Pubdate: Fri, 3 Jun 1998
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Page: A23


Re Student smokers face suspension (June 19)

Tory MPP Terence Young's Zero Tolerance for Substance Abuse Act, which
passed second reading recently, promotes segregating and suspending
students who are caught with a mere unlit cigarette.

If keeping drug users from participating in society worked, we would have
licked the adult drug problem already, right?


We've used this tactic for 90 years now, and the harm resulting from
alcohol, tobacco and other drug use continues unabated.

Young's bill is also a boon to schoolyard bullies, who will undoubtedly
welcome the chance to see a fellow student suspended merely by dropping an
unlit cigarette into his or her knapsack.

Perhaps Young could take a cue from his fellow Tory MPPs, Helen Johns and
Ernie Hardeman.

They recently called for changes to the existing Tobacco Control Act,
simply because the act of barring tobacco use by students on school
property has driven smoking students to loiter in neighborhoods surrounding
their schools.

It has also has the unfortunate effect of leaving students open to
increased drug use off school grounds, where they can't be monitored in any

For some reason, Young would seem to want to increase these negative
effects, adding these on top of the rise in drug use and youth crime that
will surely come as schools' extracurricular activities are curtailed due
to lack of funding.

It's sad that Young only wants to punish Ontario's youth, rather than look
at ways to help them through the so-called best years of their lives.

Dave Haans Toronto

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