Australia: Student, 11, With Drugs
(03 Jul 2006) Daily Telegraph Australia
STUDENTS as young as 11 have been caught with drugs in the state's primary schools despite crackdowns and education campaigns warning of the dangers.
Female students in their first year at high school have also been found with drugs in the classroom and the playground.
Education department data obtained by The Daily Telegraph shows a Year 3 student took his grandmother's prescription drugs to school and tried to hand them out to the other pupils.
The drug cases contained in serious incident reports prepared for the department over the past 18 months precede yesterday's revelations that a male teacher at Epping Boys High School in Sydney's north has been charged with supplying drugs to a student under 16.
The Year 3 student caught distributing grandmother's "medicine" was found in possession of more than 60 tablets at his Riverina school in the state's south.
Other students who had tablets - including a kindergarten pupil - reported to their teacher they had thrown them away.
Teenagers have been caught selling cannabis and ecstasy to other students during school hours, the incident reports disclose.
And Year 6 students were found with a suspected illegal substance at a Central Coast primary school.
One admitted bringing green vegetable matter in a jar to school. Another student brought a hose and lighter "to make a bong" while a third carried plastic bags to distribute the substance to others.
Three of the students tried to smoke the substance.
At a primary school in southwestern Sydney a Year 6 boy showed a plastic bag containing drugs to other students.
A Year 7 girl at a North Coast high school was found in class under the influence of marijuana and a parent complained at a high school in Sydney's south that a Year 10 student had dealt ecstasy to a female student who collapsed.
A teacher smelled marijuana on a Year 11 student in New England, then found a resealable bag on him containing 10g of the drug.
Some students tried desperately to dispose of drugs when caught red-handed.
Data collated for the first time shows 467 student suspensions for drug use or possession in the second half of 2005.
Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt said the possession or use of drugs by teachers or students was not tolerated.
"The safety of students is the Government's paramount consideration," she said.
"The Government has put in place rigorous screening procedures to ensure appropriate people are employed as teachers."