Drug abuse can be eliminated in schools

Drug abuse is still a big threat to young people in high schools. Most of the serious offences that the disciplinary committees in schools handle are related to drug abuse and taking of alcohol. This is a challenge to the schools because school administrators and teachers have the duty of ensuring that they deter all students from taking drugs at school.
A student writing her final exams. Education Times / T. Kisambira.
A student writing her final exams. Education Times / T. Kisambira.

Drug abuse is still a big threat to young people in high schools. Most of the serious offences that the disciplinary committees in schools handle are related to drug abuse and taking of alcohol. This is a challenge to the schools because school administrators and teachers have the duty of ensuring that they deter all students from taking drugs at school.

Those that are found in possession of drugs and alcohol are always expelled to send a serious message to the rest of the learners about the risks involved in drug abuse. However, the prevailing circumstances seem to suggest that expulsion does not deter others from engaging in the vice. Such expulsions affect the parents more than the students.

The students are very much aware of the fact that when they are expelled, their parents have to look for other schools where they can relocate and continue with their studies. Moreover, some of them are admitted to other schools easily. The administrators of the receiving schools do not take time to trace the background of the students.
 
The individuals may continue with the vice in their new schools until when they are netted and by the time this happens, they might have spread the habit to many other students. As the individuals relocate to other schools, they leave behind a group of practicing learners who continue promoting the habit in the school. Therefore, expelling him is like dealing with the symptoms of a disease without tackling its causes.

I think it is important that we establish how the students smuggle drugs and alcohol in school. There could be some adults who have networks with students whereby they use sophisticated methods of supplying the drugs to the learners without due consideration of the adverse effects that such drugs have on the young people. Students who are caught with drugs should be investigated by the police so as to establish their suppliers and once the suppliers are nabbed and prosecuted, the young people will be protected.

School administrators should adopt mechanisms of dealing with students that they suspect to be involved in drug abuse. Drugs are addictive whereby some young people find it hard to abandon them. They need adequate support in form of counseling so that they are able to abandon the vise gradually.  Otherwise, waiting for them to be caught red handed and expel them is somewhat counterproductive.
School authorities should identify those that they suspect to be involved in drug abuse and organize counseling sessions for them.

Sensitization of students about the dangers associated with drug abuse should be a routine such that from time to time, students are reminded of those dangers. Sensitization can even be in form of drama acted by fellow students. Drama is a very effective tool of creating awareness to the young people about life situations because it appeals to them.

Some unscrupulous people pose as parents or siblings and take drugs to students in boarding schools on visitation days. This occurs as a result of some schools allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to enter school on visitation days. There is need for boarding schools to have visitors’ cards for the parents and any other family members who are supposed to visit the learners. Such a system is so effective that it eliminates evil minded people from accessing the school and students remain safe.

Thorough checking of students on arrival at school should be stepped up to ensure that they do not smuggle illicit items into their dormitories. Impromptu checks both in the dormitories and classrooms should be emphasized as well.

I believe that if the suppliers are identified and prosecuted, there will be a change for the better. And schools set strict conditions for visitation days  can help in rooting drugs out of schools.

The writer is a teacher at Riviera High School.

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