A school's duty of care and the management of illicit drug related incidents

Barnett, Eola and McNamara, Noeleen (2010) A school's duty of care and the management of illicit drug related incidents. International Journal of Law and Education, 15 (1). pp. 41-53. ISSN 1836-9030

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Illicit drug related incidents occurring in schools or in areas under school supervision are a legal minefield for schools, principals, and other school staff. They can potentially expose a school to civil liability and the student to criminal sanctions. Staff therefore need to understand correct procedures for interviewing students, searching students' property, and notifying parents and police. Yet often the guidance provided to staff in dealing with such incidents is inadequate and may expose the staff to liability.

This article considers the tensions that can arise for a school when discharging their duty of care to the drug-affected student, and the student body as a whole. Using Queensland as an example, it also reviews the current Department of Education and Training's guidelines for the management of drug-related incidents in schools, and raises several concerns with the adequacy and generality of these guidelines. It suggests some areas where the guidelines could better align with criminal legislative standards.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Copyright © 2009 ANZELA, except where otherwise stated. The author(s) retain copyright in the article.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Law
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2011 23:51
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: drugs; schools; drug-related incidents; crime; torts; duty of care
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160504 Crime Policy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940406 Legal Processes
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/18355

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