Almost five pupils a month across the north-east are being disciplined for either possessing or taking drugs in school.
A total of 171 pupils across Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Highlands have been excluded for substance misuse – not including alcohol – over the past three years, according to freedom of information statistics.
While the numbers are generally falling, senior politicians have demanded to know how the supply of illegal drugs is still making it through school gates.
Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said the adults responsible should “hang their heads in shame” and called for action to hunt down the gangs bringing drugs into Scotland.
In Aberdeenshire between 2016 and this year, a total of 97 pupils were excluded, while over the same period in Highland schools, 54 were excluded.
Aberdeen Council bosses said they did not legally have to provide the information under the Freedom of Information Act.
But there have been well-publicised problems with drugs in the city’s schools – with the situation at the otherwise high-performing Cults Academy recently being described as “an epidemic”.
One father said it was “ingrained in the school culture” and even the presence of police officers had not dissuaded those involved.
When found with illegal drugs, and if the child is under 16, their parents and the police must be informed.