Blair Backing Drug Testing In Schools
April 27, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education NewsTony Blair’s recent backing of drug testing in state schools could significantly reduce substance abuse amongst school children.
Head teachers are allowed to randomly test pupils if suspected of taking drugs as part of a drive to curb drug abuse among teenagers.
The Prime Minister’s comments given to the News of the World has had backing from the Conservative Party and from David Hart, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers.
And a recent ICM research poll has shown that 82 per cent of parents and 66 per cent of children favoured drug testing in schools. Out of the 1,000 parents surveyed, 96 per cent said they would want to know if their child was taking drugs.
Preventx, the North-East based drug testing kit distributor’s Polly Everett said: “Mr Blair’s backing of testing in schools is an excellent step forward in helping tackle drug problems. However, the next step must be to help schools with funding to supply the kits.
“It’s common place in private schools to have drug testing on pupils, but in state schools their budget doesn’t allow it, even though statistics show that one in five schools will have to deal with illegal drug use each year.”
Recent random tests in American schools have dramatically cut marijuana, cocaine and heroine abuse among pupils. And President Bush has provided extra millions of dollars into the programme as “a tool to save children’s lives.”
Mrs Everett added: “The intention of drug testing isn’t to shame pupils, but to give help and assistance before it’s too late. If usage is detected early enough, support can be provided to show the potential harm they are doing to themselves and their loved ones.”