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Home > 54. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science her views on the introduction of voluntary random drugs checks in second level schools; if her Department has considered the introduction of such a scheme; if her attention has been drawn to the growing concern among schoolteachers, staff and students of rising drug use among schoolchildren. [7680/07]

[Oireachtas] 54. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science her views on the introduction of voluntary random drugs checks in second level schools; if her Department has considered the introduction of such a scheme; if her attention has been drawn to the growing concern among schoolteachers, staff and students of rising drug use among schoolchildren. [7680/07]. (22 Mar 2007)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2007/03/22/00062...


Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): Under Action 43 of the National Drugs Strategy, guidelines for developing a substance abuse policy were drawn up by my Department in consultation with the Department of Health and Children and the former Health Boards. These guidelines were issued to all schools in October 2002 to assist them in the development of appropriate substance abuse policies. The implementation of the guidelines is the responsibility of the relevant school authorities. However, the guidelines do not advise schools to undertake drug testing of pupils and I do not intend to compel schools to do. Drug testing of pupils in schools has not been proposed to my Department by the National Drugs Strategy Team.I believe that alternative strategies, involving education, discussion, counselling, extra-curricular activities and the building of trust between students and adults need to be further developed to address this issue. My Department will, however, continue to monitor the situation and take into account best international practice in dealing with this issue.

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