Strong warnings over schoolchildren being targeted by ‘county lines’ drug gangs have gone out from the heads of seven schools in and around Horsham.
The warnings have been spelled out by the headteachers of The Weald School, Tanbridge House, Millais, Forest, Midhurst Rother College, Steyning Grammar and Christ’s Hospital.
In letters to parents, the heads warn: “Our school leaders have been informed by Sussex Police that there are a number of ‘known’ lines of supply into West Sussex from towns and cities a very long way from our schools.
“We have also been informed that young people are actively targeted in parks and other places where they are known to congregate when they are deemed old enough to meet friends socially outside of the direct supervision of their parents/carers.”
The heads say they are “increasingly concerned about the amount of drug-related incidents that are being reported to us by our students.”
They add they are “saddened by information from Sussex Police which confirms that access to cannabis and other illegal drugs/psychoactive substances is becoming more commonplace within our communities.”
They tell parents: “You need to be aware that your child could be offered the opportunity to sample, purchase, transport, store or supply illegal substances.
“The people responsible for this clearly do not care about your child’s future and will often target young people, in particular, as a means of dealing, transporting or storing drugs for them.”
They urge parents to keep a close eye on their children and always know their whereabouts and what they have in stheir school bags - as well as having discussions with their children about drugs.
They add: “We do hope that you can accept that this letter, sent to all parents in our school communities, is intended to inform you of a wider problem we are experiencing and that our priority is the safety and wellbeing of your child.”