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Drugs Policy
“The influence and effects of drugs on the individual family and community are evident in our society. Drug use is a complex issue and it is recognised that drug use problems result from a combination of many contributing factors…”

Warwick Senior High School’s response is therefore as comprehensive as possible. In addition, a whole school approach to drug education will be maintained at this school. It is anticipated that the school community would be aware and supportive of the school’s policy.”

This School Drug Policy provides a framework to address drug related problems in a caring and consistent manner within the Warwick School community. It is as comprehensive as possible. This policy and subsequent procedures have been developed in consultation with staff, students and parents.

The Warwick School Drug Policy is binding on all members of the school community while they are on school premises, at a school function or on an excursion where students are present. This policy includes students, parents, staff, volunteer staff, ground staff and other workers. The policy also applies to school visitors and any functions held on school premises, unless otherwise negotiated with the Principal.

This policy aims to:
  • promote and maintain a healthy school environment in which the welfare of all school community members is paramount.
  • identify the role of Warwick School community in the prevention of drug related problems.
  • document the school community’s agreed position on, and accepted procedures for dealing with drug related incidents and problems.
For the purpose of this policy and accompanying procedures, a drug is defined as any substance, with the exception of food and water, which when taken into the body, alters its function physically and/or psychologically. This definition includes all drugs such as analgesics, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, amphetamines etc.

While not classified as drugs, solvents (also called volatile substances) are included in the School Drug Policy, eg glue and petrol sniffing etc.

Prevention

Within all areas of the school environment, emphasis is placed on strengthening the individual’s self esteem, their feelings of self worth, their ability to make effective decisions and to see other people’s points of view.

Specifically, the school provides a comprehensive Health Education program that includes a compulsory drug education and awareness component.

The school has a comprehensive Health Education Program. This program incorporates factual information, discussions of attitudes, values clarification and decision making skills as well as the attainment of life skills to assist students in making healthy choices and decisions. Our program may be modified from time to time to reflect the needs of the community. The school will continue to interact with, and call upon, appropriate community resources to keep our courses accurate and relevant.
  • Pastoral Care: the school fosters open communication amongst students and staff whereby students feel comfortable discussing, in confidence, individual concerns.
  • The Behaviour Management Policy focuses on a positive school environment.
  • The promotion of a drug free environment in terms of possession and/or use of drugs.
  • The ongoing implementation and evaluation of this drug policy to ensure that it is effective and meets the needs of the school community.
  • This policy is consistent with the State Government’s policy framework in relation to drug abuse.
  • The contents of this school drug policy are contained in relevant school publications.

Intervention

Expected Code of Behaviour for a Drug Free Environment

This Code of Behaviour reflects current community laws relating to drug use and Health and Safety Regulations for a work environment.

With regard to students whilst on school premises and at school functions, a student is not permitted to:
  • Smoke and/or possess tobacco products.
  • Consume and/or possess alcohol
  • Deliberately inhale volatile substances (solvents)
  • Possess and/or use pharmaceutical drugs for non-medical purposes
  • Possess and/or use illegal drugs in accordance with the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1981
  • Possess and/or use drug-related equipment such as syringes, bongs, pipes, etc (except in the case of lawful medical use)
  • Possess excessive amounts of legal drugs
  • Demonstrate physical and/or psychological effects of drug use

Administering Minor Analgesics

The School Nurse is the only staff member permitted to administer minor analgesics if given permission from parents/carers (eg paracetamol). Students who bring minor analgesics and prescription medications to school should inform the school nurse.

Staff and Visitors

Staff and visitors are not permitted to smoke while on school premises (as stated in the Department of Education Administrative Circular No 214 Policy and revised Smoking Policy (1997) or equivalent policies for Catholic and Independent schools).

Responding To Incidents Of Drug Use

Whatever individuals may think or feel, the law regarding the sale or supply and possession of drugs is clear, and penalties are provided for the conviction of offenders. Members of our school community are subject to these laws on and off school grounds. Members of the school community have the same responsibility as every other citizen to uphold the law.

The procedures outlined below have the emotional, physical health and welfare of the students of our school as a priority.

In the process of learning how to make decisions, some individuals will make errors in judgement. This is a normal process and for this reason:
  • each instance will be considered individually and independently according to the given set of circumstances at the time.
  • wherever possible, the health and welfare of the individual student involved will be considered in the context of the school environment and its support services.
  • in each instance, the Principal and the Welfare Support Team will determine which support services are to be called upon, who is to be informed, and any sanctions to be imposed.
The procedures of sanctions follow the School’s Behaviour Management Policy. Non-compliance with the Code of Behaviour in relation to drugs is considered to be a serious offence and as such the consequence is direct referral to an Associate Principal.

Action Taken

Smoking in the first instance:
  • a letter will be sent home to the parents/carers.
  • the Associate Principal will interview the student where he/she will be informed of the school rules relevant to smoking and the consequences should further incidents occur.
  • the student will be required to complete a work sheet on the effects of smoking on one’s health.
  • cigarettes and lighters will be confiscated.
  • subsequent offences may result in a more serious sanctioning such as internal suspension, out of school suspension and loss of Good Standing.

Other (Alcohol, Solvents, Prohibited Drugs, etc)

  • the Associate Principal will interview the student
  • the student may be suspended
  • parents/carers will be notified
  • the police may be contacted in cases of prohibited drugs being possessed, used or sold
  • prohibited drugs and any related equipment will be confiscated
  • students will lose their Good Standing
  • counselling services may be organised

Postvention

Information will be given to Pastoral Care Teachers and class teachers via the Year Coordinators regarding any incident involving illegal drugs. This will:
  • acknowledge that there has been an incident
  • outline the actions that have been taken
  • clarify why this is necessary, emphasising the School Policy and legal requirements.
In the case of repeated abuse of legal drugs or involvement with illegal drugs, the Student Services Team become involved and counselling made available, which may include referral to outside agencies.
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