Arklow CBS

Substance Misuse Policy


Arklow CBS is a Catholic school in the Christian Brother Tradition.
As such, its education is founded on Christian Principles and the promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In a caring partnership of the school, home and parish community, it seeks to achieve its aims through a broad and balanced curriculum, which combines the best of traditional education with the needs of the modern and ever changing world. In this way students are prepared for examinations, for third level education, for the world of work and for life itself.

This school does not accept the possession of, or supply of, Banned or Prohibited Substances or of drug paraphernalia either in the school, or on school trips or during any school related activity by any student of the school.
A legitimate exception is the use of a prescribed drug in accordance with medical advice and prescription. Parents hereby agree to inform the school in writing when their son is taking prescribed medication.

To enable students to make healthy and informed choices.
To provide a clear framework for all staff for dealing with incidents of substance abuse in the school.

To provide opportunities for students to acquire knowledge & understanding about the dangers of drug misuse & the effects of solvents, alcohol, tobacco & other drugs on body functions. To understand the importance of feeling positive about oneself and others, be able to express feelings confidently.
To develop decision – making skills & know about factors, which influence the process of making decisions, including choosing between alternatives and considering long & short term consequences of decisions for oneself & others.
To help students appreciate ways in which they can control aspects of their own behaviour and resist peer pressure.
To make students aware of the law relating to the use of drugs.

To set out clear procedures to be followed by staff who suspect that substance misuse is taking place or that controlled substances are being brought onto the school premises.
To provide an agreed framework for liaison with outside agencies including the Gardai and media.
To set out a clear statement of the disciplinary measures which will be applied to drugs related incidents.
To set out the support & counselling which will be part of the response to drugs related offences in the school.
To ensure that all members of the school community understand the very serious view which the school takes of all incidents of possession, use or supply of illegal substances.
To ensure that all staff involved in specific drugs education have an adequate level of training.

i. In any case where it is apparent that there is an immediate danger to students or the school community, the school reserves the right (acting through the principal) to temporarily suspend or remove any student(s) involved from the school premises and / or from any specific school activities, or take whatever other action is deemed appropriate and necessary to remove the said danger, pending a further and complete investigation as described below;

ii. The school will take all appropriate & necessary steps fully to investigate and assess any abuse incident including the various steps set out herein, and will take as much time as may be deemed necessary & appropriate to the completion of any such investigation.

iii. The school will take immediate possession of any “Banned or prohibited substances” or any “drug paraphernalia” found in connection with the incident(s) & will retain same pending the completion of this investigation.

iv. A written record will be made & retained of the incident.

v. Where the suspicion of substance abuse or possession of banned substances in the school or the school grounds or on a school related activity has been confirmed, the principal or designated teacher and or the teacher responsible for the drugs programme must be informed immediately.

vi. In the case of any reasonable suspicion of an incident of substance abuse, parents/ guardians will be informed in a confidential manner.

vii. Where a student has been found in the process of abusing banned substances in school, the school grounds or on any school-related activity the student may be suspended until such time as it is agreed to allow them to return to school with a minimum of a one – day suspension.

viii. The case may be referred to the Board of Management.

ix. Support services such as Health Board specialists or other agencies may be contacted for advice & assistance.

x. The school will at its discretion contact the Juvenile Liaison officer of the Gardai or other appropriate Officer.

xi. The school has a right to insist that a student that attends formal counselling for substance abuse and may also demand a medical certificate certifying that the student has been medically tested & is drug free. The period of this testing is at the discretion of the school.

xii. The Board of Management, as the circumstances of the matter may merit, may implement disciplinary actions or sanctions including, but not limited to, any of the following:
* An oral warning, * A written warning, * A Three day suspension, * A suspension of more than three days, * Other discipline action short of expulsion, * Expulsion sanctions up to & including expulsion may be invoked in an appropriate case. Where expulsion arises the Board arises, the Board of Management will notify the Education Welfare Officer & will otherwise comply with the provisions of the Education Welfare Act, 2000 (Act no 22) subject to “ and without prejudice to the right of a Board of Management to take such other reasonable measures as it considers appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained in the school & the safety of students is secured” in accordance with the law & the provisions of section 24(5) of the said Act.
Such an expulsion is subject to appeal under the provisions of sections 28 & 29, of the Education Act 1998.

i. The Principal or his delegate is in the first instance the primary person responsible for dealing with all abuse incidents arising in the school.

ii. All other staff, students & parents (where the circumstances should arise) are obligated to report particulars of any abuse incident, or any reasonable suspicions of the possible occurrence of an abuse incident(s), to the principal or his delegate.

iii. Ordinarily the Principal, or his delegate or in his absence the Deputy Principal, shall make all relevant decisions with reference to investigating the abuse incident, communicating with parents & liaising with or reporting (as appropriate) to any other relevant agencies, the Board of management, & ultimately (subject to the discretion of the Board of Management), the disclosure of information concerning the abuse incident investigation to relevant third parties.

Any teacher, staff member or other employee of the school who encounters an abuse incident or even suspicions of an abuse incident may be obliged to report same promptly to the Principal, or his designate or the Deputy Principal.

The school will seek to involve parent(s), wherever possible & offer support to them in relation to the incident(s), in the best interests of the student(s) concerned, but without prejudice to the school’s separate & independent obligation to investigate & manage the abuse incident(s) themselves as outlined above.
The school will also keep the student(s) concerned appropriately informed about what is happening & why, & again this will be without prejudice to its separate & independent obligation to investigate & manage the abuse incident(s).

The school, the Principal & all persons concerned with the incident(s) shall respect the principle of confidentiality & shall as far as possible, jointly & individually to try & observe confidentiality.

Only the Principal or a nominated spokesperson on behalf of the school will handle all media enquiries, & the response to same.
i. The school
When referred to as a location, this is defined as anywhere within the precincts of the school, its buildings, grounds & the public property in the immediate vicinity of the school.

ii. School related activity
This is defined as tours, functions, outings or activities where there is an obvious link with the school, irrespective of time or location.

iii. Banned or prohibited substances
This includes all substances covered under the “Misuse of Drugs Acts, 1997 & 1984”, improperly or unprescribed medication, any volatile substance, alcohols or any tobaccos used contrary to or in variance with the law of the land.

iv. An abuse incident
An abuse incident is one which occurs in the school, or during school functions or outings, or any incident which may be deemed damaging to the health or welfare of the student concerned, or to other student(s), or to the policy or reputation of the school.
The following are possible examples of abuse incidents:-
Suspicion of drug use, possession or dealing
Unusual behaviour
Emergencies when the persons may be unconscious
Disclosure by another person
Person seeking help from member of staff
School grounds being used for drug activity
Drug Paraphernalia found on school property
The school reserves the right to determine, in the circumstances arising, whether or not the specific incident(s) is an abuse incident arises, to be dealt with under the terms of this policy.

Monitoring, review & evaluation.
Monitoring, review & evaluation of this policy & all related work & procedures will take place on an ongoing basis in order to keep the school up to date with the current best practice in this area.

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Arklow CBS,
Coolgreaney Rd,
Co. Wicklow,
Y14 RV04

0402 32 564

© 2021 Arklow CBS