Girl, 5, makes bong in class
By Edith Bevin
September 29, 2003
A five-year-old Territory girl shocked teachers when she showed her class how to make a bong out of a Coke bottle during a "show and tell" session.
The incident took place at a primary school in Darwin's northern suburbs.
The revelation comes amid mounting concerns over drug use among Territory primary school students.
At least two instances have been reported to the Education Department of children aged between five and 12 being caught with drugs at school.
In one case the drug was amphetamine. Teachers have indicated this may be the tip of the iceberg.
"The little girl showing how to make a bong was the most in-your-face example of drug culture among primary school students I've heard of," one teacher said.
"It's not unheard of that primary school children will be found with drugs at school," the teacher said.
"Usually it's just a bit of dope - they've probably nicked it from their mum's purse and brought it along to show off.
"I've never heard of dealing at a primary school here."
But dealing at Territory schools is not unheard of, police say.
The NT Drug Enforcement Unit has run operations at high schools targeting dealing on school grounds.
Police would not name the schools involved.
The Northern Territory News has learned a member of the NT Police has been seconded to the Education Department to work on their new drug policy and protocols.
"The drug education policy is under revision to ensure it accurately reflects modern trends," the spokesperson said.
Students with drugs at school are reported to the school-based constable and are subject to suspension.
A Department of Education spokesman said students being found with drugs at Territory schools was rare.
The spokesman said prosecutions against students are not always pursued.
"Depending on the incident, the constable may refer the matter to the police for further action," the spokesman said.
"Usually, the student involved would be suspended for a period determined by the school, taking into consideration the seriousness of the incident.
"The student would also receive counselling and would be required to successfully undertake a re-entry interview before returning to the school once the period of suspension has passed."