Parents warned after pupils caught taking drugs during school hours

Dingwall Academy

Letters have been sent to the parents of children at Dingwall Academy following reports that a group of pupils were experimenting with drugs during school hours.

Head teacher Karen Cormack took the unusual step following the revelation.

Similar letters were sent out at the end of last year to parents of pupils at six secondaries in Inverness and Nairn, highlighting that cannabis, MDMA, heroin, crack cocaine and legal highs were readily available.

Parents warned about alarming rise in pupil drug use at Inverness schools

And parents of pupils at Tain Royal Academy were also sent letters in January following concerns raised by parents, pupils and other members of the public who had overheard or witnessed incidents involving illegal drugs.

The latest letter from Dingwall Academy states: “We have recently been made aware that a small number of pupils are experimenting with drugs during the school day in the Dingwall area. There is no evidence of such activity taking place in school.

“The council works very closely with parents and partner agencies to educate children about the dangers of substance misuse and the importance of making right choices. There are effective interventions to prevent and reduce substance misuse and we have very successful substance misuse services.”

The letter also encourages anyone with information or concerns about drugs to report them to police or the school, and encourages parents to discuss it with their child at home.

A police spokesman said that anyone with information or concerns should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The school will be holding assemblies later in the week for S2-S6 pupils to push their zero tolerance message on drug use, and has encouraged pupils to pass on information and encouraged parents to discuss it with their child at home.

One concerned parent said: “It’s certainly not a new thing and I’ve been told it’s common knowledge between pupils when, where and who.

“More worrying is how easily available it is and, until now, there’s been no input or push back from school.”

Dingwall councillor Graham Mackenzie, a former rector of the school, said: “It’s been dealt with timeously and in prompt fashion by the school.

“I am disappointed but not surprised given the prevalence of drugs in society.

“It’s been identified and prompt action has been taken and I am aware that the school is holding assemblies with all year groups to emphasise the dangers of drug taking and the impact on health.”