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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 692 ..

Ms Gallagher: Thank you for your questions. The answers to Mr Pratt's questions are:

The ACT Government vision for Canberra includes protecting the vulnerable and supporting those in need and to this end supports the Education and Training key outcomes to enhance the resilience and optimism of our children and youth.

(1) Identification of students at risk of drug abuse.

Growing up in a modern urban community may expose students to the risk of drug use. The Principles for School Drug Education support the notion of classroom teachers being best placed to provide drug education, a supportive environment and refer students to school counsellors where appropriate. The Drug Education Framework for ACT Government Schools outlines risk reduction strategies within a whole school approach to school drug education.

(2) Departmental procedures for drug offenders

Policies and procedures for dealing with drug related incidents in ACT government schools are consistent with the National Framework for Protocols for Managing the Possession, Use and/or Distribution of Illicit Drugs in Schools. Individual School Drug Policies publicly describe the school ethos in relation to the use of drugs by students, staff and the school community. Current policies reflect harm minimisation, drug use prevention strategies and intervention strategies. Workshops are conducted by the Department of Education, Youth and Family Services (DEYFS) drug education officer to support schools in the development of school drug policies. Forty schools were supported to develop and review individual school drug education policies in 2002.

(3) The AFP and the department

The AFP and the department meet regularly to discuss school drug issues including criminal matters arising from student illicit drug use. The AFP and the department are currently working on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that outlines the roles and responsibilities of either party concerned with drug prevention, use and control in schools.

(4) Rehabilitation programs

As indicated in the Drug Education Framework for ACT Government Schools, any response to incidents involving inappropriate use of drugs is made in the best interests of students, staff and others involved. The response takes into account the nature of the circumstances of the incident and the personal background of the student. Students who come into contact with law enforcement, particularly around early stages of drug use are diverted from the court system to the ACT Policing Illicit Drug Diversion Program. Assessment and access to education and/or treatment (through ACT Community Care Alcohol and Drug Program and Reclink) are provided for the person at risk.

(5) Departmental teaching approach

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