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  Drugs tests in schools
Updated 23 February 2004, 18.44
The government has just published new guidelines for schools on how to handle drugs. Here are the facts about what they can and can't do.

What drugs might they be searching for?
They could be looking for illegal drugs, like cannabis or cocaine, or they might be trying to find things kids shouldn't have, like cigarettes or alcohol.

Could anyone be searched for drugs?
If they think you have drugs, teachers can try to persuade you to hand them over.

Teachers can look through school property like lockers or desks.

They can't check your clothes or personal property unless you say so, but can call in the police to search you if they think you have illegal drugs.

If your stuff is searched, the school will tell your parents whether anything is found or not.

Will there be sniffer dogs and drugs tests in my school?
Head teachers are allowed to use sniffer dogs to find drugs, and urine tests to see if kids have been using them.

They will have to ask your parents for permission to use them.

But the government says they should think very carefully about it, and let you know if they plan to do it.

What will happen if I'm caught with drugs?
The school should always tell your parents if you are found with any drugs.

They don't have to call in the police, but they can if illegal drugs are involved.

You might be given counselling, excluded from school or moved to a different school.

Source - Drugs: Guidance for Schools (Feb 2004)

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