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Drug Taskforce Is Not the Solution We Need

Friday 17 May 2002

After ignoring the drug problem in schools for almost three years, the Government now plans to form a committee, ACT Education Spokesman MP Donna Awatere Huata said today.

"In the same week that suspension rates show drugs are the biggest problem in our schools, the Government and the Greens have announced the creation of a Ministerial Taskforce on Drug Education.

"We've had the National Drug Policy, the Inter-Agency Committee on Drugs, the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy, the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs, and numerous inquiries. Do the Greens truly believe all that we need to solve the drug problem is another committee?

"What reassurance does the formation of a committee filled with bureaucrats really offer school principals who come to school every day and see kids zonked out on drugs?

"This sadly seems like a cynical ploy to reassure parents and teachers upset by the Green Party's policies on marijuana.

"A little good can only come from this flawed plan if the committee is thoroughly honest and admits that experience and independent research prove the compulsory health curriculum is a failure.

"We should scrap the curriculum invented by out-of-touch bureaucrats. It does not sway childrens' decisions on sex, alcohol or drugs.

"What works in one area won't work in another. We should devolve funding and give communities the power to implement solutions, not force every school to teach a failed curriculum.

"When Governments face a tough issue, they form a committee and give it a grandiose name. The Ministerial Taskforce on Drug Education is a sad example of Government indulging in talk rather than taking action," Mrs Awatere Huata said.


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