13 Mar 2013

Principals claim victory over drug search law change

8:29 am on 13 March 2013

Secondary school principals say they have convinced the Government to abandon its opposition to the use of sniffer dogs and drug tests on students.

The Education Amendment Bill currently before the Education and Science select committee would prevent schools from using dogs and carrying out drug tests on students.

The Ministry of Education has said schools should leave drug searches and tests to the police and the proposed changes reflect the Bill of Rights.

Principals have told the committee that employing private firms to conduct searches and tests deters students from bringing drugs to school and gives them a good reason to turn down drugs.

Committee chair Cam Calder says he cannot comment because the committee is still considering the bill.

However, the Secondary Principals Association says it has been told the Government will change the clauses.

Its president Patrick Walsh says principals want a clear statement about what they can do to keep schools free of drugs.