APPROACH: POLICY

ILLICIT DRUGS

ILLICIT DRUG USE POLICY

Rationale:

  • Illegal drug use in schools is a social, health and legal problem that needs to be addressed in accordance with protocols established between the Department of Education and the Victorian Police Force.
  • The boys enrolled at Kamaruka Education Centre are more vulnerable to the influence of peers and consequently need greater vigilance and protection.
  • In keeping with the general philosophy of the school, any student or member of the Kamaruka Education Centre community who is deemed by the principal to have a detrimental influence on another student’s progress will not be allowed to continue as a member of that community.

Aims:

  • To provide a school environment that is free of illicit drugs, and safe for all staff and students.

Implementation:

  • As educators we have a legal responsibility to take reasonable measures to protect students in our care from reasonably foreseeable risks of injury, including risks associated with illicit drugs.
  • Harm minimisation is the prevailing approach that our school adopts in the implementation of our drug education prevention and intervention program for all students.
  • It is unacceptable that any student or staff member to use, possess, supply or be under the influence of illicit drugs at school, at a school function or in the vicinity of the school or its students.
  • Any staff who is the driver of the school bus must not have alcohol or drugs present in his or her blood or breath immediately before, or while driving the bus and must comply with any guidelines regarding the form and content of alcohol and drug management policies issued by the Safety Director (sections 56-57, Bus Safety Act).
  • Despite the best efforts of our staff, the use of illicit drugs may still impact upon our school.
  • It is incumbent upon a school to act whenever cases of drug use or illegal or criminal activity occur, or are suspected to have occurred at school.
  • Students who appear to be affected by drugs who attend school or are within the vicinity of the school or a school function will be managed in the following way as deemed appropriate by the principal:
    1. The safety and welfare of the affected student and others directly or indirectly involved will be our primary concern.
    2. The situation will be isolated from other students.
    3. General First aid and reassurance will be provided.
    4. Medical assistance and support will be sought when required.
    5. The school principal will be informed.
    6. Any drugs or paraphernalia that can be easily collected will be safely gathered and disposed of in accordance with council procedures.
    7. The parents or guardians of the student/s involved will be contacted.
    8. Notify Health or Welfare services if appropriate.
  • Whether or not the principal informs all parents or students of incidents involving drugs at school is a matter of circumstances and degree, but the principal’s legal duty is to ensure that the school environment is, as far as practicable, safe and free from risks.
  • Teachers have a duty of care to pass on information to the principal if they have knowledge about illicit drug use by students on or outside school grounds. Under this duty of care staff cannot promise unconditional confidentiality to students.
  • Principals must advise the local police contact person when they have knowledge of an alleged criminal offence, including the possession, use and distribution of illicit drugs.
  • Any student who is absent from school due to drug use or the resultant treatment should be provided access to appropriate services and information on counselling.
  • The principal will inform students and parents via newsletters and the Student Code of Conduct that school lockers and desks are school property and may be searched without notice.
  • Students suspected of illicit drugs in school bags or personal clothing are to be separated from other students and supervised while a search is conducted. A principal or principal’s delegate can conduct the search of a school bag or clothing in the company of another responsible adult if there is a reasonable suspicion that the student is in possession of drugs.
  • Any student who supplies illicit drugs or influences another student to take illicit drugs will be reported to the police and expelled.

Evaluation:

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school’s three-year review cycle or earlier if deemed necessary.

All policy documents are accessible on the Kamaruka website and are available for staff to view in each staff room. Copies are provided for parents with enrolment forms.

This policy was last ratified by the Kamaruka Advisory Committee on 23 March 2017