The Hazard – Drugs (Illicit)
Illegal drug use by students (including the misuse of prescription medication) increases the risk of injury to the students themselves and to others, as well as impairing the ability of students to respond appropriately in an emergency.
Presbyterian Ladies’ College is committed to providing a safe environment for all our students, workers, and visitors. It is our policy that:
- The use, possession, and supply of illicit drugs and/or drug paraphernalia (such as pipes or ‘bongs’) by students is strictly prohibited
- While on College property, or representing the College in any way, students are not permitted to be under the influence of illicit drugs
- All students will receive age-appropriate health and drug education to enable and support them to make informed choices, and minimise the harm associated with drug use; and
- Referrals to counselling and support groups will be provided to students with drug-related problems.
Dealing with a Student Affected by Drugs
Where a student exhibits obvious signs of drug use a staff member shall:
- Isolate the student from their peers in a calm and controlled manner (if possible)
- If this is not possible and an impaired student refuses to cooperate and/or becomes agitated, ensure that any other students within the immediate vicinity are removed from harm and attempt to calm the student until such time as other staff members are able to provide assistance
- Ask the student to accompany them to the College administration office; and
- Contact the Principal or Head of School to inform them of the situation.
The Principal or Head of School shall then make an assessment of the student’s condition and take appropriate action based on the facts. This may include contacting the student’s parents/carers to inform them of the incident and requesting that they remove the student from the College grounds, and/or calling the police in the event that the student is acting in an aggressive or threatening manner.
All staff are responsible to ensure that:
- They follow the guidelines set out in this policy when dealing with a student that they believe may be under the influence of illicit drugs
- All reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety and welfare of students from both known and reasonably foreseeable illicit drug related risks of harm and/or injury
- The Principal or Head of School are informed if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that a student is involved in illicit drug related behaviour
- Prescription drugs are not supplied or administered to students unless following the directions set out in the Medication Administration Policy; and
- Students are asked to display their possessions or contents of their bag in the presence of another teacher, where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that they have illicit drugs in their possession.
Disciplinary Procedures for supplying illicit drugs to other students as well as consuming illicit drugs on College premises:
- Parents to be notified and a meeting to be arranged with the Head of School and/or Principal.
- Appropriate consequences will be put in place, and this will include probable expulsion.
This policy is implemented through a combination of:
- Student education via ongoing age-appropriate drug education programmes integrated into classroom learning
- Development of drug safe culture by promoting student awareness of drug abuse
- Effective incident notification procedures
- Effective communication procedures
- Effective record-keeping procedures; and
- Initiation of corrective actions where necessary.