Six pupils have been suspended from a leading senior school after being caught taking so-called ‘legal highs’ on the premises.
The Observer understands the students were suspended last week for taking the substance at Claremont Senior School in Bodiam.
It is believed those involved are aged 15 and 16 and the incident took place in the boys’ toilets during school hours.
A letter confirming the incident was sent out to parents, along with a comprehensive booklet about the dangers of legal highs.
‘Legal highs’ are available from so called ‘headshops’ in towns throughout the country, including Hastings.
Legal highs, often consumed through a vaporiser, seek to mimic the effects of better known illegal recreational drugs.
They are sold in the guise of harmless stimulants or as items such as plant food.
Claremont says it is ‘tackling the challenge head-on’, dealing ‘rigorously’ with any students involved in the use and distribution of legal highs while seeking to educate parents.
Headmaster Giles Perrin said: “These substances are flooding the recreational drugs market.
“They are, worryingly, available across-the-counter, in so-called ‘headshops’, throughout the country and of course all over the internet.
“Government legislation will catch up with them, but until such time, their proliferation and ease of availability pose a significant health risk to young people across the land.
“Every school I have worked in, throughout my 20 years in the profession, has had issues with intoxicants.
“New intoxicants come onto the market every week and schools have to keep abreast of the latest issues and educate students and their parents.
“When dealing with teenagers there will, at times, be the need to address and manage poor decisions that have been made.
“Our role as educators is to help young people to make well- informed decisions and move forward into the wide world with sound judgment.
“Like every school in the country, we have to tackle difficult issues and emerging social problems. We have to strike a balance between the interests of keeping the whole community safe and helping individuals to make the right choices and learn.
“At Claremont Senior, we seek to work with fellow educators and local authorities to ensure we get the message absolutely right”.
Claremont has sent a Parent Information Booklet to all members of the school community, available at http://www.adfam.org.uk/cms/docs/Angelus_Adfam_Parent_ClubDrug_Booklet.pdf