for Parents on Keeping Children Drug Free
U.S. Department of Education
on How to Ensure Your Child's School Is Keeping Students Drug Free
have the best prospects for leading healthy, drug-free lives when
schools support parents in their anti-drug message. There should
be nothing confusing or contradictory in what children learn about
drugs from the adults in their lives, and school policies need to
reflect the same attitude toward alcohol and drugs that you express
at home: Drug use is not acceptable. Drugs diminish a child's ability
to concentrate and follow through on academic responsibilities,
they cause absenteeism and loss of motivation, and students who
use them can be disruptive and drain teachers' time and energy.
best way to ensure that the anti-drug policies at your child's school
are strong is to be involved. You can:
about the current policies regarding alcohol and other drugs at
your child's school. If there is no anti-drug policy in place, attend
parent volunteer or curriculum review meetings, or schedule an interview
with the principal to help develop a policy. The policy should specify
what constitutes an alcohol, tobacco or other drug offense, spell
out the consequences for failing to follow the rules, and describe
procedures for handling violations.
yourself with drug education in your child's school. Faculty members
should be trained to teach about alcohol, tobacco and other drug
use. Drug education should be taught in an age-appropriate way at
each grade level throughout the year rather than only once during
a special week. Drug education may be taught during health class,
but all teachers should incorporate anti-drug information into their
classes. There should be a parent education component. The school's
program should be based on current research. Depending on the drug
education conditions at your child's school, you may want to become
more involved and inform the school administrators that there is
a need for improvements in these areas.
yourself in the school's drug education program at home. Ask your
child to show you any materials distributed during or outside class
and take the opportunity to review them together.
out if your child's school conducts assessments of its drug problem
and whether these results are used in the program.
what happens to those who are caught abusing drugs. Does the school
offer a list of referrals for students who need treatment?
and examine any existing materials. Do they contain a clear message
that alcohol, tobacco and other drug use is wrong and harmful? Is
the information accurate and up to date?
whether your school's drug program is being evaluated for success.
Research indicates that some of the most effective programs emphasize
the value of life skills such as coping with anxiety, being assertive
and feeling comfortable socially. When these lessons are combined
with drug education, students confronted with drugs are better equipped
to resist them.
more information, visit www.ed.gov