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#132727 - 11/18/03 02:07 PM Disappointing & disgraceful
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
At our MA training camp in the weekend, 2 young [14 & 15yo respectively] brown belt males [from another dojo] were caught doing drugs in the toilets on Sat night.

We treat this matter very seriously as they have been in positions of seniority and were trainee instructors.

They have been stripped of their ranks and thrown out of the club and are very lucky that the police were not involved.

What sort of policies do your clubs have on drug use?

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#132728 - 11/18/03 09:31 PM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
Anonymous
Unregistered


Drugs are bad, because if you do drugs then you're a hippy! Hippies suck.

(Actualy no idea on drug policy, never known anyone stupid enough to face the wrath of Instructors)

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#132729 - 11/20/03 07:11 AM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi Reiki

I have not answered this previously because it is such a sensitive issue and I wanted to think about what I was going to say.

I have very mixed feelings. On the one hand, taking drugs is not a good thing at any age and certainly not at 14 or 15. Additionally, it has to be made clear to the rest of the students (and the parents of juniors) that such behaviour will not be tolerated, especially in or around the dojo. No instructor should be seen to be condoning such behaviour.

On the other hand, don't all teenagers experiment with things they should not be doing (whether it is under age sex, alcohol, tobacco or other drugs)? Should this mean they should be thrown out or given guidance? Would it have been better to talk to them with their parents and maybe reccomended drug counselling?

I don't know what the answer is and am certainly in no position to judge your decision, but I do think that maybe it was a passing thing and they may have benefitted from a second chance. Dropping a grade and having their parents informed may have been enough, maybe not.

Sorry to sit on the fence, but this is a difficult one. If this ever happened in our club, I would have to consult some more senior instructors, because I honestly would not know what to do for the best.
Sharon

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#132730 - 11/20/03 08:09 AM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
dazzler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/03
Posts: 296
Loc: England
I tend to teach just adults so I'd be with Reikis hard line on this. You just can't tolerate it around the dojo.

We have had students who have been on recovery programmes - so far the only one who has slipped has so far failed to return although he is back in town. There was never any secret that these guys came with issues and I firmly believe that the practice helped them immensely.

My line for these guys would be seek professional help and dont bring their problems to the dojo.

In the case of my student who has fallen by the wayside I will be overjoyed when he feels ready to return and providing he is as clean as he can be will welcome him with open arms.

I think the dilemma is that if you ostracise and eject the kids then you actual deprive them of targets and an opportunity to do something positive.... but you have also a duty of care to ensure the younger kids are not influenced by these role models.

Maybe this post might add interest to the junior black belt thread...but as I dont want to get embroiled in that particular argument I'll let you decide on that.

I guess it also comes down to knowing the students - A bit of a puff in the bogs by someone that should know better but got carried away with being on camp is a lot different to jacking up ...

But at least youve got a policy that sends out a strong message to everyone else.

D

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#132731 - 11/20/03 10:19 AM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
I, like Sharon, had to think about this one.

These children were placed in your care by their parents and you therefore have assumed a duty of care.
As such you found the children doing something that was neither in their best interest, nor legal. You should tell the children that you intend to tell both their parents and the authorities, and then do so.

Failure to do so could result in your being held responsible for their behaivior. Should either their parents or the authorities find out through a third party of the events, you could be held liable.

Kicking the kids out of the karate class has done nothing to resolve the problem and may have removed a focus from their lives that is important. You have simply distanced yourself from the problem rather than dealing with it.

Should you deal with the problem in the manner suggested above (and it is only an opinion) you can then influence the other members of the club by explaining exactly what happened and what you did, with your point of view. This would be better than leaving it to the rumour mill that always surrounds matters like this.

As a parent, I would be very disappointed if my child was involved in drugs and you did not inform both me and the authorities.

Certainly a difficult one though.

JohnL

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#132732 - 11/20/03 10:34 AM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
dazzler Offline
Member

Registered: 09/22/03
Posts: 296
Loc: England
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JohnL:

These children were placed in your care by their parents and you therefore have assumed a duty of care.
As such you found the children doing something that was neither in their best interest, nor legal. You should tell the children that you intend to tell both their parents and the authorities, and then do so.

Failure to do so could result in your being held responsible for their behaivior. Should either their parents or the authorities find out through a third party of the events, you could be held liable.


Should you deal with the problem in the manner suggested above (and it is only an opinion) you can then influence the other members of the club by explaining exactly what happened and what you did, with your point of view. This would be better than leaving it to the rumour mill that always surrounds matters like this.

As a parent, I would be very disappointed if my child was involved in drugs and you did not inform both me and the authorities.


JohnL
[/QUOTE]


Very good points. Not sure about informing authorities before discussion with parents though..

My little one is only 5 months old ...Im not fully in the parent frame of mind yet, in my defence ...she's a way off this sort of behaviour for a few years at least!

D

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#132733 - 11/20/03 11:19 AM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
JohnL Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 03/24/03
Posts: 4309
Loc: NY, NY, USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dazzler:

Very good points. Not sure about informing authorities before discussion with parents though..

D
[/QUOTE]

I didn't say before. I would have the discussion with the parents first, but I would tell them that I intended to give a statement to the authorities. I believe this point is non-negotiable.

Let's say after you talk to the parents you are persuaded not to to the police. Let's say the kids then decide to further there involvement in drugs. If the police then find that you did not report the matter you would have the consequences of that to deal with.

I believe you should tell the authorities.

JohnL

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#132734 - 11/20/03 02:16 PM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
Food for thought guys! Thanks for your input.

I must hasten to add that I was in no way involved in the decisions made by our superiors [I wasnt even there!] and I think if I had been I probably would have acted in a similar manner to yourselves.

Stripping of rank is one thing, and probably sufficient in this case rather than expulsion. I believe the kids involved need help and certainly parental involvement is necessary.

As to the involvement of the police, I do not know exactly what they were taking and as cannabis is regarded as a minor infringement here, it is unlikely that the cops would press charges.

If it were something more serious though, I would have involved the police after considerable discussion with parents.

The main concern as far as I can find out was the fact that these kids were junior instructors and as such should have been aware of the clubs policy regarding use of drugs on the premises and in club time.

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#132735 - 11/20/03 02:24 PM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
Anonymous
Unregistered


Just another thought Reiki, it is possible that these kids took drugs with/supplied drugs to/bought drugs from other members.

Now that the decision is made and the action taken, it might be a good idea to talk to all the students and thus not only avoid the inevitable rumour mill that John warned of, but also ensure that everyone else knows the consequences of taking drugs as far as their training at your dojo is concerned.

I think it might also reassure parents if you spoke to them rather than let it filter through in second hand gossip.
Sharon

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#132736 - 11/20/03 06:13 PM Re: Disappointing & disgraceful
Reiki Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/30/02
Posts: 3400
Loc: MiddleEarth
>>Now that the decision is made and the action taken, it might be a good idea to talk to all the students and thus not only avoid the inevitable rumour mill that John warned of, but also ensure that everyone else knows the consequences of taking drugs as far as their training at your dojo is concerned.

I think it might also reassure parents if you spoke to them rather than let it filter through in second hand gossip.
Sharon<<

Sorry forgot to add this before.

It's exactly what our head instructor did at the first opportunity before class on Tuesday. He told us instructors first, then told the entire seniors class what had happened for that very reason, to stop the rumours before they started!

The thought did cross my mind that these guys may/may not have been involved in supply, or got their supplies off others present.

Whatever else, the whole club is now made aware of the view of the Masters panel toward drugs and the consequences if they do this in club time/premises. They were actually on our dojo premises but none of our dojo members were there for various reasons, the top people in the club made the decision.

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