A new idea has been floated to stop young kids from vaping and it involves bringing in army veterans to stamp out the behaviour.
7 News reports that Queensland school children could have to undergo compulsory bag and pocket checks after The George Institute for Global Health revealed that one-third of primary school children vape.
While appearing on Sunrise, Teachers’ Professional Association of Queensland secretary Tracy Tully said that despite the schools taking action, more measures need to be enforced.
“There’s so many ways you can manage illegal substances in schools, but I think we are beyond that now,” she said.
“I think the time has come where we need to do something much bigger and much more permanent.”
Tully also revealed that one in six of her students vape as parents fail to reprimand them.
“For parents, we are finding in the last couple of decades, they want a mateship with their children rather than a parent-child relationship,” she said.
She added: “The parents feel like they have to please the kids, and they are seeing it as a way to medicate the kids, to keep them quiet and give a false sense of calm, which it isn’t.”
To rectify this alarming issue, she reckons we need to get army veterans in to give these kids a cold, hard lesson on the rules.
“I believe we should be using our army veterans — we’ve got tens of thousands of those out there in the community who ready, willing and able to work in schools,” Tully said.
“I believe that we should be looking at a training program and sponsoring that and making that happen.”
Earlier this year, Victoria began installing silent smoke detectors so teachers could collect the contraband.
Some schools are even locking restrooms during recess and lunchtime, according to The Herald Sun.
Mentone's St Bede’s College has already got the ball rolling and started installing silent alarms.
Deputy principal Mark Jones told the outlet that the school would start implementing more detectors as information sessions on the health implications of vaping have not deterred students.
“Of course staff don’t want to be checking the toilets, but we try and do everything in our power to stop the kids from engaging in activities that are harmful to themselves,” he said.
“It’s a difficult one because they’re (vapes) so easy to conceal.”
However, Alcohol and Drug Foundation policy and advocacy knowledge manager Laura Bajurny said that having a ‘punitive’ approach could very well backfire.
“Feelings of belonging and connectedness at school, and having positive role models such as teachers and other school staff, are factors that can help protect young people from experiencing harm from alcohol and other drugs,” she said.
“Adopting a punitive approach may cause more harm than good, especially to vulnerable young people.”
Featured Image Credit: The Simpsons/Fox. Alamy Stock Photo.
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