The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered 18 months of random drug tests on a teacher who pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis.  The circumstances were rather unusual in that the teacher was suffering from a mental health issue and undergoing treatment for that when she was found by the Police to be in possession of cannabis.  She had already been warned by her medical professionals that the use of cannabis while undergoing the treatment for her mental health problem was not recommended.  The teacher had also refused to give up her cannabis use when her school tried to put in place assistance for her.

The Disciplinary Tribunal decided that since the teacher had now been drug free for some time (as shown by clear test results) a further period of random drug testing was sufficient to protect the public and it did not need to cancel her teaching registration.

Along with the random drug testing the teacher was also ordered to remain compliant with her medical treatment and to provide six monthly updates from her medical specialists to the Teachers Council.

Alan Knowsley

Education Lawyer