Drogheda Grammar School Substance Abuse Policy
Framework for Policy
a) Statement of the School’s view on Drugs
The School has an obligation to educate and protect young people in its care with regard to drugs and drug use. While it is recognised that drug usage is increasingly common in society as a whole, the School hereby clearly states that involvement with tobacco, alcohol, solvents or illegal drugs, or misuse of medicines in school, on School trips, going to and from the School, or in a manner which would affect life in, or the reputation of the School, is forbidden.
It is our belief that values are formed primarily in the home and that parents have the main responsibility for the behaviour and attitudes of their children with regard to drugs. We can help and advise but rely on parental support and clear boundaries being set at home.
- b) Moral and Values Framework
The aim of the School is that each pupil should develop to his or her full potential and become a constructive and caring member of society. Given this, we feel it is essential to do all that we can to ensure that pupils are in a safe environment while in the School. Parents, pupils and staff should know that the School is a place which is drug free.
We believe that the use of illegal substances is wrong. We believe that the misuse and abuse of alcohol is wrong i.e. drinking at too earlier an age or drinking too much. We believe that smoking cigarettes is wrong.
We have a responsibility for, and a control over, what happens in school or during school related activities.
We have a concern for our students that stretches beyond the hours they spend in school. However, it is unacceptable to the school that what a student does in his leisure time impacts negatively on his school work.
c) Definition of Drugs as Understood by the School
By drugs the School means:
- Electronic Cigarettes, Vaping substances
- All Illegal Drugs
* Everyday medicines, for example painkillers/cough medicines, should not be brought into the School without seeking the permission of the school.
Students who require such medicines may visit the School Nurse.
If parents wish their children to have access to prescription or other medicines, a written note must be given to the Tutor, Year Head or Nurse on duty.
d) Drugs Education in School
In the light of the recommendations from the Department of Education and Skills, a programme in Social, Personal and Health Education runs throughout the Junior Cycle in the School. Drugs Education forms a significant part of this programme. Drugs education also forms part of the Senior Cycle
programme. The school also runs a Peer Education programme.
As well as a comprehensive substance abuse programme in school, there is a role for outside speakers where this is considered appropriate.
e) Guidelines on Managing Drug Related Situations
Any pupil or member of staff who finds a pupil with drugs, or in a drug related situation, must immediately report what he or she has heard, seen or found to the Principal, a Deputy Principal, or appropriate Year Head.
All unauthorised drugs will be confiscated and illegal substances will be handed over to the appropriate authorities.
Any parent who becomes aware of drug use by pupils on the School campus, on School trips or in any way related to the School is requested to inform the Principal, Deputy Principal or relevant Year Head as a matter of urgency.
Remaining silent about drug use is not acceptable.
Should an incident occur involving any drugs, or should the School have reason to suspect pupils of involvement with drugs, the School may seek statements from persons believed to be involved in, concerned with, or having knowledge of the situation. The School will take all the steps considered necessary to investigate fully a situation involving drugs and will take whatever time it deems necessary to do this.
A pupil who is involved in any way with drugs in School, on School trips, going to or from the School, or representing the School in any way, may be requested to attend for professional assessment and/or counselling at an appropriate treatment centre. Any such student will be permitted to remain on the rolls of the school only on strict conditions laid down by the Board.
In the case of:
- Illegal Drugs
The School is obliged to report to the Gardaí the possession of, or the providing of others with, illegal drugs. Involvement of any kind with illegal drugs is very serious and any imposition of sanctions will reflect this. This policy applies to students while on the School campus, on trips, going to or from the School, or when representing the School in any way.
Pupils found in possession of, or providing others with, illegal drugs, may be suspended until the matter can be considered by the Board of Management.
Any involvement with the possession, use or supply of illegal drugs or substances is seen as an extremely serious offence. The Board of Management reserves the absolute right to dismiss from the School any student found in possession of, or providing others with, illegal drugs.
- Alcohol and Solvents
Any involvement with the possession, supply or consumption of alcohol or solvents is also strictly forbidden and may lead to suspension or expulsion as deemed appropriate. Repeat offences in any of the above categories will lead to expulsion of the pupils involved.
If the School considers the pupil to be at risk as a result of their involvement with such substances, it may require that the pupil attend for professional assessment and/or counselling.
- Tobacco, electronic Cigarettes, Vaping Substances
The School reserves the right to suspend any pupil who has smoked tobacco or any other substance, used electronic cigarettes, used any vaping device or apparatus, or used, smoked or otherwise consumed any other harmful substance while on the School campus, on School trips, going to and from the School, or when representing the School in any way.
Pupils who assist or encourage other pupils, by way of supply or otherwise, to smoke, vape, use e-cigarettes or any other harmful substance may also be suspended.
Repeat offenders in any of the categories above may be suspended automatically. Persistent smoking may lead to expulsion of the pupils involved.
Following sanctions, the School will endeavour to support and assist pupils who have breached this policy. While the School will do its best to offer pastoral care and support to a pupil who is involved in a drug related incident, the safety and welfare of the whole School community has to be the School’s first priority.
This objective will be achieved if there is strict observance of the School’s rules by the pupils, support for these rules by parents and fair implementation of the rules by staff and management.
Approved by the Board of Management April 2019