Drug-free school zone

Drug-free school zone

A Drug-free school zone is an area inclusive of any property used for school purposes by any school, whether or not owned by such school, within 1,000 feet of any such property, and within or immediately adjacent to school buses [1].It is any specific location in the community, especially an area where children congregate, that the citizens perceive as being a place where drug trafficking or alcohol availability problems exist, and the citizens decide to take action. Typically, communities have targeted schools and school yards, parks and playgrounds, public housing developments, and specific neighborhoods or city blocks[2].

Drug-free zones around schools offer communities one way to give students a place where they can play and talk without being threatened by drug dealers and drug users. Federal law and many state and local laws increase penalties for drug-related activities in drug-free school zones[3]. The penalties vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction in terms of whether they stand alone as separate offenses or serve as a sentencing enhancement and in terms of the defenses available [4].

The No Child Left Behind Act amended and reauthorized the Safe and Drug-Free Schools & Communities Act (SDFSCA) as Part A of Title IV-21st century schools. The No Child Left Behind Act authorized funds for SDFSCA program, which is the federal government’s major initiative to prevent drug abuse violence in and around schools. As part of the SDFSCA, Congress allocated millions to school districts to help them establish programs to prevent the use of alcohol and other drugs, but there are no accountability standards to accompany the money[5]. The SDFSCA was established by the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act[6]. The SDFSC Advisory Committee, was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. The Committee was established to advise the Secretary on Federal, state, and local programs designated to create safe and drug-free schools, and on issues related to crisis planning[7].

The purpose of the SDFSCA is to support programs that: (1) prevent violence in and around schools; (2) prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; (3) involve parents and communities; and, (4) are coordinated with related Federal, State, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that promotes student academic achievement[8].



  1. ^ New Hampshire General Court. TITLE XV EDUCATION, CHAPTER 193-B,DRUG-FREE SCHOOL ZONE. Section 193-B:1. www.gencourt.state.nh.us http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/RSA/html/XV/193-B/193-B-mrg.htm
  2. ^ California Department of Justice. Creating a Drug Free Zone. www.StopDrugs.org. http://www.stopdrugs.org/drugfreezone.html
  3. ^ Sacramento Sheriff's Department. A Drug-Free School Zone is More Than a Law and a Sign. http://www.sacsheriff.com/index.cfm http://www.sacsheriff.com/crime_prevention/documents/school_safety_05.cfm
  4. ^ Buckner Inniss, L. 51 A MOVING VIOLATION? HYPERCRIMINALIZED SPACES AND FORTUITOUS PRESENCE IN DRUG FREE SCHOOL ZONES. Texas Forum on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights. Spring 2003.
  5. ^ Sager, Carol. Drug-Free Zone! Keeping Drugs Out of Your Child's School.PA:Tab Books.1992.
  6. ^ Noble, Patricia V. Safe and Drug Free Schools. New York: Novinka Books. 2002
  7. ^ U.S.Department of Education. Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Advisory Committee.www.ed.gov http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/sdfscac/index.html
  8. ^ U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, State Grants, Guidance for State and Local Implementation of Programs. January 2004. http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osdfs/index.html

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