The aim of this policy is to encourage all students to abstain from using any drugs (other than those which are medically prescribed), including alcohol and tobacco. This document sets out the school’s policy on drugs, alcohol and tobacco use. Every student and his/her parents or guardians are required to sign it as acknowledgement that they have read and understood it, and that they have agreed to abide by this policy.
The school does not tolerate
• the use or possession of any illegal or prohibited substances
• the possession of drug-related equipment such as cigarette papers, pipes, etc.
• the use of anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing substances
• the inappropriate use of solvents, inhalants and similar agents
• the consumption of alcohol and the smoking of tobacco.
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 and social events, will be subject to the following procedure:
• The student will first be interviewed by the school counsellor or senior member of staff to determine the nature and extent of the student’s involvement with drugs (casual experimentation, habitual use, drug dependence, dealing, etc.) and to determine the appropriate response.
• The student’s parents will be informed of the student’s involvement, and they will be required to attend a meeting at school to discuss the matter.
• If, on the basis of the interview, the school considers it necessary to refer the student to an agency for professional drug counselling or other treatment, the parents will be informed of this. The cost of such treatment shall be paid for by the student’s family. In instances where parents are unable to afford treatment, the student will be referred to appropriate state health facilities or agencies.
• Disciplinary action against the student may follow if, in the opinion of the school, this is warranted by the nature of the student’s involvement with drugs. The results of such disciplinary action may include the provision of support, including professional drug counselling, to a range of punishments which may include expulsion. 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 student be expelled from the school.
3. Addiction, treatment and help
The school understands that addiction is a medical problem, and that certain drug use may need support and treatment rather than punishment. Any student who asks for, or is identified as needing, assistance in coping with drug use, will not be punished, but will be expected to attend appropriate counselling.
All approaches by any student to any of the school’s staff will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.