Search

School head hits back at drug claims

PUBLISHED: 02:32 22 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK headteacher today denied allegations that she was failing to deal with a drugs problem at her school.

Speaking in the wake of accusations that staff had failed to act when presented with a damning list detailing dozens of students dealing drugs at East Bergholt High, Moira Humphreys said the school was tackling the issue head on.

A SUFFOLK headteacher today denied allegations that she was failing to deal with a drugs problem at her school.

Speaking in the wake of accusations that staff had failed to act when presented with a damning list detailing dozens of students dealing drugs at East Bergholt High, Moira Humphreys said the school was tackling the issue head on.

She had been accused of sweeping the issue under the carpet but hit back saying: "We take the issue of drugs very seriously at East Bergholt High.

"We have no record of any list of names being presented to us. If we had been given such a list we would have dealt with it straight away.

"There would have been an immediate inquiry and suitable action taken. We do not sweep issues under the carpet."

A concerned parent, who declined to be named, contacted the Evening Star following revelations that two pupils at the school had been expelled on drugs-related matters following an investigation at the school.

The parent, who said his son was an ex-pupil, claimed that illegal drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy were freely available at the school and that staff were not taking appropriate action to clamp down on the problem.

But Mrs Humphreys rounded on her critic saying the school had both a hard line on drugs and a willingness to talk about issues when they arose.

"We do not agree with this parent's allegation that drugs are "absolutely rife" in the school. Our drugs education policy underlines our commitment to educating young people about drugs through the taught curriculum and especially in their personal social and health education lessons. The policy is available to parents.

"We utterly refute the statement that we would not divulge this policy to parents. In fact, parents have been invited to attend information evenings at the school, led by the drugs awareness team, exploring the school's policy and discussing relevant issues.

"Parents are always welcome to discuss concerns - whatever they may be - with the headteacher or a member of the teaching team at the school."

She said the school works in partnership with parents and where appropriate with outside agencies to help and support students.

The row breaks out at a time when drug use among young people has come under the spotlight at both a national and regional level.

The concerned parent claimed he knew of a 13-year-old boy who was offered anything he wanted during a French lesson.

"It's absolutely rife," he claimed.

"I took the trouble to talk to the children. They told me how easy it was to get drugs in school. I asked them names of users and suppliers, how much. They gave the information freely.

"I passed on this information with regards the cannabis use and drug use at the school." he claimed.

The parent said that children at the school were using mobile phone text messages to communicate with dealers, often other pupils and that dealers were selling cannabis in bite sized pieces in order to lure in young smokers.

Marijuana cigarettes were being sold at the school for £2.50, he claimed.

In July fears that drugs were available at East Bergholt High School were sparked when four 15-year-old pupils were arrested on suspicion of possessing cannabis, two of them possession with intent to supply, during a year ten visit to Chessington World of Adventure. Three later accepted a caution and another was released without charge.

n Do you know of a drugs issue in any other schools in Suffolk? If so call confidentially The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 282257 or e-mail EveningStarLetters@ecng.co.uk

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists