Queensland cracks down on substance abuse in schools


By Andrew Cook and Sebastian Sinclair

The rise in drug related expulsions demonstrates a lack of willingness in schools to fully address the problem according to Drug Free Australia

Drug Free Australia executive officer Jo Baxter says the laws in place aren’t helping.

“It’s a sad indictment of the fact that schools can’t cope. They’re not given the option of drug testing or whatever drug testing programs they want to bring in,” she says.

Drug abuse in schools up 35 per cent

Drug abuse in schools up 35 per cent

The Queensland Government todayannounced it will take a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on drugs in schools, as substance abuse among young people continues to grow.

Education Minister Cameron Dick today revealed that drug related expulsions and suspensions in schools had increaded by 35 per cent increase since 2009.

He says the figures were positive and reflected the Queensland Government’s strict stance on drug use but not everyone’s satisfied with the results.

Ms Baxter says Australia should adopt a similar system to America when looking for drug use among students.

“By the time kids are in Year 8 they bring the parents on board and have family meetings,” she says.

Queensland Teachers Union Vice President Julie Brown welcomes the Government’s hard-line stance.

“When you enrol your child into a school and you get told the rules of the school, when those rules are broken there is going to be consequences,” she says.

Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Association State President Margaret Leary say parents have a job to do as well.

“Parents have to take some responsibility in talking to their children on the effects of drugs and how dangerous they can be,” she says.

“It’s like anything you have to know they are out there and inform your children.”