Nearly half of Australian school principals are taking prescription medication for a diagnosed condition.
When I was observing the Coroner's Inquest into the Burpengary situation, I began to suspect that the behaviour of more than one person involved in the problem had been affected by the side-effects of medication.
And alcohol ...
Most Australian school principals report that they have a "healthy intake of alcohol".
We need to talk about how medication and alcohol may be affecting principals' (and teachers' and parents' and children's) behaviour and decision-making.
The Australian Education Union says the proportion of students with a disability grew from 9.5 per cent in 1998 to 11.4 per cent in 2009.
"Students are presenting with disabilities that are increasingly complex, unfamiliar and in some cases less visible," it states in a submission to the Senate inquiry into students with a disability.
"The change is due in part to rare and preventable causes of disability such as foetal alcohol syndrome, and is influenced by the increasing survival rates of premature infants."
Foetal alcohol syndrome is caused when mothers drink alcohol during pregnancy, and can manifest in behavioural or learning problems at school.
Mums drinking behind disabled pupil spike, Natasha Bita, P.5, The Australian, 9 September 2015
Some Queensland chemists are offering discounts and cuddly toy prizes as incentives to buy products like Caruso's Kids Calm & Behaviour powder.
Citing signage that says "is your child's behaviour worrying you?" child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg fears parents will be tempted to deal with naughtiness with a pill rather than teaching children to calm and control themselves.
"If mum slams a pill in a child's mouth, might this not establish life-long patterns of using medication to deal with emotions? ... Teaching kids to calm themselves is modelled and taught," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
Other 'natural' calming products on the market for children include Brauer Children's Calm and Cenovis Kids Vita Chewies Night Calm.
Caruso biochemist Gulhan Demirci says Caruso's Kids Calm and Behaviour is a complementary medicine and not a sedative.
"We are not promoting a pill-popping culture," said Mr Demirci.
Quick-fix quieteners, Jackie Sinnerton, p.21, The Courier-Mail, 9 August 2015
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