Inherent in this policy is the desire to develop positive relationships between students and the School, and between the School and parents, and to work with parents to establish and maintain sensible norms within which our students can develop and grow. Only then will we be able to achieve an environment where students can achieve their potential and make the most of their time at the School.
The use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and other substances involves complex issues, and problems usually result from a combination of many contributing factors. Therefore, in view of this, and in light of the School’s responsibilities to the community, it has created this comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Policy.
Christ Church Grammar School has a very strong pastoral interest in the health, social and personal well-being of its students. The school recognises that its students will in all likelihood be exposed to drugs at some time in their lives and it recognises the need to equip the students with the knowledge, skills and strategies to handle this exposure.
Alcohol and Drug use and misuse impinges on students and schools in many ways: from physical effects on individuals, effects on their social interactions, academic and co-curricular performances, to issues of morale and reputation.
This policy provides a framework to address alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and other drug-related problems in a caring and consistent manner within the Christ Church Grammar School community. It aims to be comprehensive, combining intervention with prevention through the Health Education Program and other means. These other means include a close partnership with parents, and trying at all times to develop healthy attitudes, interests and lifestyle habits within the student population.
Aims: To Promote a “Drug-Free” School
- Promote and maintain a health-promoting school environment in which the welfare of all school community members is paramount.
- Identify the role of the Christ Church 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, within the school jurisdiction.
- That alcohol and nicotine are the major causes of drug-related harm
- That the harm minimisation strategy adopted by State and Federal governments in Australia is effective (National Drug Strategy)
- That drug use occurs along a continuum ranging from non-use, experimentation, occasional/situational use, habitual and intensive use. Some young people use drugs for the pursuit of pleasure, others for self-medication to reduce psychological pain or suffering;
The School’s Registered Nurse should administer prescribed medication where there is an agreement between carers and the Principal and where written instructions from the prescribing doctor have been provided. If a student is required to carry and self-administer prescribed medicine while at school (eg. Insulin), the student’s carers must advise the School of all relevant details. For short-term conditions where analgesics are administered by the student, notification of self-medication by the student is not required.
Responding to incidents of drug use
The procedures outlined below have been developed with the health and welfare of Christ Church Grammar School students in mind. They should be followed where possible and any variations should be discussed with the Head of Senior School.
- Establish and respond to the student’s immediate safety. Apply, organise to apply, first aid where necessary (follow normal school emergency procedures for a medical problem).
- Accompany the student and take the substances involved immediately to the school administrative block. If in a class send a responsible student to administration to seek assistance. Refer the incident to the Head of Senior School. The Head of House and School Counsellor (or other appropriate person) should be advised that an incident has occurred and that it may be necessary for them to become involved as a student or family support person. The selection of a support person should take into account issues including ethnicity, language, culture, background and gender of the student (and family) concerned. The Head of Senior School may elect to form a small group of people to assist with the management of the incident.
- The Head of Senior School should establish and validate the facts by interviewing relevant staff and students. Questioning should establish the substance and person involved, and where and when the incident occurred. When questioning, make allowance for cultural differences.
- The Head of Senior School should report the outcomes of the interview to the Principal and recommend appropriate course of action.
- Once it has been established that a drug-related incident has occurred, a number of actions can be taken. Actions may vary considerably depending on the details of the incident, including the substance involved, the behavioural history of the student identified as having a part in the incident and the impact of other students.
Actions taken will be designed with prime consideration for the emotional and physical health and welfare of the students of the School.
- The School views tobacco smoking as a serious offence for a range of reasons. Students who sell or supply tobacco products to other students are committing an offence. If students are found smoking at school, carers will be notified by the Head of Senior School and a letter sent home. Students will face disciplinary action in accordance with the school’s discipline policy for breaching the Student Code of Conduct. (see Sanctions)
Alcohol and Solvents
- Possession and/or consumption of alcohol or deliberate inhalation of solvents will require the Head of Senior School to contact carers and send a letter home. Students will be offered counselling and will face disciplinary action in accordance with the school’s discipline policy for breaching the Student Code of Conduct. (see Sanctions)
- If possession or use of an illicit drug is suspected, the Head of Senior School will ask students to empty the contents of their school bags, pockets, lockers etc. If students refuse to do so, the police may be called. Searches may be undertaken only when a reasonable suspicion exists and will be conducted with another member of staff present.
- If possession, use, sale or supply of a prohibited drug (as defined in the school’s Alcohol and Drug policy) is confirmed, the student’s carers will be informed immediately. The Principal will notify the police. In the absence of a student’s parent or guardian, a teacher nominated by the student will always be present at any police interview that takes place on school premises. The student will be offered counselling and will face disciplinary action in accordance with the school rules. If an illicit drug is confiscated, the Principal will call the police to arrange disposal of the drug.
All sanctions will be applied at the discretion of the Head of Senior School or Principal in consultation with relevant staff members.
- Misdemeanours with respect to tobacco, alcohol and solvents may lead to detentions, a period of suspension or an expulsion, according to the Behaviour Management Policy. First offences will normally carry a stern warning, consultation with and a letter to carers and various forms of detention or exercise programs. Second offences are likely to lead to a suspension/probation and the satisfactory participation in a tobacco/alcohol/solvent prevention and counseling program. A subsequent offence within a reasonable period of time, will normally lead to expulsion.
- Based on the Behaviour Management Policy, misdemeanours with illegal drugs may lead to a period of suspension followed by probation or may lead to the termination of the boys enrollment.
The precise sanction will depend upon the particular circumstances of the offence and the student’s general understanding, and his record within the School community. Illegal drugs activity that has put another student’s safety at risk e.g. (the supplying of illegal drugs within the school community) will lead to the termination of enrolment.
- Where appropriate, support will be made available to students after discussion between the student, the Principal and the carers.
- Confidential written records will be maintained by the Head of Senior School about incidents of drug use. If no drug use is detected but strong suspicion exists, it should be reported to the Head of Senior School, who will keep confidential written notes. Only staff members who need to know will be informed of any incidents of drug use and kept up-to-date with the case. However, if suspension results, all staff will be notified by the Principal. All staff should be reminded that they are required to maintain strict confidentiality.