III The gloom sets in

The schools today are not the same

  The classroom is now rough

Kids are no longer calm and tame

  A teacher’s job is tough

 

At first – the back chat – rather mild

  Then more unruliness

Noise fights and mess – a class runs wild

  There goes the teacher’s bliss

 

As years rolled on and things got worse

  Resistance in the air

The teachers threaten and coerce

  A season of despair

 

Another blow – a change in law –

  They can not use the stick

The whip or cane they may not draw

  To fix a noisy clique

 

Some learners soon snap up this gap

  Immune they think they are

They know they would not get the rap

  The rod won’t leave a scar

 

When punishment that’s corporal

  In all the schools is stopped

The sad result is overall

  The teachers’ power cropped

 

Not just a lack of discipline

  Much more to make them fret

Let teachers doubt – how could they win –

  More fuel to their upset

 

Of great concern to all is drugs

  Destroyer of the mind

These drugs distributed by thugs

  With ease kids them can find

 

With dope the scene is getting worse

  In ways you’ve seldom seen

Drug dealers now a greater curse

  Than they have ever been

 

At first it may be grass or weed

  Which children do abuse

They claim by it their minds are freed

  Though that’s a lame excuse

 

When dagga is not good enough

  Their sense to elevate

They move on to the harder stuff

  Helps them hallucinate

 

It’s heroin and L S D

  To which they are the slaves

And then there’s also ecstasy

  Available at raves

 

Some sniff benzene and some sniff glue

  Young kids left without sense

Sometimes they sniff the weirdest brew

  And suffer recompense

 

The latest evil head that’s raised

  – They call it tik these days –

Some bright young brains by this erased

  A most offensive craze

 

When learners are caught using dope

  The teacher’s hands are tied

Without the rod it’s hard to cope

  On which they have relied

 

Some schools may well kick such ones out

  While others do condone

No more do teachers have the clout

  Must leave them kids alone

 

Most teachers feel they’re powerless

  With drugs kids’ brains are fried

They swiftly sink down an abyss

  How does one stem this tide

 

It’s not just drugs – but alcohol –

  Through which their minds they lose

For many of them a downfall

  Too much love for the booze

 

With hangovers they come to school

  They drank right through the night

Then think they are so smart and cool

  Oh – what a sorry sight

 

It’s worse when children drink in class

  They act without constraints

The teachers cannot let this pass

  Not even if they’re saints

 

An old values antithesis

  The school scene has become

Is there a clear hypothesis

  Why kids are now so dumb

 

A moral shift in this landscape

  Takes place over the years

In schools free sex and even rape

  Fill teachers with new fears

 

Some pregnant girls attend their schools

  Before and after birth

Against this there are no more rules

  They’re flaunting it with mirth

 

In praise of their paternity

  Boys too get special leave

From this mounting insanity

  There is just no reprieve

 

Stressed are the teachers when they’re stripped

  Of their authority

Their dignity from them is ripped

   Dumped in futility

 

As gangs increase in multitude

  And do their dirty crime

The influ’nce of their attitude

  Seeps into schools o’er time

 

The classroom’s now a dodgy place

  The kids have guns and knives

They curse the teacher – slap her face –

  Some teachers lose their lives

 

To discipline kids do not yield

  Far too much insolence

School yards – a bloody battle field –

  A scene of violence

 

When one child kills another child

  With no respect for life

It’s like an animal gone wild

  Such gruesomeness is rife

 

Of massacres there are reports

  A teacher’s life is hard

Mass murders – killing whole cohorts –

  Right in the school’s back yard

 

All of these things do take their toll

  It comes as no surprise

When plunged into a dismal hole

  Their stress levels will rise

 

 

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