Editorial: Bill sends students wrong message

By Kelly Makiha


The Government is looking at changing a law which, among many things, will abolish the practice of drug sniffer dogs and drug testing in schools.

The Education Amendment Bill, introduced to Parliament this month, aims to provide "safe learning environments without invasive methods".

Under the new Bill, teachers will still be able to take reasonable steps to make students surrender items - confiscating and disposing of items where appropriate - but the use of drug dogs and testing students for drugs will be stopped.

The Ministry of Education says the changes will encourage safe learning environments without breaching a child's human rights.

Well, what about the human rights of the children who aren't on drugs at school?

Don't they have the right to be safe from drug-pedalling and drug-using students? One day, I will be a mother of a child at school and as a parent I would welcome the police doing random swoops on the school and even random drug testing where appropriate.

It sends a strong message to students that drugs will not be tolerated.

Sure, it doesn't always work and there will be students who bring drugs to school regardless.

But surely this is just one more prevention method for schools to use. By stopping the drug searches, we're sending a message to students that it's okay.

The Government must listen to this outcry from parents and principals and urgently amend the Bill.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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