Drugs in schools will rise – principals

Rotorua Daily Post 30 Oct 2012
Rotorua principals say it will be far easier for children to bring drugs to school if the Government goes ahead with a new bill. The Education Amendment Bill, which was introduced to Parliament this month, aims to abolish the use of drug sniffer dogs and drug testing in schools. The Ministry of Education says the changes will encourage safe learning environments without invasive methods but local principals disagree. John Paul College principal and New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said the bill “appeared out of nowhere”, with no consultation given to principals or school representatives. He said the bill would make it easier for children to bring drugs to school because deterrents were taken away, like drug testing and random searches. “We all know there is a problem with drugs in the community and parents have an expectation that schools will be drug free. “[This bill] seems contradictory from the Ministry of Education which says they want to keep schools safe from drugs.” Mr Walsh said currently schools could use drug testing and urine samples as a condition for suspended students returning to school who were caught with drugs. He said if the bill was passed, schools would be unable to suggest drug testing as a deterrent.

Principal slams Govt drug changes
NZ Herald 31 Oct 2012
A Northland headmaster has written to Prime Minister John Key expressing his concerns about banning drug sniffer dogs from schools, saying it is “short-sighted nonsense” and proposed new legislation was “nuts”.