Student’s Suspension for Smelling of Pot Provides Whiff of What’s Ahead for Schools After Legalization

Article by Isabel Teotonio, Toronto Star

Student’s suspension for smelling of pot provides whiff of what’s ahead for schools after legalization By ISABEL TEOTONIO Education The suspension of a Grade 11 student at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School because he smelled of pot highlights some of the problems that lie ahead for schools as they grapple with looming legalization. (STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR)

On the first day of school, Tony stood outside the main office, in a lineup of students, waiting to pick up his timetable. He left with a three-day suspension slip.

The reason? A vice-principal at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School in Rexdale smelled marijuana.

“I was stunned,” recalled the 16-year-old, whose real name the Star agreed to withhold. “I said, ‘I haven’t been smoking’ … I asked her if she wanted to check my bag … she refused.”
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It’s the kind of scene that could play out in other schools after recreational cannabis becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17. With just over two weeks to go, few concrete steps have been taken to prepare for the impact legislation will have on schools, but educators say they are gearing up for a new reality and that teachers will be trained, policies will be updated and the curriculum tweaked.
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When Tony thinks of that day in September, he says nothing in his behaviour or appearance suggested he was high — the 11th grader said he has never even tried weed. There was just a light scent of marijuana in the air, which he too had smelled.
“The office was busy. I was not the only person in there. They could have done an inspection on the kids seeing if they had (marijuana). That’s not what they did.”

Read the full article here.

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