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Drug-free schools tool should stay

Education Spokesperson

26 October 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Drug-free schools tool should stay

Plans to change the law to ban drug testing in schools prove once again that Hekia Parata is out of touch with the education sector and with Kiwi parents wanting the best for their kids, Labour’s Education spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.

"The Government’s charter school Bill removes existing provisions that allow principals to drug test students, something that is more often than not used as a deterrent but which also allows schools to identify students who may need help to stop using drugs.

"In today's environment, schools need a legislative mechanism that allows drug-testing measures to be implemented.

“It’s important, however, that those powers are backed up by school policies that are open and transparent for parents and teachers to ensure that no-one is unfairly targeted.

"It's also important that these policies are reviewed and that ERO monitor them so that best practice guidelines can be further refined.

"Labour believes that every child has the right to attend their local school expecting to be safe, and free from drugs and bullying.

"Ms Parata needs to give the same assurance to our educators and commit to a continuation of current provisions that allow schools to carry out drug testing,” said Nanaia Mahuta.


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