Published: 05th July 2017
Keeping kids off drugs is a parent's problem: Hyderabad's High Schools take high road after drug busts reveal extensive network
Now that notices have been sent to high-risk schools, many of them in swanky locations, schools are turning the tables and blaming parents for their kids' drug habits
A day after the Excise Department issued advisory notices to 26 city schools in Hyderabad asking them to conduct sensitisation programmes about drug and substance abuse, schools have said that it's the responsibility of parents to ensure that their kids stay off drugs. Principals went as far as to say that students should be kept off WhatsApp as that's how peddlers contact them.
Schools while asserting the importance of sensitisation, said that they would conduct the programmes and stop there. Indus International School, one of the recipients of the notice, told Express that drug and substance abuse has been always been a part of their curriculum. “We have zero tolerance for drug abuse and earmark a day in the calendar year when we sensitise students,” said Vice Principal Mohammed Rizwan.
Schools have said that it's the responsibility of parents to ensure that their kids stay off drugs. Principals went as far as to say that students should be kept off WhatsApp as that's how peddlers contact them.
While denying that the school had received a notice, he added that students spend only a limited amount of time in school. It is parents who should monitor their activities and keep tabs on the company they keep. “Parents should give limited money to children and know how they are spending it. They should also be discouraged from giving smartphones to their children. In fact, it was through WhatsApp that the peddlers stayed in touch with the students,” he said.
The recent crackdown on drugs has resulted in eight arrests and found over 100 students who were their clients, some as young as 13-14 years old, has sent parents and schools in a tizzy. What's interesting is that most of these students are from affluent families and students of international schools.
There are others like Geetanjali School at Begumpet, who are taking steps to undertake a sensitisation drive for students and parents. “We are already looking into it. In fact, we conduct sensitisation programmes on a routine basis. We had conducted one recently on cyber crimes too,” said Maya Sukumar, Principal. She said that teachers would anyway come to know if any student is doing drugs since the student teacher ratio is small. “The school and the police need to be vigilant about the shops in the vicinity of the schools. Peddlers lure students at such locations,” she added.
We conduct sensitisation programmes on a routine basis. We had conducted one recently on cyber crimes too. The school and the police need to be vigilant about the shops in the vicinity of the schools. Peddlers lure students at such locations.
Maya Sukumar, Principal, Geetanjali School
Ashish Naredi, a parent, and a member of the Hyderabad Parents School Association said that though no single factor can be attributed to young students falling prey to drug abuse, the fact that most students are from International schools should serve as an eye-opener for parents. “These schools take pride in their elitism. Children feel it's cool to drink and do drugs. We should get rid of this coolness quotient. Parents, of course, need to keep an eye on their children but international schools need to understand that they have to stop encouraging elitism,” he said.