Cannabis concerns warranted and support will be given

Stakeholders of the Ministry of Education, namely the Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools and the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) have expressed concern over a perceived influx of cannabis into the nation’s schools. Understanding that this concern stems from the idea that students may now have easier access to the drug because of the decriminalization of certain quantities of cannabis and cannabis resin, the Ministry of Education will be working with School Supervisors and Principals to ensure familiarity with the National Schools Code of Conduct specifically the section regarding Substance Abuse. The Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill, 2019 also outlines imposed penalties for persons who enable children to partake in this substance.

Sensitization and training surrounding the effects of using narcotics has also been undertaken through the Student Support Services Division, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the National Crime Prevention Programme and the National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Programme (NADAPP). Principals are also being reminded that as they act “in loco parentis” while children are at school, they have the authority to issue the search of school bags, personal possessions, and request of students to empty their pockets. If any additional physical search is required, the support of the police can be sought.

As the country moves through the Carnival season and beyond, the Ministry of Education urges parents and guardians to be vigilant of their children/wards actions and behaviours. Ensure that students do not have access to any banned substance in any form that can create issues within the school environment. 

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