This question has hit headlines this week. And if I am completely honest I don’t know the answer.
Of course informing children to help make the right choice is a good thing. But this implies they don’t know of the risks already.
Does anyone believe that?
I can’t help but think children already know drugs are not a good idea. If anything the danger arguably forms part of the appeal.
Being lectured about it at school isn’t a guaranteed way to put them off either.
I mean how long has sex education been part of the timetable?
And look at the statistics for underage pregnancy… Not exactly a success.
The reason many do these things is more likely to be “my friends were doing it and I didn’t want to be left out.” Which is a far more worrying problem in my opinion.
So perhaps we should teach lessons in free will instead?
It would fix a lot of the problems.
After all if ringleaders stopped being followed they would probably stop as well.
No more groups of children sharing a cigarette, thinking they are the coolest thing since the fridge-freezer was invented for a start.
So if a little shock-tactic-teaching is what it takes then I think it is worth it.
I remember when I was 11 and a policeman visited our school to talk about why we shouldn’t play on railway lines.
He showed horrible videos and told harrowing stories. But while the lesson sticks in my mind I can’t say it is the reason I never took my chances on the train tracks.
Sometimes being sensible has its rewards. But that is just me.
There is no way of telling the wider impact it had.
If it made just one of my classmates stop and think then it was a success.
Amy Winehouse’s dad is at the front of the drug education campaign and he admits that he doesn’t know if it could have saved his daughter.
The truth is it’s not going to work for everyone. People will still make mistakes and sadly some of them may be fatal.
But life is so precious.
If we can do something that might save some surely we should?
And if they don’t no harm has been done. Students will still have plenty of time to learn those vital life-skills like algebra or study the tudors for the tenth year running…