Monday, March 27, 2006

Teachers attack drug addiction book for primary schools

Ireland Online

Teachers today attacked the sale of a “totally unacceptable” book on drug addiction to primary schools.

The book, Issues 1, A Child Protection Handbook, provides details of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin.

The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) said the material was totally unacceptable for children at primary level.

Its general secretary, John Carr, said: “The books contain detailed information on drugs, particularly speed, cocaine, heroin, magic mushrooms, ecstasy, solvents and amphetamines. It’s geared totally for an older person and is not suitable for children at a primary school level.”

INTO has received a number of complaints from teachers in Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal that businesses are being approached to sponsor the books for their local school at a cost of more than €250.

“That has happened in a number of cases in the North West, where teachers had received a batch of books,” said Mr Carr.

“When they looked at them, they found they were cheaply produced, there’s no acknowledged authorship, they appear to contain an amalgam of material lifted from everywhere and there’s no links with the curriculum,” he told RTE radio.

Primary and secondary school pupils are already taught about the dangers of drug abuse under the Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) curriculum.

The company behind the book, Carroll-Dillon Publishing, has said that some of the material is not appropriate for young children. It has invited responses from school principals and will take these into account if a revised edition of the book is published.

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