Pubdate: Mon, 29 Mar 2010
Source: Hull Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2010 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd


Headteachers at two secondary schools have issued a drugs danger 
warning to parents.

Parents of pupils attending Beverley Grammar School and Longcroft 
School, also in the town, have been put on alert.

It comes after a teenage boy at Longcroft School was found in 
possession of mephedrone, also known as M-Cat.

Beverley Grammar School says it has anecdotal evidence a small number 
of its pupils have been using drugs out of school, including M-Cat.

The recent deaths of two teenagers in Scunthorpe and a 24-year-old 
woman in North Yorkshire have been linked to the substance.

M-Cat was also blamed for the collapse of a pupil at Woldgate College 
in Pocklington.

The Advisory Council On The Misuse Of Drugs, which has been examining 
the case for banning M-Cat, was today due to present its report to 
Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

Longcroft headteacher Lesley Hughes said parents need to know 
children have access to the drug.

She said: "We got a report a boy was carrying M-Cat, we searched him 
and that was, in fact, the case. We are dealing with it and I also 
wrote to parents.

"I am being absolutely up-front about this.

"This is society's problem and it is important parents know this drug 
and other drugs are readily available in Beverley and the district so 
they can deal with that situation and prepare their children."

Ms Hughes would not reveal what punishment was given to the pupil.

Chris Goodwin, headteacher at boys' secondary Beverley Grammar 
School, has highlighted the drugs danger in a newsletter to parents.

He has urged parents to keep their eyes open and to speak to their 
children about the issue.

He said: "It is obvious to us alcohol and drugs are having a 
detrimental effect on a minority of our boys.

"I do not want to find myself dealing with a student's death, health 
problem or blighted opportunities.

"I also do not want to have to permanently exclude someone over a 
drug-related incident, but it is a problem in Beverley at the moment."

Mr Goodwin, whose school has been rated "outstanding" three times in 
a row by Ofsted, said drugs have no place in schools.

He said: "Whether drinking, snorting M-Cat or smoking cannabis, there 
is one thing we know and that is it is not good for people's brains 
or learning.

"They have no place in schools."

Mr Goodwin told the Mail he is not prepared to ignore the issue, 
which he insists affects all schools.

He said: "There is not a school in the country that doesn't have a 
drugs problem, whether it's a private school or state school.

"If anyone out there is saying there's a school that doesn't have a 
problem they are living in cloud cuckoo land because the problem is 
there and it's everywhere.

"Some schools will react by trying to pretend it's not there because 
they think adverse publicity will have a bad effect if they flag it up.

"Rather than brush it under the carpet it needs to be dealt with, 
with the students and the parents. We need to deal with it head on."

Inspector Mark Coulthard, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing 
in Beverley, said there have been two cases of teenagers in Beverley 
found in possession of drugs, suspected to be mephedrone, in the past 10 days.

He said: "My concern is we might have a death in the town because 
kids will experiment with things."

East Riding teaching and learning consultant Denise Chisholm who 
provides drugs education for schools, said advice has been issued to 
all schools about mephedrone.

Advice workshops for parents are planned in a number of East Riding 
schools, including Longcroft, after the Easter holidays.
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