little angels'

So much has been said about the unacceptably high rate of gymslip pregnancies.

So much has been said about the unacceptably high rate of gymslip pregnancies.

It was indeed discomforting to learn that 2336 Gauteng schoolgirls fell pregnant last year.

And, typically, South Africans are now pointing fingers at each other, apportioning the blame to everyone else but themselves.

Added to that, over the past few days Sowetan has run several reports about gross sexual misconduct at some schools.

I will restate one of them, the most shocking.

At Mandisa Shiceka Secondary School in Kagiso, on the West Rand, teachers caught two pupils having sex in full view of their cheering peers.

The boy was suspended.

A reader wrote in to say that while he commended the decision to suspend the boy, he felt the girl should also have been suspended.

She was not raped, she consented to sex, said the reader.

There are some among us who argue that the government is not doing much to stop this malady. I disagree.

Most schools have life-orientation programmes about the ABC of HIV-Aids prevention.

Are these programmes effective? No, I say. So why blame the government?

Also, I do not buy the yarn that poverty and the prospect of getting child-support grants lure teenage girls into pregnancy.

Every child comes from some kind of home, be it rich or poor.

Doesn't charity begin at home? It is also a fact that many, if not most, blacks grew up in grinding poverty. The hunger to escape from poverty was, and still is, a driving force for those blacks who value education.

What do parents say to their children about morality?

What has happened to the days when black parents taught their children to cherish education and not succumb to external influences?

I know parents want what is best for their children. But do they know their "little angels" at all? Do they know what they get up to during the day?

What galls me though is that some parents have palmed off the responsibility of nurturing their children to teachers and, by extension, the government.

I empathise with the teachers. Their hands are tied because they cannot instil discipline the old-fashioned way lest they are charged with assault.

This week a teacher told me: "We can only punish the pupils by giving them chores. We dare not touch them if we know what's good for us."

I wonder how the parents of the two pupils caught having sex reacted to the situation.

Also, do some parents know that their kids arrive at school way after the bell has rung?

They can be seen strolling to school even after 9am. And if they are turned away for being late, where do these children spend the rest of the day?

Well, take a guess and wake up if you are parents of teenagers.