Central Queensland children are involved with drugs as young as Year 3, according to shocking data.
Central Queensland children are involved with drugs as young as Year 3, according to shocking data. FotoMaximum

'Drug plague': CQ schools' alarmingly young drug offenders

STUDENTS are involved with drugs, alcohol and tobacco as early as Year 3 in Central Queensland schools.

Department of Education data reveals 247 students were suspended in 2016 for "substance misconduct" involving illicit drugs, tobacco and other legal substances.

The youngest illegal drug offenders were in Year 6, resulting in two suspensions and one exclusion, and the majority were in Year 10 with 31 recorded.

The Year 10 cohort also had the highest number of students involved with tobacco and legal substances at 48.

A total of 78 illicit substance suspensions and exclusions were recorded in 2016, and a total of 169 involving legal substances.

These kids fit into a broader picture of drug use in Queensland state schools, with the estimates hearing revealing more than 5,700 drug related incidents were recorded in Queensland schools since 2015; more than 3,000 involve illicit substances.

 

SAD FACTS: Queensland Education data reveals Central Queensland students were involved with drugs as early as Year 3.
SAD FACTS: Queensland Education data reveals Central Queensland students were involved with drugs as early as Year 3. Centro

LNP Shadow Minister for Education Tracy Davis used these figures in an attack on Education Minister Kate Jones with claims almost 600 drug incidents are "plaguing our schools" each month.

"More concerning is the number of drug related suspensions have jumped to more than 1,000 in 2016," she said.

"Sadly, despite Labor making much noise about the 'ice corridor' the Education Minister could not answer if schools in this corridor were being targeted.

 

Shadow Minister for Education Tracy Davis has slammed Education Minister Kate Jones over the thousands of children involved with drugs across Queensland schools.
Shadow Minister for Education Tracy Davis has slammed Education Minister Kate Jones over the thousands of children involved with drugs across Queensland schools. Claudia Baxter

"Thousands of drug matters happening in our schools says we have a serious problem.

"During the estimates hearing the Minister revealed 34 primary school students, these are children under 12 years of age, had been caught with drugs at schools.

OUR KIDS, OUR FUTURE | The Morning Bulletin campaign to protect our children:

"We need more action by this Government and the part-time Education Minister to tackle this growing scourge in our school communities."

But Ms Jones has hit back and said Labor has led a 15% reduction in the number of tobacco, alcohol and other drug-related suspensions since coming into government.

 

Minister for Education Kate Jones has hit back at claims drug use in Queensland schools has risen under a Labor government.
Minister for Education Kate Jones has hit back at claims drug use in Queensland schools has risen under a Labor government. Contributed

She said the government was working to support all students to make positive choices and make the most of their education.

"It's really disappointing the LNP have used the Estimates process to target state schools and the great work our teachers are doing in our classrooms," Ms Jones said.

"Drug-related suspensions are down from a high of 3,200 under the LNP in 2014 to 2,800 last year."

Ms Jones applauded schools for their efforts supporting students, and said while enrolments had grown by more than 30,000 students, drug-related issues are on the decline.



Bushfire smoke hazard for CQ highway

Bushfire smoke hazard for CQ highway

A BUSHFIRE west of Blackwater is affecting visibility on the Capricorn Highway.

It’s time to pick up the pieces

premium_icon It’s time to pick up the pieces

Livingstone Shire begins the clean-up efforts after one of its biggest natural...

Lexus driver leaves shoes behind as he runs from police

premium_icon Lexus driver leaves shoes behind as he runs from police

4pm: The car thief fled barefoot as police tracked him to a Rockhampton address.