To be a amazed at the amount of teenagers smoking outside of school and wonder if there is a way i can approach the school about it?

(44 Posts)
Cookethenook Fri 17-May-13 10:03:18

Ok, i know teenagers smoke. It's not ideal, but i realise it's just one of those stupid things you need to try and get out or your system when you're young. God, i was awful. We would go to the local park every friday night, drink absinthe and smoke marlborough reds, so i can hardly talk! However, smoking at or near school was always a huge 'no' for us because there were very severe consequences for us if we were caught.

The issue is this. The local secondary school is situated just off the village green. Around the green are two primary schools, 3 nursery schools and my DS's school, whilst not on the green, is on the same road a bit further down the hill.

I'm astounded by the number of young people smoking on their way to and from the secondary school. It's not just one or two hiding round the corner, it's large groups of kids surrounded by a cloud of smoke- it's very obvious and they do nothing to try and hide the fact that they're doing it. There is a total lack of teacher presence, so i'm not sure wether they're unaware or simply feel that if it's outside of school hours, it isn't their responsibility. Obviously the parents have a part to play too, but it's a small place, so most walk to school from the beginning of year 7.

I think it's such a shame. The secondary school is the only non-grammar in the local area, so the majority of the kids at the primary and nursery schools will end up going there and i feel that they aren't setting a great example for the little ones (not that the teenagers probably care about that, but i can't believe the school doesn't). I'm a childminder and the kids in my care, including my own, have noticed the older ones smoking.

Should i approach the school about it? I don't want to look like a total nutter, but i feel that the school should be doing something to tackle the problem and discourage their pupils from smoking, for their health aside from anything else.

overprotection Fri 17-May-13 16:15:42

You need a hobby.

I wonder where you live OP, I've just been told that my own 15yo DS2 has just been seen walking out of school rolling a cigarette and I don't know how to handle it at all. I don't think that laying down the law is necessarily the right way to deal with it as I think he'll end up doing it behind me back anyway. I've spoken to him about why I don't want him to smoke, but despite what he said, it has obviously fallen on deaf ears. I feel like screaming "HELP"

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Fri 17-May-13 18:17:25

justforlaughs

You could use nicotine tests for your son and either punish or bribe him to stop. (Easier said than done though...)

HollyBerryBush Fri 17-May-13 18:44:04

We police outside our school and herd them up the alley away from the road so prospective parents passers by cant see them.

You cant stop them, not when their parents are funding the habit in Y7 shock

It's pointless giving them detentions, that doesn't cure addiction.

I favour a school trip to chest ward, I'd go so far as to have shock tactics and have someone willing to come in with emphasyma (sp) and on oxygen. Strangely our SLT thinks I'm barking mad.

And I'm a smoker, I wish I wasn't.

Mia4 Sat 18-May-13 13:08:41

You can't stop them, you really can't-if they can afford to buy or steal off their parents then they'll get regardless and they'll smoke all the way to school. The most the school can do will lecture, which given the lectures we had at school regarding this subject (often from teachers we knew who smoked), frankly for a teen they'll be laughable and eye-rollworthy. They can ban smoking in the immediate school area, mine did, but then people complained that we'd go down the next road, to the park or the alley and smoke there.

The teachers can patrol, sure, if they've got nothing better to for which most will begrudge if it becomes routine-between SATs, GCSE, A-levels, revision classes etc, this is something they don't need and can't do anything about anyway-except chase kids slightly further, but it won't stop them smoking.

If they want to detract from smoking they need to hit kids when younger an show them the biology behind it, the addiction and the bad lungs-seeing the diseased lungs at the body works exhibition gave my DP the push to quit, visual in your face truth that gave him that little bit extra, a 13/14 year old seeing that might think twice.

Justforlaughs as someone who started at 14, it was a curious thing more then rebellious for me sine my dad had smoked anyhow, I enjoyed and then i got addicted. Don't make it a 'naughty' thing, punish him and treat him like a child because chances are his is more rebelling and that's the response he will want and will make him just more sure to stick to out of stubbornness. I'd ask him why he smokes: does he like the taste/do all his friends/does he thinks he looks cool? Understanding may help. You can't stop him, unless you supply him with all his money but then he'll pinch off mates; as much as I'm sure you'd love to say 'my roof/my rules' practically it doesn't work and will just drive a wedge-education is key, get him to see all the facts, body works with the lungs is a reality check for sure, seeing someone with an oxygen tank or in need of a lung transplant..etc and better education on cancer because i always always could counteract all the 'facts' my parents had like 'you'll get lung cancer'-well no, not always, some people smoke decades and don't, some don't smoke at all and do- lifestyle plays a big part but so can genetic susceptibility, you take the chance yourself. When you can counter with 'no' and falsely reassure yourself, you stick to it.

Another option which didn't work for me but did for a friend is the 'Alan Carr stop smoking book' just ask him to read all the way through the once and say you won't ever ask again.

The way to tackle it is to confiscate cigarettes which are bought into school. They shouldn't have them there. If alcohol was found I'm sure it would be removed pronto.

However, I do on principle really dislike bag searches, so it's quite hard to reconcile the two ideas!

specialsubject Sat 18-May-13 13:15:34

they can be disciplined for smoking in uniform but that's it.

more concern: where do they get the stink-sticks from? It is illegal to sell them to children.

the mess left is also disgusting. Kids seem to be too stupid to use litter bins now and the dog ends and ash only add to it. I wish it was only legal to smoke if you ate the dog end.

BackforGood Sat 18-May-13 13:34:47

I'm another that would phone the school. To some extent, you are right, there's not a lot the staff can do about things that happen outside school hours, but a good school wouldn't be happy about this happening so blatently right by the school, and whilst the dc are in uniform. At my ds's school they have senior management outside the gate every morning and evening and it's drummed into all the pupils that they have a responsibility to the school and themselves whilst travelling to and from the school, and indeed, at any time they are in uniform.

GoblinGranny Sat 18-May-13 13:36:24

'but i feel that the school should be doing something to tackle the problem and discourage their pupils from smoking, for their health aside from anything else'

They do. confused
You'd be better off talking to the parents.

GoblinGranny Sat 18-May-13 13:37:29

If smoking is illegal for under 18s, you could also call the CPO.

GoblinGranny Sat 18-May-13 13:40:40

'Am I the only one who doesn't think it should be the school doing something about it?'

TBH, GlassofRose, we're in the minority here. I think the parents should be doing something about it. Their children must stink of smoke, as must their uniform, they are probably smoking at the weekends too.
But no, it must be the school's problem. Of course.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 18-May-13 13:41:38

I agree with you OP and many others. I think the school ought to be doing something about it. In my school (primary) we dealt with complaints that our children were running about damaging plants in a church yard close to the school. It's not the same I know but, as a school, you do need to think about the welfare of the kids in a holistic way, the affect your students have on the local community and also the reputation of your school.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 18-May-13 13:43:32

I agree with you on the shock tactics Holly.

Remotecontrolduck Sat 18-May-13 14:25:41

Large group of sixth formers do it outside the gates, or within a 10 metre radius of it here.

They're obviously sixth formers as they're not in uniform. Some of them are probably 18 as well.

I don't think you can do much about it, I'm sure the school are aware of it but it's beyond their control unfortunately. In my ideal world no one would smoke anywhere but sadly teenagers always will I reckon!

GoblinGranny Sat 18-May-13 14:29:45

Most of the teenagers that are friends with my children don't smoke. I can only think of two that are occasional smokers.
But then, I only have one friend that smokes.
So what makes the difference, if the schools are following national guidelines on PSHCE and the teaching of health education?
All pupils should be getting the same message from the schools.

ComposHat Sat 18-May-13 16:30:45

Teenagers smoke crafty fags outside school.....shocker! It has been a feature of school life since the 50s at least.

Whatever next, posters up in arms about dogs sniffing other dog's bollocks.

Parajse Sat 18-May-13 17:37:53

I smoked all the way through secondary until I had my second child. School made us perfectly aware of the health risks and even tried confiscating and bag searches- didn't make any difference, we just got the year 13s to buy them for us at lunchtime blush

There's only so much the school can do IMO. The question that really needs to be asked is where the teenagers are getting the money for cigarettes from, they're not exactly cheap.

rabbitlady Sat 18-May-13 17:40:23

its illegal to smoke in public buildings, and surprisingly, that's stopped children smoking in the toilets.

videoing other's people children, as suggested by someone here, is not such a good idea!

rabbitlady Sat 18-May-13 17:42:25

pass round a smoker's coat in class - the stink will put them off. i had a rant in class about 'someone smoking' because the smell was so bad. the senco was on support - it was her coat!

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