Safe and drug-free schools are something that no kids should ever have to worry about. What should teachers do when an elementary student's family life threatens a drug-free education?
Who do I contact about a student upset over drugs in his home?
A student was talking about his dad and uncle arguing over drugs and the student was very upset. Who should be contacted first about this situation. The parents, principal, police, etc... ?
~ Edgar Cortenso
Safe and drug-free schools are an ideal that teachers must actively promote in order to preserve the elementary experience for each of our students.
As you know from reading this website, I feel that one of the critical factors for elementary student success is individualizing. I take that beyond just the curriculum; I feel strongly that teachers must individualize a student's entire school experience in order to make the greatest impact on their development.
And, to make a very broad statement:
Which brings me to your question.
Worried about home
= stressed at school
We have two concerns here. First, of course, is the well-being of this particular child. Drugs in the home certainly don't make for an atmosphere that is conducive to doing homework or getting rested and prepared for school.
At the worst end of the spectrum, there is a greater potential for abuse or for drug-related criminal interactions.
Second, if there is drug use among families in your school's neighborhood, that threatens the drug-free education of the entire school.
Either way, your school administration must be informed.
To preserve safe and drug-free schools, your first stop is the school principal, followed by a visit to the school counselor.
Your principal can consider the big picture of how this may affect the entire school, while the counselor can focus on the needs of the individual child. Counselors are usually well-equipped for such situations and would know the appropriate steps to take.
This may include additional phone calls and research, or it may involve a call to child protective authorities.
This definitely goes beyond a classroom management issue; I would be very concerned about this student's safety. Don't let it go...be tenacious in seeking help.
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