Drugs in schools

(17 Posts)
Claybury Wed 15-Jan-14 14:32:43

Several kids(5) from my DD's school ( year 10) were excluded last week for drugs - teachers were taking kids out of class and searching their bags. I only know this because DD told me. Most kids do not tell their parents ( my DS included ) stuff.
If this happened at your DC school would you expect the school to communicate with parents ?
I feel school doesn't like to make this info widely known as it affects it's reputation but the reality is the school has a long history of drug problems and I think they should be more upfront about it. Letting parents and kids know they will be excluded for dealing / possession might serve as a deterrent.
I think we are past the point where things should be hushed up. Obviously I wouldn't wish the school to publish names but the feeling is that there are lots of liberal parents round here who are complicit. I think they need reminding that 14 year olds should not be smoking weed.
What do people think?

OP’s posts: |
SashaOfSiberia Wed 15-Jan-14 16:39:26

Based on having three DS who have all attended the same school, and a sister who works there, I know this happens really regularly at my DS3s school. I think probably weekly a pupil is found in possession of a substance they shouldn't be.

We are never notified and I wouldn't expect to be. I feel that its a disciplinary issue within the school like any other rule breaking. I can't imagine that this behaviour is approved by parents. Even if you for some reason allow your child to smoke or take drugs you would have to be thick as shit to support them taking such things into school. The majority of parents would be horrified by this behaviour from their DC so wouldn't be allowing it anyway. I don't know what a letter would do.

I also doubt your DC are aware of all the behavioural incidents that occur in the school, life carries on as normal without any note being made of those so I don't think this should be singled out.

It's a secondary school, they will have dealt with this before, maybe the rate of this happening is very low so their system already works.

What do you feel would be gained by alerting parents to this?

Claybury Wed 15-Jan-14 19:33:48

Thanks Sasha I get what you're saying. Usually of course I wouldn't think twice about an isolated incident it's just that I know they searched literally dozens of students. I think the scale of this made me think it concerns the school community more than usual.
I suppose my grievance is also that they have cut back in-class drug education in the last 2 years in favour a a few ineffective drop down days and the teachers have admitted this is not as effective as when it was taught as part of the curriculum.
And there are certainly parents who are what I would call 'relaxed' about weed. Hence, I feel, the school should send out a stronger message.

OP’s posts: |
flow4 Wed 15-Jan-14 21:38:09

I also think schools try hard to avoid telling parents about drug use, and I do not understand it at all.

When my DS1 was in y9, 4 of his y10/11 friends were caught and excluded - one permanently - for having cannabis in school. My son was interviewed and placed in internal exclusion because a member of staff suspected his involvement. The school did not contact me; I found this out because my son himself told me, and I then called the school. I was, frankly, outraged that the school suspected my 13yo of cannabis use and didn't bother to inform me! Worse still, it turned out that the parents of the boy who had brought cannabis into school were not contacted, even when the police were called. The police themselves declined to interview him without his parents (it would have been illegal) and made the call themselves.

I don't think all parents should be informed about incidents like this - I can imagine it causing all sorts of problems - but I do very definitely think the parents of involved children should be told.

chocoluvva Wed 15-Jan-14 23:02:17

My DC who go to two different schools tell me that drugs (presumably weed) is readily available on school grounds. I find this shocking (well, I used to be shocked).

On the other hand DD who has made a huge contribution to the school in one area and generally behaves well was threatened with being kicked out for persistent lateness (in upper sixth form).

Why don't schools seem to be addressing this problem of drug-selling in their schools? confused

Claybury Thu 16-Jan-14 09:22:14

Flow - that's awful I would be furious. Schools need to work with parents for the benefit of children. From what I hear independent schools can be better at this.
Schools don't want to attract attention to any drug issues because it's bad for their 'reputation'. I just wonder if it's time to face up to what goes on and deal with it more openly.
A senior teacher at my DC 's school told me he thinks boys smoking weed is the biggest contributor to their underachievement at school....
Chocco - it is readily available in school and even my DS who doesn't tell me much says some kids smoke weed in school. My DD says there are kids who are high in school and she has seen boys snorting powder in lessons. shock

OP’s posts: |
chocoluvva Thu 16-Jan-14 09:43:05

I wonder if they have an 'official' policy on dealing with and/or preventing the use of illegal drugs in schools?

It seems at complete odds with their insistence on strict adherence to dress codes and the sort of phone calls I used to get, eg informing me that my DS didn't hand in two pieces of homework in the last fortnight and was late three times. hmm

From what I've heard drugs are in pretty much every/most secondary school, including fee-paying schools. The schools must discuss this with the EA's and each other you'd think - so why, as you say, not with the parents?


Claybury Thu 16-Jan-14 10:52:03

Every school should have a published drugs/ substance abuse policy. It should be on the school website. This is important for the protection of staff too - after all if they confiscate a controlled substance there must be procedures to protect staff as they will be in possession temporarily.
There is also a balance to be struck between pastoral care of a child with a drug problem, punishment, and protection of other students.

OP’s posts: |
flow4 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:53:28

Clay, it was awful, but it was about five years ago... The school was generally poor, so assumed they were just handling it badly and that other schools would do better... But perhaps not.

My DS1 (who is and was no angel) says he personally never smoked spliffs in school, but that others often did, and that he sometimes smoked on the way to school. The school bus was where he was offered his first-ever cigarette and smoking there - including spliffs - was commonplace. I did report this to school, and to the LA, and to the chair of our local Children's Trust, but everyone just tutted and said it was terrible but someone else's problem. hmm

I don't think it's just fear for their reputations; I think it's also a sense of powerlessness. They have no idea what to do, so they do nothing; and because they know they're doing nothing, they don't want to talk about it. hmm And choc, I have often wondered whether they therefore sort of displace all their attention onto little things that don't really matter, like dress codes, which they feel they can control.

lukebsf1 Thu 16-Jan-14 10:54:22

Hi guys, I'm in upper sixth and thought I would just give my take on this.

I went to a pretty rough secondary school with over 1500 pupils. Drugs (Pretty much just weed) could be got very easily, almost all "chavs" smoke weed (Not only chavs smoke weed however the non chav ones arn't stupid enough to mix weed and school). The problem schools have with dealing with it is that the chavs don't care what teachers/the school says to them, and for a big secondary school it is pretty difficult for them to kick someone out because they would have to find them somewhere else to be educated. Thus it is very difficult to deal with the problem.

TBH drug education did nothing in schools, no one payed any attention, and if you did pay attention and were reasonably intelligent you could tell that it was blatant propaganda (Very very dubious "facts" and a very one sided view that pretty much centered on "drugs are bad mkay" kind of view (Bloody hell a southpark reference).)

Yeah I agree with the irony about how schools seem to punish things disproportionately. Swearing at a teacher and storming out of class would get you an afterschool detention, however some teachers would give the same punishment for simply talking in their lesson or not handing in a piece of homework.

The school won't tell parents because it will put the school in a bad light, tell parents all the good stuff but not all the bad stuff. My parents were also shocked when I told them about all the stuff that happened (teacher locked in cuboard for 2 hours, many holes punched in walls, ect ect.)

flow4 Thu 16-Jan-14 11:04:45

Yup, that's pretty much what my DS says too,*luke*. It's interesting to hear it first-hand from another source.

MrsSquirrel Thu 16-Jan-14 11:34:27

I wouldn't expect the school to communicate with me if another kid was disciplined or excluded for drugs. What good would it do? I assume this kind of thing happens all the time. I would only expect the school to communicate with me if my child were to be disciplined.

I always thought that private school kids had more drugs than those at state schools. Maybe it's a prejudice, but they generally would have more access to money to buy drugs.

chocoluvva Thu 16-Jan-14 11:38:34

I've got that impression too MrsSquirrel

Claybury - I'm going to look at my DC's schools'websites now.

chocoluvva Thu 16-Jan-14 11:52:16

No specific mention of drugs except for PSE in the handbook. On the other hand, smoking is no longer permitted on the school campus. hmm

JackR145 Mon 03-Dec-18 20:01:03

Hi I'm currently a sixth former and I thought I ought to give my point of view.
I go to a state academy, but it certainly attracts more upper middle class students many of whom went to to preparatory. I'm not sure if thats relevant but I feel like from my experience richer kids do more drugs.

At our school drugs are everywhere and exceptionally easy to get, in fact its almost impossible not to have come across some illegal substance at some point. There are plenty of dealers and everyone knows what they sell, its just that they very rarely get reported because most of them are quite nice people. In years 10 people started smoking weed, now people use almost everything (except heroin spice etc). I'd say now I'm year 12 a majority of boys have tried weed at least once, its so normalised that it doesn't matter which crowd you come from. Other common drugs are ketamine xanax mdma and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is used in school, the others are usually taken at the park at lunch. However with the deep web dealers can get you whatever you want, because kids get curious, especially the more intelligent ones. Its strange to think that a lot of things Oxbridge proframme kids are getting high behind the school's back. although I hardly think the drugs are good for learning, most drug users that are clever seem to cope absolutely fine. There are so called smart drugs ADHD pills that are used around exams but they're still quite rare (although growing in popularity).

Now that were in sixth form lots of the kids that used to mske fun of drug users are experimenting themselves. Drugs are a huge part of school abd life for many students as to be frank there's nothing else to do and it makes the nonstop academia bearable. It might be hard to accept but I guarantee many of the mums on this site will have children that have or will at some point experiment, it seem almost inevitable. School tries its best but if there's talking of snifferdogs everyone spreads the word to make sure everyone's okay. People have been excluded but this only brings up resentment towards the school.

Obviously not everyone does drugs but a lot have at least tried it. I tried weed as a way to try and cure depression but it only made things worse so I tend to avoid drugs which is accepted by other students but difficult as temptation is everywhere. I just stick to vaping which is very common as smoking is seen as dirty. I'm surprised adult didn't have the same experience growing up, but I guess its more of a male problem so mums wouldn't really know.

BackInTime Tue 04-Dec-18 09:18:53

I agree OP schools need to be more honest with parents about what is going on with drugs in schools. Many parents are oblivious to what goes on and really need to be asking more questions about who their kids hang out with and what they get up to. Many parents do not find out until it gets to the point where it’s a big problem. By hiding the reality from parents schools are missing out on vital support as schools cannot tackle this issue alone they need to be working with parents. The idea that we send our kids to school where they are exposed to drugs and this is being covered up by schools if frankly horrifying.

pasanda Tue 04-Dec-18 16:56:28


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