School drug testing ban outrages principals
Fri, 26 Oct 2012 10:44p.m.
By Jenny Suo
A proposal to ban enforced drug testing in schools has outraged principals, who say students will be able to get away with bringing drugs on to school grounds more easily.
The ban is included in the Education Amendment Bill which is currently before Parliament and also includes banning the use of sniffer dogs while students are present.
Wellington College principal Roger Moses says the school has used drug testing in the past and it’s an option he wants to remain available.
“Any school that says it has no drug problem is deluded,” says Mr Moses. “If you're trying to ensure your school is drug free, if a student is continuing to use drugs and perhaps bring drugs into school, it’s just making it that little bit tougher for schools to create a drug free environment.”
In the past some schools have forced students caught with drugs to undergo a drugs test before they can return to school.
Under the new proposal teachers can ask students to take a drug test, but students can now refuse, and drug dogs can only be used in schools if no students are present.
In a statement, the Ministry of Education says:
“We don't think it's appropriate for schools to be using dogs to perform blanket or random searches of students and their belongings as part of normal practice. Teachers and principals are experts in education, not in the detection and enforcement of anti-drug policies.
These techniques are intrusive and invasive. We don't consider them to be effective for student management or necessary for student safety.”
The Ministry of Education does not expect the provisions of the bill will lead to an increase in drugs in schools.
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29/10/2012 10:02:44 a.m.
Our government are idiots.These Children will get a shock when they are tested to get the dole.
28/10/2012 10:14:53 a.m.
george bonney wrote:
please get realistic----of course there should be drug testing and dog sniffers IN SCHOOLS---if nothing to hide ? wat is the problem ----also keep our teachers safer----CAN THAT BE A BAD THING ?
27/10/2012 8:59:19 p.m.
I couldn't agree more with what BUKSTER wrote. I mean what is the next step in this line of thinking? do we build special camps out in the boondocks then round up everyone that has a positve test and put them there? maybe we could test people at the supermarket and not let them buy food if the test positive. where is it going to end???
27/10/2012 12:38:20 p.m.
I'm always dismayed by the way New Zealanders are all for anything that intrudes into people lives and are prepared to sacrifice any amount of privacy and civil liberties in order to feel safe. All the comments I see below reflect this attitude. This whole country has gone drug test mad. Employers, schools and the public seem convinced we can imprison, test and ban our way out of all our problems. Finally somebody is standing up and saying this has gone too far. Good for the Ministry of Education. This country is turning into a police state and Joe Public seems to think that is the most wonderful idea ever. There are a number of ways to keep drugs out of schools that don't involve intrusive testing. This crack down, test and ban everything mentality belongs in the past. This isn't the twentieth century anymore.
27/10/2012 12:23:34 p.m.
The Ministry of Education have a legal and moral responsibility to provide a drug free educational environment. If they take active steps to make it easier to bring drugs in, then they as individuals will leave themselves open. They will not be able to hide behind the mantel of a 'board decision'. Civil redress should a child as a result of drugs supplied within the school, would always be a possibility. If you find you have parents complaining about drug searches, i.e. drug dogs, consider this. Where do 12-15 year old children get their drugs from. Is is Mum, Dad, older siblings asking them to sell it off at school to support their own little habit. Because, of course without the customer, like any 'product' it has no value.
27/10/2012 11:35:48 a.m.
This is shocking we must do something about the drug taking going on in schools, the workplace and on the street. Drugs are an evil, pernicious insidious attack on the moral fibre of this country. If we can drug test in the workplace we can drug test in schools. Random searches are routine in prisons so why not in schools. If we can test the unemployed we can test the man on the street. We stop the motorist at random why not search homes at random. No stone should be left unturned in the war against drugs test everybody.
27/10/2012 8:55:34 a.m.
Jim Seaview wrote:
QUOTE from Ministry of Education: "Under the new proposal teachers can ask students to take a drug test, but students can now refuse, and drug dogs can only be used in schools if no students are present."
GIVING a student drug dealer or user the option as to whether they want to take a non compulsory drug test is another No Brainer as their ANSWER will always be NO and to top it off the MOE advises they do not expect an increase in drugs and schools. Can you believe this?? We are not surprised at this level of thinking coming from our MINISTRY OF EDUCATION which has included (1) incorrect data for closing Christchurch schools: (2)the NEW NOVAPAY PAY NOT programme and now (3) Banning drug testing so that schools have a degree of control to ensure that their school is relatively DRUG FREE!!!! Maybe they should have compulsory drug testing at the Ministry of Ecstacy??
27/10/2012 4:12:57 a.m.
how out of touch is this government!they are a joke and dont deserve to run this country..we need drug testing in schools
27/10/2012 12:37:05 a.m.
With a Min of Ed like this its no wonder our education system is in the toilet
26/10/2012 11:12:24 p.m.
Schools are being ridiculous. No wonder 31% of students are leaving school with no formal qualifications. Synthetic drugs are easily accessible in our shops so why test only some students for a certain drug, why not test ALL students for synthetic drugs as well.
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