The head of a Napier college says schools that adopt a zero tolerance approach to drugs infringements are giving up their responsibilities to their students.
William Colenso College principal Mark Cleary says boards of trustees which pride themselves on such a policy are merely passing the problem on to other schools.
He says zero tolerance implies exclusion from school.
Mr Cleary says his school does not take such an approach and he often takes students who have been thrown out of other schools.
He believes society cannot afford to have a significant group of young people not at school because of drug use.
Hear more on Insight on Radio New Zealand.