Drug and Substance Abuse Policy
Drug and Substance Abuse Policy
The Government Notice No 1040, South African Schools Act (84/1996), declares all schools drug free zones. This means no substance abuse, possession of illegal drugs on school premises or being at school under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is allowed.
Substance abuse / illegal drugs means any unlawful, intoxicating or stupefying substances, including tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, dagga / marijuana and other hard drugs.
Substance abuse is prohibited and severe action will be taken against perpetrators. However, those who admit to having problems with substance abuse, will be helped and counselling will be made available.
If a learner has in his / her possession any of the above mentioned at school, on a school outing or is identified as a Fairmont High School learner, that learner will be punished, even more so if he / she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
1. Purpose and Scope
The aim of this policy is to encourage all learners to abstain from using any drugs (other than those which are medically prescribed), including alcohol and tobacco. This document should be given to each learner and his / her parents / guardians are required to sign it as acknowledgement that they have read and understood it, and that they have agreed to abide by its policy.
The school does not tolerate:
- the use or possession of any illegal or prohibited substance;
- the possession of drug-related equipment such as cigarette papers, pipes, matches, lighters, bottle ends, foils or other;
- performance enhancing drugs;
- the inappropriate use of solvents, inhalants, aerosols and similar agents;
- the consumption of alcohol and the smoking of tobacco.
If any learner is involved in dealing or selling any of the above mentioned substances, action will be taken either through the police or a disciplinary hearing.
The school will respond to substance abuse with serious punishments, but also with a humanitarian view. Our approach will be one of prevention and education. The school undertakes to educate (through guidance lessons, life skills) to inform (using outside speakers, exhibitions) and to guide and support (through counselling, peer-counselling).
Anybody found in possession of or using any of these substances either on school property, or when in school uniform, or when under the supervision of the school, or attending school-related functions including sports outings, tours and social events, will be subject to the following procedure:
- The learner will be required to have a drug test administered.
- If a learner tests positive for substance use, the learner will first be interviewed by senior school management or the school counsellor to determine the nature and extent of the learner’s involvement with drugs (casual experimentation / habitual use / dependence / dealing, etc.) and determine the appropriate response.
- The learner’s parents will be informed of the alleged involvement and will be required to attend a meeting at the school with the Principal, senior staff management, and a School Governing Body representative.
On the basis of the meeting, the school will take the necessary action:
- Inform the parents of a pending disciplinary hearing.
- Disciplinary action against the learner may follow if, in the opinion of the hearing, this is warranted by the nature of the learner’s involvement with drugs. The results of such disciplinary action may include the provision of support, including counselling, to a range of punishments which may include recommendation for expulsion.
- Drug testing and searches will be done when substance abuse or the possession of illegal substances is suspected.
- In the case of illegal substances, the matter will be reported to the South African Police Service.
- Dealing in drugs or involving others in their use will normally result in a recommendation that the pupil be expelled from the school.
4. Prescription drugs
The school needs to be informed if any leaner needs to bring prescription drugs to school. Learners are not allowed to bring more than one day’s dose to school.
5. Addiction, treatment and help
The school understands that addiction is a medical problem. Any learner who asks for or is identified as needing assistance in coping with drug use, will be expected to attend appropriate counselling.
This will be done in consultation with the parent(s) / guardian(s) and any cost incurred shall be paid by the learner’s parent(s) / guardian(s).
Learners who experience problems with substance abuse or related matters, learners who need help and ask for it, will be treated in confidence and will not be discriminated against in any way. Learners who have voluntarily gone to rehabilitation or attended drug education programmes will be allowed to return to school with certain conditions. Part of being helped / counselled will include signing an agreement / contract and agreeing to random drug testing.
The drug policy is for the benefit of all parties concerned. The aim of the policy is to assist, educate and guide learners, and to help those who want to be helped or who need help. The school will assist in the rehabilitation efforts of learners.