SAFE NIGHT OUT: A new program, mandatory for years 7 to 12 state school students, will educate youngsters on the effects and consequences of drugs and alcohol.
SAFE NIGHT OUT: A new program, mandatory for years 7 to 12 state school students, will educate youngsters on the effects and consequences of drugs and alcohol. Kari Bourne

Warning students on boozy violence

SOUTHERN Downs state school students in years 7 to 12 will start a mandatory new education program to prevent alcohol and drug-related violence from Term 4, as part of the State Government's "Safe Night Out" strategy.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the "alcohol and other drugs" program aimed to help students understand the impact and consequences of alcohol and drug use and to behave responsibly.

"Prevention is critical and education is one key element in changing social and cultural attitudes to flag violent behaviour as being unacceptable," Mr Langbroek said.

Mr Langbroek said students were encouraged to discuss alcohol and drug-related issues with their parents or caregivers and the education program was designed to support rather than replace these vital interactions.

"The program promotes the ability to make responsible, safe and informed decisions so all Queenslanders can enjoy going out at night with safety," he said.

Member for Brisbane Central Robert Cavallucci, who chairs the Safe Night Out Implementation Panel, said the program was based on research and best practice and would be rolled out next term for years 11 and 12 and from Term 1, 2015, for years 7 to 10.

"The program includes online teacher guidelines and resources appropriate for each year level and five one-hour sessions per year level that can be delivered in flexible timeframes to suit each school community," Mr Cavallucci said.

"Content is based on the principle of harm minimisation and covers culture, attitudes and social expectations of drug and alcohol consumption, including the risk of binge drinking, illicit drug use and alcohol and drug-related violence."

International expert Mr Paul Dillon, director and founder of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, said it was extremely exciting to see a new resource which provided a program for all year groups from 7 to 12.

"This is something that few, if any other Australian resources have ever done, ensuring that young Queenslanders are as prepared as possible, with up-to-date and accurate information," Mr Dillon said.

Andrew Pierpoint, president of the Queensland Secondary Principals' Association, also welcomed the program.

"It allows schools to tailor delivery in ways that suit the local context," he said.

"Families, schools and the wider community need to work together to ensure our young people have information that is factual and relevant to their lives."

The program will be mandatory for all Year 7 to 12 state school students and it will be made available to all non-state secondary schools.

Further information about the program is available at education.qld.gov.au/ curriculum/safe-night-out.



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