N.S. working on guide for teachers to educate students about cannabis
Nova Scotia is developing a guide for teachers, which will include information that teachers should be telling their students.
It's not clear why it's taken this long as cannabis legalization is just days away.
“This is all about creating conversation & dialogue,” said Steve Machat of the Nova Scotia Department of Education.“It's about creating relationships. It's not about creating fear-mongering or scaring children into a behaviour.”
Officials say the guide will provide information on substance abuse.
“Cannabis use in Nova Scotia is fairly high among youth, so our objective, I think in general and as a whole as a society, is to try and delay cannabis use.”
Nova Scotia Teachers' Union President Paul Wozney wonders why the guide wasn't available at the beginning of the school year.
“We're a month and a half into the school year and really, why wasn't this a priority for regional centres for education and the department of education for teachers at the beginning of the school year, so that we would start well prepared to deal with these kinds of questions,” Wozney said.
The union says teachers haven't been given any training around cannabis.
"One of our concerns, as a union, is really these resources are just being plunked in teachers hands,” said Wozney. “They've been prepared by people who are medical or therapeutic and scope of practice, which is an important perspective to be sure but we're not really sure. Teachers have not been part of the development of these resources.”
Many parents support the idea of teachers getting resources around cannabis education, but aren't sure how useful it will be.
“I don't know why it's a big deal now when they're talking about marijuana when the teachers don't have booklets to talk about alcohol in schools, so what's the difference,” said parent Glenn Shea. “I think kids are smart enough now with the internet and how they use technology. I think it's a moot point for them, they already know.”
It's hoped the new guide will be ready for Wednesday when cannabis becomes legal.
The Department of Education says there was absolutely no cost to create this information packet for teachers.
And while they are hoping to have it completely done before Wednesday, they aren't sure that will happen.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.