To be shocked to learn that a teaching assistant take drugs at the weekend?

(236 Posts)
LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:17:44

Like the thread title says. Found out she takes cocaine and E's when she her family have her kids, so does her boyfriend, the rest of the time she is a complete piss-head.

She has also kids and lots of people seem to like her. She has not been sacked, so is obviously doing her job at the school.

None of my business what she gets up to I know, but AIU or naive to be rather shocked by this revelation? confused

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:21:02

Sorry, just seen my shitty typing. Doh!

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Oct-12 12:22:23

Why are you shocked?

Do you think only 'non professionals' take recreational drugs and alcohol? confused

Anyway, where are you getting this gossip from?

AmberLeaf Tue 02-Oct-12 12:23:27

I think you may be surprised by what all sorts of people get up to at the weekend!

How did you find out?

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 12:23:52

So long as she does her job well, I dont see what business of your, or anyone elses, her private life is.

manicinsomniac Tue 02-Oct-12 12:24:02

YABU, she's a person, not a saint.

I'm a teacher and I used to take drugs.

Yes it was stupid, dangerous, illegal and wrong. But it was no more wrong because of my job.

If she was turning up to work high or on a comedown that would be different.

Stinkyminkymoo Tue 02-Oct-12 12:25:30

Better drugs than your daughter though...

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:27:09

I don't want to give specific details about the person, as that's not on. I suppose the thing that shocks me the most is the age. I understand that lots of people go through a phase of 'experimenting'. Usually at Uni etc.

I'm just a bit shocked. More shocked by the fact that someone can put up with being in a class room on a Monday after a weekend bender. I have 2 day hangovers these days.

As long as she turns up to school sober and does her job it' s nobody's business what she gets up to in her free time.

Who told you though?

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:28:08

It's not like they make a secret of the fact.

cozietoesie Tue 02-Oct-12 12:28:58

Coke and E would make me a bit hmm because it's difficult in practice to limit the effect of those if they're taken late in the weekend/use can escalate. I'd also be concerned if she was a serious alcohol drinker all the time out of school. The effects of that really can linger on.

booomy Tue 02-Oct-12 12:29:14

I would say that what she does at the weekend is her own business.

BUT before I had DS, I took a lot of drugs at uni. drugs aren't like alcohol. It's not a matter of okay, hangover over, I'm fine. If I took a dodgy pill (and considering you buy them off someone who's name you don't know who made them in their kitchen, most are dodgy) then the effects often lasted days. Including hallucinations and depression.

My agreement that you YANBU is because I think the effects can last longer than a weekend, therefore she isn't fit to be in charge of children, no matter how she seems on the outside, lots of my friends worked in supermarket jobs at a weekend, having taken ketamine or cocaine a few hours before. You can appear normal, but be incredibly unpredicatble!

VikingVagine Tue 02-Oct-12 12:30:34

I'm a teacher, about 1/4 of my colleagues smoke cannabis (out of school, obviously). It doesn't make them bad teachers.


cozietoesie Tue 02-Oct-12 12:30:59

Does she have any duties driving children ? (eg to swimming or activities.)

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 12:32:28

I'm intrigued as to how you know.

If anything it's the 'complete piss head' bit that concerns me more because if she's drinking heavily midweek that's bound to affect her ability. If by complete piss head you mean she indulges at weekends I don't see an issue with any of it.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:32:53

Some people just seem to have strong constitutions though. I'm a one pint wonder, but perhaps others can give their bodies a total battering and be fine.

I am just a bit shocked.

Viviennemary Tue 02-Oct-12 12:34:28

Well I for one wouldn't be happy if a drug taker was teaching my child. Sorry.

booomy Tue 02-Oct-12 12:34:29

viking have you ever smoked cannabis yourself? I used to a lot,and after a while it doesn't just affect you when your doing it! It creeps into the rest of your life with paranoia etc.

Viviennemary Tue 02-Oct-12 12:35:27

And taking Cocaine is illegal. She should be reported. I thought all this checking was meant to prevent people like this working in schools. Otherwise what on earth is the point.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:36:20

Cannabis is a tad different to coke and e's though. I know lots of people who smoke it, although I don't partake myself.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 12:38:55

Viv all a criminal check does is ensure you haven't been caught doing anything illegal.

How on earth do you know?

I understand your concern to be honest as cocaine and E's affect behaviour surely. The come down must leave her not feeling her best. Drug users usually take more risks and often regard the drug taking as a high priority.

Nah, I totally agree that what any one does when not at work is there own buisines, illegal behaviour that effects health, behaviour etc would make me uneasy. Especially if they were involved in teaching my child.

freddiefrog Tue 02-Oct-12 12:39:50

I don't think I'd be too keen if my kids had a drug taking/complete piss head TA if I'm honest, but what she does in her private life, on her own time, provided it's not affecting her work, is her business

waterlego Tue 02-Oct-12 12:40:43

Viv, how on earth can you expect a criminal records check to reveal what drugs a person has taken, and when? What on earth does 'people like this' mean? You sound incredibly naive.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:41:20

Don't get me wrong, I think what she gets up to is her business. But seriously, who in their right mind would want to work in a school on a come down?

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Oct-12 12:41:44

If you don't tell us soon how you actually 'know' this.

Do we just assume you're listening to idle gossip?

manicinsomniac Tue 02-Oct-12 12:44:01

I doubt she is working on a comedown. Unless she's taking it on Sunday nights (and quite a lot of it at that) she'd be fine by Monday morning.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Tue 02-Oct-12 12:44:06

This has happened in a school one of my relatives children attend. The woman in question leads a very questionable lifestyle indeed and her live in partner is trouble with a capital T.

In a small community people learn these facts pretty quickly.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 12:44:50

Viv, the people teaching your children may already be recreational drug takers. So long as they are not doing a line before assembly, or having a craft joint behind the bike sheds, then what they do at home, out of work is none of your business.

VikingVagine Tue 02-Oct-12 12:46:31

viking have you ever smoked cannabis yourself?

Maybe, not telling!

cannabis is a tad different to coke and e's though.

Although it's different from E's and coke, it can lead to all sorts of mental issues, so I'd put it on the same list as being basically inappropriate for someone responsible for looking after kids.

NellyJob Tue 02-Oct-12 12:48:27

good grief if you weeded out all the nursery workers and teachers who do this kind of thing at weekends, you would halve the workforce.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:51:51

If you don't tell us soon how you actually 'know' this.

If you go to the same pubs etc in small town you find these things out tbh. Also, you're likely to know each other's friends.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 12:53:20

You aren't learning facts you're listening to gossip and taking it as fact.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:53:24

Also, lots of jobs have compulsory random drug testing. I'm actually surpised that people in the teaching profession don't. Maybe they need to take something at the end of the week though!

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:53:58

Maybe I was offered something. Have you thought of that?

WorraLiberty Tue 02-Oct-12 12:55:38

Ahhh gossip then

Give it a miss and you'll be less 'shocked' about everything.

For goodness sake there have been surgeons and doctors who have admitted to being drug addicts in the past and they managed to hold on to their careers.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 12:59:02

I think I would know if it was gossip or not. You clearly know more about it than I do WorraLiberty. If it was gossip I would be talking to people who actually know this person rather than getting opinions from people who have nothing to do with them IRL.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 12:59:45

It's your story Lesley, tell it rather than leaving us filling in the glaring gaps in it.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:00:44

Ffs, I was offered a line of coke while out at a gig. How is that gossip?

NatzCNL Tue 02-Oct-12 13:01:54

I dont think it's unreasonable to be shocked, it is a reaction to a revelation. If you are happy with her teaching and there is nothing to suggest that her lifestyle is affecting the children she is caring for and teaching then there isn't a problem.
I personally would be unhappy with having a TA who was a regular recreational drug user and 'total piss head' teaching my kids values with regards to lifestyle rights and wrongs, but I believe that to be my responsibility, and when they are at an age when drugs are cropping up in their lessons at school (or being talked about/offered from friends), I will be at home stearing them away from experimenting as my mum did with me (was going well until I caught her having a sly spliff, she was a very late experimenter...!)
I have 3 kids and had to weigh up the pro's and cons of having a drink recently on my birthday as it was a school night and DH was working the next day so couldn't do the school run. I chose to have a couple but knew when to stop, which I assume is how you TA uses her free time. I dont do drugs, smoked a bit of cannabis in my teens, but decided it wasn't for me. Had no interest in trying anything else. I thank my parents for that. I dont really remember drug education in school as I think we only had one lesson on it.
I dont know the long term effects of coke and E's, but if it is causing you concern, and you know for certain that her lifestyle is as you have described, then you have every right to raise your concerns with the school.

Rubirosa Tue 02-Oct-12 13:02:57

I once bumped into one of ds's nursery carers off her face at a festival grin

porcamiseria Tue 02-Oct-12 13:02:58

so what??? its her free time

butterflyroom Tue 02-Oct-12 13:03:13

Employment guidelines for teachers and people with responsibility for children in school state that you should reflect professional standards in your personal life too. I am a teacher and this was presented to the school staff in September. If you have evidence, then this behaviour is NOT acceptable for a TA.

So you're offered one line of coke and you speak to people who know this person (not the actual person themselves) and suddenly you are an expert in their drug and alcohol consumption.

Heresay isn't allowed in court and folk like you are one of the reasons why.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 13:05:00

So that translates into her drinking all the time and using e and coke every weekend?

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:05:15

it was at a gig, so I doubt there were any of her pupils around to witness this behaviour..

Hullygully Tue 02-Oct-12 13:05:49

so is obviously doing her job at the school.

^^ is the point

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:05:55

I'm not even planning to tell the school. I'm sure she is fine with the children and they would sack her if she was unable to do her job.

Just wondered what other people thought. Obviously don't want to discuss it with people who might know this person or know someone at the school as it could cause issues for the person in question.

If I'm being cagey it's so as not to reveal the person's identity.

slappywappydoodah Tue 02-Oct-12 13:07:05


They can do what they like on a weekend. Plus, how do you know that she's on a come down on a Monday morning? Everyone reacts differently and she may only take them up to saturday night/Sunday monring and be fine by 8am Monday.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:07:53

When did I ever say I was an expert on drugs?

LilyCocoplatt Tue 02-Oct-12 13:08:20

Was it the TA herself who offered you the cocaine? If so then YANBU at all, I would be shocked to be offered drugs by someone responsible for looking after children and I would worry that it would affect her in her job, I wouldn't be happy at all.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:09:10

Fine on a Monday if she's taken them up to Saturday. hmm

I was a youngster in the 90's and went to raves. I know exactly how comedowns affect people. I'm not stupid.

Blu Tue 02-Oct-12 13:09:13

Good grief, how far will all this surveillance go?

I do not wnat my child's teachers to be presenting a bad example or making certain behaviours look 'OK' or cool, but I certainly don't want every private minute of other people's lives under public scrutiny. If she is doing her job well, and not making her drug use apparant to children I would leave well alone.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:10:12

comedowns dont affect everyone though...

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 13:10:32

I'm more surprised people still take !

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 13:11:24


good grief if you weeded out all the nursery workers and teachers who do this kind of thing at weekends, you would halve the workforce.

I've worked in many roles across Social Care, including hospital/MH wards and i think that the 'public' would be surprised at the level of drug use and addiction problems with the staff at all levels.

While it isn't ideal as long as she isn't still being affected by the drugs or on a 'come down' on a Monday, then it is her choice to risk her job,by engaging in illegal activity.

If she was honest with the head then she would be supported to come off drugs as most workers are.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:14:25

mrskeith, it is back to being called MDMA now around here (SW London), and is quite rife again as a cheaper alternative to coke..

comedowns dont affect everyone though...

She is probably functioning fine at work. Whereas if she is doing it every weekend, her personality is probably changing and her personal life suffering.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 02-Oct-12 13:18:10

She's obviously still doing her job properly so I'd not be bothered. I'm nearly 50 and still like the odd bender grin

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:20:21

OK, so IABU to be rather shocked by this. I was under the impression that most people a, stopped doing this sort of thing once they became parents and b, pretty much stopped doing this sort of thing by their mid to late 30's.

I must have led a sheltered life indeed!

fait Tue 02-Oct-12 13:21:58

I'm incredibly naive as well - I had no idea that it was considered acceptable that a quarter of the teachers in a school smoked cannabis!

Or a quarter of the working population - or a quarter of anything for that matter!

I don't think it is acceptable for a teacher to take cocaine and Es. How can they reinforce the non drug taking culture in a school when they clearly don't believe in it (for example).

Oh - I have 100s of "naive" reasons for thinking this is totally wrong and that I would not want this person anywhere NEAR my child.

In my mind you are NOT being unreasonable!

Your just out of date.

The amount of people doing drugs over the age of 30, is on the rise.

It isn't unusual for people to start to try drugs in their 40's and 50's.

Is it just a coincidence that there are two different threads today about someone taking "cocaine and E's", written exactly the same way?

aldiwhore Tue 02-Oct-12 13:26:10

I think she's stupid to be so overt about it. If it's 'known' then she's not considering her responsibilities within her immediate communtiy and work. She's making a target out of herself and giving people ammo to use against her if the shit hits the fan.

I do not care what people do on their own private time, out of work, so long as it never leaks into work. So FB pics of a person getting hammered on an open profile that's seen by anyone falls into that category, as does recreational drug use.

I'm not shocked though, people have lives outside of their work, she's as much entitled to one as anyone else, she's entitled to take that risk. BUT she should be more careful who knows details, it's just asking for trouble.

I suppose its the same in some ways as me being a smoker and on the PTA. I would never smoke at school, or outside school and I'm pretty careful who I smoke around outside the pub (if I go to one)... it's about the impression you give rather than the evils of what you're doing. (Whether weekend coke snorting is a stupid thing to do or not is a separate argument).

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:26:25

OK, np. I went to raves age 18 - 20, but decided that disco biscuits weren't really my cup of tea.

I can understand trying them in your 40's and 50's, especially ifi children have grown up.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 13:26:54

Comedowns don't affect evetybody?? If you're taking a cocktail of E's and coke on a Saturday night you will definitely have a comedown and I doubt very much you will be tIckety-boo by Monday Morning. If you're taking drugs like this regularly then compartmentalisation of your life, I.e TA in the week, drug user at the weekend is difficult to achieve. Therefore, I doubt very much it is not affecting her ability to work as a TA Ffs - there is just something wrong about teachers/TAs taking drugs. Aren't you meant to be Pillars of the community or something? Like police, magistrates those kind of jobs.

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:28:42

Is it just a coincidence that there are two different threads today about someone taking "cocaine and E's", written exactly the same way?

I assure you I'm not responsible for the other thread! I'm not the poo troll either.

How can they reinforce the non drug taking culture in a school when they clearly don't believe in it

I know psychiatrists know take drugs.

You would probably be surprised how many nursing staff do a bit of speed to get through a night shift.

You have many roles in your life and a person can easily follow that role during working hours, but live a very different one in their lesuire time.

booomy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:30:36

You are not being unreasonable OP, posters on AIBU will find any way to make you sound like YABU. She looks after kids and in her spare times breaks the law in a way that could end up endangering your children. How is that okay? My sisters a teacher and they've been advised to not even use facebook at it's a bit unprofessional. Especailly if she's doing it in a small town where everyone will know!

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:31:40

Aldi, I think the woman thought she was with her friends at a gig minding her own business. The OP is not one of the parents as far as I can tell, just one of her mates.

A TA is not a pillar of the community!! it is just a job..

I would bet there are plenty of teachers and TA's who regularly go into work with a stinking hangover any day of the week. It is no different to being on a comedown. Neither legal alcohol or illegal drugs are going to affect your children at school unless the teacher is handing out the stuff to the kids, which is most unlikely.

FrustratedSycamorePants Tue 02-Oct-12 13:34:20

I think you're right OP when you say this is none of my business it is none of your business.
So you were offered drugs, and listened to a load of gossip, and now this TA has a drug and alcohol problem, but only when somebody else has her kids?

Chandon Tue 02-Oct-12 13:34:38

I don't think you can do what you like at weekend,

it is illegal, right? it is breaking the law, right?

I would not want someone in the classroom, who breaks the law at weekends (be it drugs, burgling houses, vandalism, GBH).

Now, if what they do at the weekend is legal, but immoral, it would be none of anyone's business.

It is not as if "nobody gets hurt" either, when it comes to hard drugs. You are supporting a criminal network by purchasing.

Nanny0gg Tue 02-Oct-12 13:36:48

Just curious.
Ignoring the morality/immorality of drug-taking.

Would anyone be happy if someone working with their children was up to some other illegal activity in their spare time - shoplifting or burglary or something?

Nanny0gg Tue 02-Oct-12 13:37:08

X-post with Chandon!

LesleyPumpshaft Tue 02-Oct-12 13:37:08

It's funny how coke is seen as almost being a respectable drug these days. I know a few people from well-to-do families who are like the old Bolivian marching powder. If they were poor and drinking special brew people would be far more disaproving.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:39:40

I dont think you can compare taking recreational drugs to robbing a house or shoplifting.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 02-Oct-12 13:40:03

Well I think it's disgraceful actually, and wouldn't hesitate to report someone to the HT if I had absolute concrete proof. But then I'm po-faced like that, apparently. It breaks all the professional and moral standards that should exist in schools.

aldiwhore Tue 02-Oct-12 13:40:03

Ah squeakytoy so more of a chance encounter, well that's the chance you take! Interested to know how OP's mate knew exactly what drugs had been consumed... in all the gigs I've ever been to I don't think anyone has ever said "Oh hello, you're so and so's mum's friend, I'm off my face on x, y and z" and if that was the conversation, more fool her!

chandon of course you can do what you like at the weekend. Legal or otherwise, everyone can do whatever they want to do, but if what they do is illegal then they risk losing their job, so best to keep it descreet!

I agree that if it is proven that she has broken the law, then she should lose her job, BUT she isn't even going through the process of prosecution so that's a moot point. If someone has concerns about this, then someone should report it to the school, who should speak to the TA (the claims COULD be unfounded).

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:40:45

It is not illegal to get absolutely shitfaced drunk, but I would rather spend time with someone who has done a line of coke, or smoked a spliff, than drank a bottle of scotch and is falling down drunk.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 13:42:30

Yes but if you're Doctor, nurse, teacher, policeman you know from the outset that alternative lifestyles that involve regular use of recreational drugs is not as acceptable as if you did a job that didn't involve caring for other people, being a pillar of society. Nightclub owner, office worker for instance are not held up in this way - choose jobs like that where no one is looking up to you or expecting care from you, if you want to take drugs.

aldiwhore Tue 02-Oct-12 13:43:04

Agreed squeaky some laws are unjust and quite illogical.

But they're the laws, so if you break them you have to expect consequences could happen.

Re the whole come down thing, people react differently to different amounts.

aldiwhore Tue 02-Oct-12 13:44:38

Goldenbear I have known a few very good nurses and Drs who take recreational drugs. I'm not saying it's right, but they still do their jobs well. Just like people who drink at the weekend still do their jobs. The fact that it's illegal and could cost them their job is indisputable, that is the risk they take with pretty stupid laws.

sashh Tue 02-Oct-12 13:44:38

If you are upset at a TA taking drugs, don't enquire too closely about the staff in your local hospital.

whatsforyou Tue 02-Oct-12 13:45:24

When you choose to work with children (and other groups) you accept that you are agreeing to that establishments code of conduct and if it is discovered you breach this then you could be dismissed. Whether it affects your work or not if you participate in an illegal activity and are found out then you are out!
I worked with a colleague once who had MS and asked 'theoretically' what would happen if the workplace discovered she used cannabis to help her symptoms, she was told that while they would have sympathy it was an illegal drug so she would be dismissed (so don't tell us wink).
Most places are very black and white, maybe if you go to them and say you have an addiction that you want support with it's different but being caught out with a nose full of coke is pretty much a no no!

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:45:55

I would just say that so long as the person in question is not under the influence of drink or drugs while engaged in their job, then it is nobody elses business.

Operating machinery, and operating on people are slightly different occupations where the bloodstream should really be clear of anything that may impair ability.

Viviennemary Tue 02-Oct-12 13:46:53

But the point is she is breaking the law. And hasn't been caught. If the school knew about this would she still have a job. Or if she was convicted would she still have a job. No she wouldn't. How is this naive.

aldiwhore Tue 02-Oct-12 13:47:08

whatsforyou I have no argument with that side of things, crazy laws but laws none the less.

If she was a teacher, then she would be bound by a code of conduct, which does extend to outside work.

That is why members of the police, all tend to drink in the same pub or in each others homes, it is a safe environment to 'get off your face'.

It is a bit ironic that most factories have random drug tests for workers, but hospitals wouldn't dare to do it.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 13:56:37

she is breaking the law, but the schools are not responsible for enforcing the law.. head teachers do not go wandering around nightclubs and pubs in plain clothes doing drug busts..

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 13:56:55

Squeakytoy have you ever spent a lot of time with people that snort / smoke coke it is not a comparible experience to those smoking weed.

Doctors and nurses that taking drugs is well known. I don't see how they could be good at their job if they're taking drugs- functioning yes but not good.

DorisBoltneck Tue 02-Oct-12 14:01:17

I would be bothered by the indiscretion TBH. Yes people do all sorts etc, etc, but if they can't manage to keep their private life private everyone has a right to comment on it and even 'judge' it <shock, horror!>

It's in my contract (not in education or medicine) that I agree not to behave in a way that could bring the organisation into disrepute.

I take that to mean that I can do what I want, as long as it remains private. It's common sense and a matter of personal integrity.

Floggingmolly Tue 02-Oct-12 14:02:28

Was it the TA herself who offered you the coke? Did she recognise you?
She's a bit dim if she did.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:03:03

"Squeakytoy have you ever spent a lot of time with people that snort / smoke coke it is not a comparible experience to those smoking weed"

Yes, lots.... of both.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 02-Oct-12 14:03:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Proudnscary Tue 02-Oct-12 14:05:25

Shocked? Not in the slightest!

TAs are human beings who do exist outside of school. And usually very young human beings. So it's likely quite a lot of them take recreational drugs.

I knew lots of medical students at university and they were the WORST at getting up to all sorts - some nicked drugs from work! Some went into a hospital shift after a night's clubbing and no sleep. Not great admittedly but it happened.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 14:10:26

If that's the case then you must have been joining in if you find the company of a coke head preferable to a drunk - surely there's nothing in both highly irritating in different ways!

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:16:03

you do realise it is not actually illegal to TAKE drugs.. it is only illegal to be in possession of them or sell them..

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 14:16:57

It wouldn't be shocked about medical students but a TA I would. They're not young at our school, alot of them are mums. I think if you're working directly and solely with children at best it's extremely distasteful at worse it is morally repugnant. Working with children/ recreational drug use- I don't get it I'm afraid it is just all wrong.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 14:23:24

Why is that relevant to the point I was making? The legality of drugs I don't care about. I would really be concerned if I saw my DS's TA snorting MDMA at a gig but it is very unlikely that I would be in that context.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 14:28:44

yes but she didnt see her DS's TA, she was with one of her own mates..

If I was with clients or customers who know me in a professional capacity I would be much "better behaved" than I would be if I was just in the company of my personal friends.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 14:33:47

I know this is not what she saw, I'm arguing that I wouldn't approve of a TA doing this in her leisure time. Like I said it just wrong given the job and I would loose a lot of respect for DS's TAs If I witnessed such a scenario.

DorisBoltneck Tue 02-Oct-12 14:45:00

you do realise it is not actually illegal to TAKE drugs.. it is only illegal to be in possession of them or sell them..

So you your safe if you snort off someone's body part grin

MrsKeithRichards Tue 02-Oct-12 16:02:54

She sounds nice, sharing the wealth and all that.

akaemmafrost Tue 02-Oct-12 16:05:30

No I wouldn't actually. As long as she takes good care of my child when she is in her care I couldn't give two hoots.

Oblomov Tue 02-Oct-12 16:36:55

OP: "I must have led a sheltered life indeed! "
It would seem so.

People speculating that Doctors and nurses are only functioning, not performing properly in their job. I can't agree with that.

People stating, as if its a fact, that all people have downers. I'm sorry I don't think that can be claified.
Some Mn'ers could get drunk on half a glass. Some can drink for england. Some get hangovers. Others don't. Some get downers after a drug. Others don't.
There is no evidence that this TA has a downer, that is effecting her work.

What is the EVIDENCE, that this TA even took said drug ? Op could present, what exact evidence, to Head/Police/etc, if Op decided to take this any further? Because I must be missing the actual EVIDENCE. Please explain.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 02-Oct-12 16:54:44

There isn't any evidence as far as I can tell from OP and ehr subsequent posts...

I'm someone who throughout years of heavy ecstasy use never once had a come down maybe because I was in my teens and early twenties

I dunno, my friends are all hitting 30 this year and occasionally will splurge on a bit of coke at the weekends but nobody is drug taking like we used to when we were younger. Less disposable income now wink

I wouldn't judge the TA on what seems to be gossip, especially if she's doing ehr job perfectly adequately. Not sure where I stand on generally people in caring professions taking drugs but if I were to judge then I ought to be judged too - if they are able to do their jobs well I honestly don't see what business it is of anyone else's.

I was at my most productive during my drug taking years, but also suffered horrifically from depression throughout - was still able to do my job well.

cricketballs Tue 02-Oct-12 18:15:17

The change in reflecting standards in my professional life does worry me; I am human! I like to have the occasional cigarette, I like to have a drink and enjoy myself. Whilst I am not condoning drug use, if it doesn't impact on her standard of work why should her personal life outside of her job (according to the op it is not doing) then why should anyone working in a school have to live like a nun?

NellyJob Tue 02-Oct-12 18:23:52

I remember we met our reception teacher in the taxi queue on a Saturday evening and she was shit-faced, and was going 'oooh I love Nellyetta, she's such a honey' etc., actually it made her a bit more human than the stiff persona she adopted for the working week, bless her.

doinmummy Tue 02-Oct-12 18:53:52

I find it sad that so many people think its ok to take an illegal drug .

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 18:55:14

Well I haven't led a sheltered life so I suppose I'm wondering how a health professional taking class A drugs regularly can be anything other than 'functioning' in a work context.

TA and class A drugs, personally I think they should abstain. It is not asking much of a child care worker/professional to abstain from drugs- it is hardly akin to life in a nunnery!

I saw the Head Teacher scoring smack at the weekend AIBU in being shocked by this?

McHappyPants2012 Tue 02-Oct-12 19:07:50

it wouldn't bother me.

She is n't doing it in the toilets at school it is on the weekend.

LeeCoakley Tue 02-Oct-12 19:11:59

Just musing on whether there are other 'pillars of the community' who get paid so little and shown as little respect ('I'm not getting that shit off your shoe, that's the TA's job'). You can't have it both ways! Personally I think we should just get a huge wad of cash every week. I'd try to live the life of a saint in exchange for a living wage. grin

PeshwariNaan Tue 02-Oct-12 19:15:21

I guess I'm being a bit judgey here, even though I've done lots of drugs in my time including the two you mention. Coke and E are pretty hardcore party drugs IMO - not sitting around having a spliff with friends. A bit of pot on the weekend never hurt anyone (just my experience/ opinion - I don't smoke now but I think it's pretty mild compared to other drugs). So I think there is a difference between coke and E all weekend and other types of things. Just my opinion.

FarrowAndBollock Tue 02-Oct-12 19:15:52


Joiningthegang Tue 02-Oct-12 19:18:21


whois Tue 02-Oct-12 19:23:52


Our of work she can do what she likes.

You might be surprised by the number of high achieving adults who take drugs. Bankers, polititions, teachers, doctors, dentists, nurses, psychologists etc etc. Drugs are not just for the unemployed chavs. It is NONE of your business what a TA does outside of school.

I love the hypocrisy "OMG people take drugs, they are awful people"

You do realise that alcohol is an extremely powerful drug? Drastically alters moods, loss of judgement, vision disturbance, memory loss, loss of balance e t fucking c not to mention the long lasting health effects.

I find alcohol to be one of the vilest drugs and don't understand why it is so socially acceptable, apart from the legality aspect. Excluding legality, I just don't see the difference between going to a restaurant and sinking half a bottle of wine and getting drunk or going to a club and taking MDMA, or to a friends and listening to music and having a few lines of coke.

JockTamsonsBairns Tue 02-Oct-12 19:28:24

I'm guessing the TA's boyfriend must be on to an earner then, because she's not sustaining a coke habit on the back of her own salary that's for sure.

Also, the posters who have said they know about the effects of drugs as a result of dabbling in the nineties - forget it. E's that are going about nowadays are nothing like what was available back in the day.

OP, YABU. Beak out, and leave the woman to her private life.

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 19:28:31

If alcohol were to be made illegal with effect from tomorrow, would all of you who drink it suddenly stop because it was "illegal".

Most drugs were once legal too remember...

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 19:30:13

Jock, you dont have to be on a high wage to afford it really. If you only occasionally dabble at weekends, like most people do, and go halves with a mate, then you are spending about £20-£25.

thebody Tue 02-Oct-12 19:34:23

Sorry if I missed a bit but you seem to have based this on spiteful gossip.

Goldenbear Tue 02-Oct-12 19:46:54

Who are these high achieving professionals you talk of, can you name a few or are you just going on hearsay and 2hand conversation?

I love the fact that the hypocrisy line is always spouted in these debates. In reality a lot of people do not take drugs in isolation, it is often mixed with alcohol and other drugs making it much more harmful than a glass of wine.

Anonymumous Tue 02-Oct-12 19:48:40

Well I don't think you are being unreasonable at all, but then I made a conscious decision in my teens that I was never going to use drugs or get drunk because I would not want my hypothetical future children doing that, and it would be hypocritical of me to try to stop them if I'd done the same thing myself! (I was a very long-term thinker...)

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 19:49:38

GoldenBear, the poster is hardly going to publicly name people who she knows, is she?

And neither would I. But I know lots of high achieving professionals too who take recreational drugs, from all walks of life, and I know them because they are part of my own social circle too, so it wouldnt be secondhand conversation, or hearsay.

SailorVie Tue 02-Oct-12 19:52:06

The NHS is riddled with doctors who go for it at the weekend...

squeakytoy Tue 02-Oct-12 19:55:02

"I would not want my hypothetical future children doing that, and it would be hypocritical of me to try to stop them if I'd done the same thing myself"

That can be looked at from another angle though, in that if your children do take drugs, they can say to you "how would you know what it is like mum, you have never tried it".. whereas if you had tried it, you would have a better understanding of the effects...

The fact that you havent done any drugs will certainly not make any difference to whether your children do.

My mum and my MIL were/are completely naive and clueless about drugs and had rings run around them by their teenagers, and I know quite a few parents now who really dont know much about drug use at all, and would be clueless.

JockTamsonsBairns Tue 02-Oct-12 20:01:48

Squeaky - fair point re the cost. However 20 quid a week on coke does not a habit make. I think the OP described the TA as having a habit, tho I stand corrected on that if I've misread.

GoldenBear, there's no tittle-tattle about it. I know many professionals who are into weekend recreational drugs, but I wouldn't gossip about it. It's too commonplace to be of any interest.

Anonymumous Tue 02-Oct-12 20:02:54

Whether I have tried it or not is totally immaterial. The point is that taking ANY drugs you don't need (illegal or otherwise) is completely and utterly stupid - and that is the attitude I would like to impart to my children. And, of course, they will make their own decisions in the end - but at least I can give them a damned good bollocking for it without feeling the slightest bit guilty!

HaveALittleFaith Tue 02-Oct-12 20:25:28

I think I'd be shocked at the lack of subtly with this case. Yes, people in this field take drugs but its a huge risk to your job. I'm work for the health service and I won't even have photos of a boozy night on Facebook! I'm a bit shock to imagine people I work with doing speed to get through the night shift but DH tells me I am naïve! Ive never done drugs. I used to drink a fair bit (can't now for health reasons) certainly heavy drinking is commonplace with my colleagues but I've never known them do drugs. If they do, they keep it well hidden from me!

But honestly? Yes maybe I am a bit naive but I'd be shocked if someone in that position not only did drugs but was blatant about it. I think if its habitual its very difficult to keep a clear line between work and play.

Stangirl Tue 02-Oct-12 20:46:13

When I was in my 20s (the 90s) it seemed everyone went on weekend benders. The group of people I knew were teachers/doctors/lawyers - people with serious careers but were absolutely spangled on a regular basis. We thought nothing of it and not one person lost a job nor even got a bad report as far as i remember. Not sure what "the kids" are like now but the biggest danger for my mates who were teachers was bumping into any of their charges at a rave. I'm not saying that's right or I approve now - it was as it was then.

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Tue 02-Oct-12 21:29:31

disagree peshwari but that's down to my personal experience versus yours I think - most people I know who use drugs (me included) used e and coke sporadically, people who smoke weed do it very very regularly. Also has harmful effects.

foreverondiet Tue 02-Oct-12 22:04:02

I would not be happy about it and would discuss my concerns with the headteacher.

Very harmful effects and weekend habits can easily spread to rest of week.

whois Wed 03-Oct-12 00:06:25

Yeah seriously Goldenbear hardly going to spout names of people who take part in illegal activities! Honestly.

Oblomov Wed 03-Oct-12 07:39:35

"Very harmful effects and weekend habits can easily spread to rest of week. "

I don't agree with that. Utter rubbish. Unsubstantiated.
Plently of people can have lots to drink at a party on a friday or saturday night. They don't necessarily start drinking every night , day etc. Doesn't necessarily effect their work.
It can happen. Drinking can turn into a problem.
Drugs are hte same.
Do you think that if you 'do something' (drink/drugs/anything else) on a friday or saturday night, you are then are unable to stop it becoming a daily habit.
Utter rubbish.

manicinsomniac Wed 03-Oct-12 07:47:09

Of course professional people take drugs! Like I said I (hopefully!) won't ever take coke again but among the group of friends I used to do it with (at a weekend, in a house, never spending more than £40) were:
1 teacher, 1 psychologist, 1 actuary and 1 person in some high powered office job I don't understand! Plus 2 or 3 more arty/studenty types that fit the stereotype better.

I also don't see how you can call TAs and teachers 'pillars of the community'. We're not policemen or serving in some high public office, we're just doing our job which happens to involve spending the day with children - you have to work to live not live to work.

TAs aren't that much more than minimum wage workers and do mostly menial tasks - it would be monstrously unfair to expect them to have the lifestyles of saints because they work in a school.

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 09:47:58

Y Y to professionals! I used to teach and lots of colleagues took coke and ecstasy occasionally at the weekend. Lots smoked weed too, and got pissed. Lots of secondary school teachers are single people in their 20s and 30s and they are no different from any other single people in their 20s and 30s.

Of the people I know who currently use drugs, several are teachers, one is a solicitor, one a child psychologist, one a nurse and one is a social worker. None of them are 'problem' users.

Anonymumous I respect your stance and I do hope your children will never make those choices which you so fear. My parents were/are very anti-drugs, including smoking. Not only did I dabble, I ended up with several quite nasty addictions over the years which have taken a great deal of strength to overcome. The sad thing is that I have never been able to share with my parents the difficult times, nor the triumph of recovery, because I just can't talk to them about drugs. This has been a huge part of my adult life and I feel sad that there is so much about me they don't know. I think 'giving a bollocking' is rarely a good way to tackle drug experimentation in youngsters.

samandi Wed 03-Oct-12 10:27:36

Cannabis is a tad different to coke and e's though

Why is that?

samandi Wed 03-Oct-12 10:28:02

Oops, just noticed the discussion has moved on since page 1 ... ah well

StuntGirl Wed 03-Oct-12 11:02:30

I'm surprised to be in the minority, but I wouldn't be happy about teaching staff at my school using drugs either. If I had concrete proof I would definitely report it.

As to whether the teacher in the OP is definitely doing drugs, I don't know. But YANBU to be shocked OP. I have a mate who works in a call centre who I found out does coke and I was shocked, had no idea. It might be widespread but not in my circles so to find people happily discussing illegal past times like that is shocking to me.

ilovetermtime Wed 03-Oct-12 11:25:52

"Very harmful effects and weekend habits can easily spread to rest of week. "

I wish my weekend habit of a lie-in would spread to the rest of the week grin.

Seriously though, it sounds like you've just plucked that phrase out of the air. I don't know anyone who carrys on partying througout the week as if it's the weekend, so it can't be that easy.

I think the trouble with illegal drugs is that no-one who has not been hurt by them is willing to talk about their experiences with them, because they're illegal, so we only get to hear the horror stories. Imagine if the same were true of alcohol or even driving a car? Both of which are probably worse for your health.

Just let this poor TA get on with her life outside of school and get on with helping teach children at school. The drugs are obviously not affecting her work and it's no-one else's business.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 11:30:30

"people like this"

Lots of people take drugs. Doctors, barristers, teachers, bankers, nurses, plumbers, cleaners, counsellors, chefs...........lots of people

I know a fair few teachers who take drugs.

I wouldn't fancy a room full of children on a come down myself, but as long as it is not affecting how she does her job then YABU.

I bet loads of teachers drink at the weekends. Does that bother you?

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 11:43:55

im quite shocked at the relaxed attitude to drug taking on here tbh, i wouldnt be remotely impressed if any of my childrens teachers were getting of their tits on coke at the weekend.

as for the poster who said the police all drink at each others houses etc - im afraid thats bollocks! the group im on are all aging, much like me, all family oriented, none of us particularly hard drinkers, we have a bbq in summer, we maybe do a couple of nights out during a year, none of that involves getting ratarsed or off our faces on illegal substances....

ive noticed before on here a very relaxed attitude to drugs - its seems i am in a minority in that ive never taken any, nor wanted to, though having lost relatives to heroin use may have something to do with that, i dont know, but where do you draw the line on 'hard' drugs and 'recreational' drugs?

yep - im an old fuddy duddy clearly, but id not be happy to find out anyone in contact with my kids took drugs. <shrugs>

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 11:47:57


catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 11:58:21

There are circa 50 million people in the UK.

About 2.2% of them take cocaine, so thats 1.1 million people.

I expect a fair few of those are teachers / teaching assistants.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 12:27:21

does no one give a shit about the effects of trafficking, or the stuff that goes on behind getting your couple of grams of coke for a weekend?

i suppose i see the results more than most, there is a very very murky side to cocaine use that most people dont get to see, and im not talking about the environmental costs now, im talking about peoples lives - just the other week i was involved in a very nasty attempted murder, all drug (cocaine and cannabis) related.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 12:32:16

People buy all sorts of things that are produced unethically

Cheap clothes, iphones, battery chicken, diamonds etc

I'm not saying its right or that people shouldn't be more aware, but as consumers our desire for a product or a good price often outweights our concern for how things are produced and drugs are no different in that respect.

DorisBoltneck Wed 03-Oct-12 12:58:27

VicarInaTutu- ive noticed before on here a very relaxed attitude to drugs

I've noticed this too, threads about drug use seems to descend into a stealth boast-athon about who has taken drugs, who knows the most people that also take drugs etc, all trotted out with the endless repetition of how it did/ does them no harm and is better than booze wink

I don't like being around people who are overly drunk, or have taken drugs TBH. Dope smokers tend to act vague and a bit silly (and boring), coke heads are over confident and talk about themselves (usually fist eatingly boringly), repeating the same old guff, just louder and the MDMA fans are like gurning kids TV show hosts(and soon get very boring). I suppose that if they are doing it in a group, they don't have the tedious experience of being sober in their 'own' company.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 13:02:41

Yes exactly 1.1 million people in a population of 50 million people that's hardly anything and yet we're to be believe that Mumsnets posters make up a number of those people and the people they socialise with be ause apparently everyone is doing it- are they? I cannot name one person who is snorting/ smoking come at the weekends. I live in Brighton which did have the worst drug problem in the country, I live in what people would describe as a 'progressive community', my DS goes to a school that is quite central, the parents are alternative, boho types and I don't know one who indulges in coke at the weekend. In the past it maybe a different story but I'm sorry lol at the teachers at my DS's going halves on coke at the weekend.

A lot of people on here posting that everyone does it in their circles sound TBH like they don't know what they're talking about.

Chandon Wed 03-Oct-12 13:05:22

Thank god I am not alone,

I found this thread depressing, until Doris and Vicarinatutu came along.

We have choices we can make, catgirl and the rest. We can decide NOT to buy this crap. Just because other people make some unethical choices about other goods, does not mean we can just shrug at the collateral damage of cocaine production and distribution. Look at what drugs do to a country like Mexico, look at the deaths and violence, the weapons and power bought by drugs lord. And then shrug...

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 13:08:18

Sorry coke not 'come'.

ilovetermtime Wed 03-Oct-12 13:08:45

"A lot of people on here posting that everyone does it in their circles sound TBH like they don't know what they're talking about."

Why do you say that? Surely it's just a case of them moving in circles that take drugs and you moving in circles that don't? How does that add up to them not knowing what they're talking about?

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:11:33

Yes exactly 1.1 million people in a population of 50 million people that's hardly anything It's 2.2%.

and yet we're to be believe that Mumsnets posters make up a number of those people and the people they socialise with Well yes. There are no doubt some MN users who use cocaine. Or socialise with people who do. Why would you find that hard to believe.

be ause apparently everyone is doing it- are they? Erm, no. 2.2% according to last survey.

* I cannot name one person who is snorting/ smoking come at the weekends.* It must not happen then.

lol at the teachers at my DS's going halves on coke at the weekend. Lol away.


waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 13:11:54

Goldenbear Do you think, then, that those who say their social group do it are lying? YOU may not know anyone in your group who does it but that will be different for everyone, obviously.

The boho parents at your child's school may do things that they don't chat about at the school gates, especially to people who they know are anti-drugs. (people who do dabble with substances of any description often have a radar as to who is 'straight'!)

I have a group of friends who are fellow mums at my DC's school who I have known now for 2+ years. I have been out with them socially numerous times. As yet, I haven't told any of them about my experiences with drugs, precisely because I know that the truth will be unpalatable to many of them.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:19:09

chandon - its not just mexico - its here - on your door steps. people dont realise though - they cant do - can they?

i wish i could tell you about the attempt murder i went to - its horrific but i cant give details. it was over coke and cannabis. he wasnt some drugs lord either.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 13:25:32

I just can't imagine all these 'professionals' finding a) the right person to buy this stuff from b) entertaining the idea of visiting the kind of characters that sell coke to buy it from - unpredictable people that they often are. Even if you're buying it off a 'nice' dealer they have to buy it off not so nice people that might be present when you're buying it off them. Other people who buy the drugs off your dealer may simarly be unpleasant. A lot of 'professionals' do not feel comfortable in that kind of company in a normal context let alone deliberately put themselves in that situation. Coke dealers aren't prepared to take risks by meating you out and about which leads to people visiting them in residence. The average professional would fine that a very risky option all around, especially if they're a parent. Sorry I just don't believe it.

No I don't mix with people that take drugs - I'm glad to say as I'm a 35 year old grown up!

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:28:47

You don't believe professionals ever take drugs?


Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 13:49:10

Well I have and yes people talk about their experiences in the past/ pre children - believe me none of them are straight but everyone including my DP's friends just cringe when we talk about it now.

I do know what kind of people deal and in some cases I know the damage it has caused to my DPs friend. MDMA escalates to coke escalates to smack, loose your home start begging on the street. Another of DPs friends, bored very privileged background got entangled threatened, manipulated into being involved in a huge shipment of coke with contacts abroad, he got caught and has a 15 year sentence. It is illegal and illegal activity always has unsavoury characters involved.

I think it is a lot of stealth boasting as someone pointed out. People say these things to get attention and to make them sound exotic but like I said I can't Imagine the average musnetter being a coke head and I'm sure they're not!

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 13:51:01

I believe professionals take drugs but not lots of them - no.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 13:54:49

Why has this turned into a playground spat?

Who cares if you think you know more about drugs than the next person or if ALL your friends take them or you worked for the fecking BBC where they were all it? Who gives a flying shit?

I've never seen so many superiority complexes gathered in one place before.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 13:56:02

LOL at the teachers snorting coke at my DS's school- yes because they don't exactly fit the profile.

catgirl1976 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:58:38

What's "the profile"?


Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 14:00:10

Sorry TheRhubarb, I just don't like being told I am straight as if it is a problem and that all my thoughts on the subject are ignorant as I do not take drugs. I don't feel superior about history, I cringe at the past- sadly.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 14:02:17

Not my DS's teachers Cat which is a good thing in my mind.

zippey Wed 03-Oct-12 14:06:16

Cannibis, Cocaine and E's are illegal - you could report her if you feel strongly enough. I wouldnt like a known crackhead teaching my children.

Having said that some great peoples of our time have been addicts - Pete Docherty, Jim Morrison, Sherlock Holmes, House etc

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 14:06:24

I wasn't suggesting it's a problem to be straight. And I also didn't say you were straight. I was talking about people who do use drugs often being able to tell when people are not the type to take drugs ('straight') and therefore being careful what they say around them. As Jarvis once sang 'Jesus it must be great, to be straight' and I agree with him because I'm glad I'm now straight- MY personal experience with drugs was not a happy one in the end. However, I recognise that plenty of people are able to use them recreationally without issue to their personal and professional lives. Lucky them. If I could, I would.

'People say things like this to make them sound exotic'. Really? I'm sorry but
I do think you're naive. Why would so many MNers lie about this just to sound exotic?

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:06:40

GoldenBear - these people who say they take drugs and have wild weekends. They don't. They sit in and watch shit TV.

Someone has friends who takes drugs and based on that, they feel they can confidently say that half the population are at it.

Utter bollocks.

This is just about making oneself seem cool and a little bit 'rock and roll'.

Never believe what a druggie tells you anyway wink

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Oct-12 14:07:36

YABU. It's not your business.

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 14:08:09

And no, there really isn't a 'profile'. If you went to an NA meeting you would see that.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:08:37

zippey, Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character and House is a TV series I believe?

I don't think that pretend people count.

Tinuviel Wed 03-Oct-12 14:08:41

"Adults convicted of serious sexual offences committed against children under the age of 16 since 1995 were automatically placed on List 99, additional reasons for inclusion were sexual or violent behaviour towards children, abuses of trust, drug offences, any violent crime (for example, conviction of rioting or football hooliganism), stealing school property and deception in job applications. Medical conditions such as drug or alcohol abuse and mental illness were grounds for exclusion."

List 99 is the list of people barred from working in schools. If the TA gets caught she will be put on it and not only lose her job but will not be able to work in any other school. AFAIK grounds for being barred from teaching/working in schools have not changed.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 14:14:08

Sorry Waterlego I'm not naive. I'm not sure it's a good idea to confess to recreational drug taking on a public forum in the present or the past.

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:11

Do you mean me? I'm not worried about confessing that here, not at all.

Steve Jobs used drugs fairly regularly.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 14:17:57

No I don't mean you.

'Steve jobs'? Sorry I don't get it?

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 14:18:48

Just adding to what zippey said.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 14:20:59

OPs sorry a bit slow then!

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 14:21:46

That'll be all those spliffs you had this morning grin

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 14:23:28

shock grin

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:26:10

Steve Jobs is dead.

Jim Morrison is dead.

Sherlock Holmes is fictional.

Pete Docherty is a cowardly bum.

House is a TV series.

<sucks on spliff> Anymore?

Chandon Wed 03-Oct-12 14:38:34

tinuviel, I hope that's true.

vicarinatutu, I know it is not just Mexico, it's just that I spent many years of my life there, and I guess it is "close to home" for me, but that's personal.

I would hate being part of that drugs chain.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:43:13

so. what if the title of this thread was

AIBU to find that my local neighbourhood police officer takes cocaine recreationally when off duty? "

away you go.....

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 14:53:59

Do they not? wink

How about: AIBU to not want my babysitter taking recreational drugs?

Thing is, teachers are supposed to be good examples to children are they not? I mean, Blue Peter presenters are sacked over this sort of thing and they are nowhere near your kids! Teachers and TAs provide moral guidance and set themselves up as figures to respect. If the kids were to find out that Miss Smith the pretty English teacher was off her face every Sat night on cocaine, wouldn't that diminish the respect they feel for her?

Flimflammery Wed 03-Oct-12 15:00:05

I can't believe all the posters who've said, keep your nose out, she's entitled to do what she likes at weekends. No-one is 'entitled' to take illegal drugs, and especially not people who are trusted with the care of young children.

If she was having the occasional spliff then, although still illegal, it wouldn't be so bad IMO. But cocaine, seriously?

zippey Wed 03-Oct-12 15:14:50

Like I said, I would seriously think about reporting them for engaging in illegal activities.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Oct-12 15:16:26

Yes, seriously, Flimflammery. As even the OP graciously hmm allows, this TA 'has not been sacked', which suggests that she is capable of holding down a job while also having a social life that, in her case, involves drugs.

Vicar, I can't give an answer to 'AIBU to find that my local neighbourhood police officer takes cocaine recreationally when off duty?' because I'm not sure what it means ...

Rhubarb, my answer to 'AIBU to not want my babysitter taking recreational drugs?' is presumably 'Yes, unless you're talking about when they're looking after your kids.'


Crinkle77 Wed 03-Oct-12 15:46:58

I think that you would be surprised at the number of professional people who take drugs recreationally at the weekend then go back to work as normal on Monday morning. Many of these people are not addicted but like to let their hair down at the weekend and are able to function as normal in work. Although if this is coupled with heavy drinking the rest of the time then you may have cause for concern.

N0tinmylife Wed 03-Oct-12 15:55:40

OP YANBU, I wouldn't want someone who thinks its fine breaking the law every weekend in the name of fun, teaching my children right from wrong at school. I would also worry about how it would affect her work eventually. These things have a way of escalating!

MrsBethel Wed 03-Oct-12 16:01:47

Surprised she can afford them. TAs get a really shite deal.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:13:09

so swap the drug in the title of this thread to Heroin, would it still be no one elses business then?

i do actually know someone who is a heroin addict but manages to hold down a full time job to pay for it. Could be your kids TA for all you know. hope that would be just as ok with you all.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Oct-12 16:25:22

If someone can hold down and perform well in a job then I don't think it's other people's business whatever the drug of choice.

DorisBoltneck Wed 03-Oct-12 16:36:53

I know a heroin addict who works in social care.

Not a friend and not a very nice person.

I think if we're to be sensible about it, it has to be viewed in the same way as CRB checks- they do not prove a person has not done anything wrong, just that they've never been caught.

A person managing to hold down a job, while also managing a drug habit, may not actually be capable, but may just not have messed up big time. You can always make up a sob story about having been kept up by a sick baby, health problems or whatever, when you are actually on the nod. If you don't work with the person, you can't comment on their work performance. The boss might be thinking- 'Poor old Doris, she's so shit at this job it makes you want to laugh, but knowing her problems with her dying mother, I can't sack her, can I?'

Gentleness Wed 03-Oct-12 16:52:38

If this ta is taking illegal drugs then she is not behaving well or showing good judgment. I wouldn't want to spend much time with her myself and would be unhappy if my child was.

All this stuff about being able to let your hair down at weekends is nonsense. What? The only way to relax is to engage in illegality? Their resources are so limited that they cannot enjoy themselves without being doped in one way or another? However well someone does their job, I'd find it hard to respect them if they really had that attitude.

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 17:24:02

Again, it's about being a responsible and respectable adult. Children are supposed to look up to their elders and school staff are supposed to be good examples of how people should live their lives. As a friend of mine once said, once you are a teacher you cannot separate your job from your life as you're always seeing the little buggers about!

So, just imagine you liberal thinkers then, that your kid saw their TA snorting up coke in the toilets of Wetherspoons, or saw them off their heads in town. Would you feel differently then? Is it still none of your business?

This isn't about whether they can do their jobs on a Monday morning, this is about their lifestyle and how it is appropriate for the career path they have chosen i.e. working with children, including vulnerable children.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 17:39:45

Ladyclarice, if coke is just a drug of choice like alcohol would you be happy for your son/daughter (if you have one) to snort a line of coke at the dinner table on their 18th as opposed to a glass of champagne? I would imagine you'll say yes?

Adding to the points Doris made about competence of regular drug takers in professional capacities I know that if my child had to have an operation (something I have experienced) I know that I would rather the surgeon who didn't take coke performed it not the one regularly using coke, MDMA a night, 2 nights prior. I think given the choice most people would, even those who regularly take drugs themselves as you would always wonder whether their ability was impaired. Of course in reality there is no such choice but I think if you're in such a position of responsibility you should not be so reckless.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:42:48

'The only way to relax is to engage in illegality? Their resources are so limited that they cannot enjoy themselves without being doped in one way or another?'

That's a different issue; that's in the realm of moral views about people taking drugs per se, which I didn't think was the point of this thread.

As a 'liberal thinker' (I love it when the word liberal gets used as an insult), and at the risk of repeating myself, yes, I do think that as long as someone turns up for their job in a fit state to do it, and does it well, their personal life is no one else's business.

That applies to someone who's a teacher, a lawyer, a cleaner, a plumber, a social worker, and anyone else who works in whatever capacity.

But in the context of this thread, I can't see how a teacher/TA's lifestyle choices away from their place and hours of work impacts one tiny bit on any children, 'vulnerable' or not, who they work with.

But I know someone (an illiberal thinker?) will be along in short order to tell me how wrong I am.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 18:06:43

So simplistic, you're not a liberal unless you're smoking crack with your son/ daughter.

You didn't answer my question?

A Plumber is very different to a Surgeon for a start you're not directly responsible for anyone's care!

THERhubarb Wed 03-Oct-12 18:10:04

I've been a TA and we were told specifically not to smoke anywhere where the kids could see us (not that I smoke).

We were told that we are examples to these kids and so our behaviour must be appropriate - no smoking, no swearing. We had to be on our best behaviour no matter how much they wound us up.

I'm pretty certain that if a TA or teacher was seen to be taking drugs in public, there would be questions to answer.

Some jobs also require you to take regular blood tests and to say if you have ever taken drugs.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Oct-12 18:16:22

bear, we cross-posted so I didn't see yours until I'd posted mine.

I didn't say anything about crack, or about smoking it with anyone's son or daughter.

In answer, no, I wouldn't be OK with my aking coke at my dinner table. I wouldn't really like or expect anyone to take coke at my dinner table, including the TA under discussion here. But where she does (allegedly) take coke, and whatever else she takes, is none of my concern.

I'd say that it's more simplistic (and illogical) to conclude that the fact that I think others' drug-taking/drinking is none of my business means I go round smoking crack with my son/daughter.

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 18:39:08

No I'm not saying you're smoking crack with your son, I was using it as an example of how it is too simplistic to say Liberal thinker = pro drugs whatever drugs and Conservative= anti drugs.

So you're not the Liberal if you're public views contradict your personal. Dismissing coke as a 'drug of choice' implies it is on a par with alcohol and yet you wouldn't be happy for your children to snort a line of coke instead of drink a glass of wine at your table, if that was their 'drug of choice'?

waterlego Wed 03-Oct-12 19:01:49

Clarice I understand what you're saying.

Therhubarb The question being discussed was not whether drugs are dangerous and might cause death, it was whether there is an obvious 'profile' for a drug taker. Some found it impossible to believe that any professional person might do drugs. I was using Steve Jobs as an example to to illustrate the point that professional, and indeed very successful, people might take drugs.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 03-Oct-12 19:04:44

I think you're fixating a bit on the phrase 'drug of choice'. I thought I'd said things that would get your goat far more than that ...

Here's my original statement, reworded to (hopefully) stay on the point:

'If someone can hold down and perform well in a job then I don't think it's other people's business what they do in their personal lives.'

However, I don't know why calling coke a 'drug of choice' equals being dismissive of it. It's not a value judgement; I was simply saying that some people will choose coke, some will choose alcohol, some marijuana etc.

Mia4 Wed 03-Oct-12 19:33:57

YANBU to be surprised when it's someone you know if you don't think they are 'that type', but that shows you can never stereotype. At least she's trying to do the right thing by not doing it around her kids or when responsible for them or any others. I hate drugs tbh but I think you're being a bit naive regarding this whole subject of professionals and drugs. I can tell you as someone who used to work in a hospital there are a fair few folk you'd (OP) not expect to-doctors, med students etc. Not to mention legal professionals and (unsurprisingly) politicians.

What concerns me more is the couple of mums who come to the school near me that are pissed up (luckily not driving) or blatantly on something, the same as it would a doctor, lawyer, nurse or teacher who did those things while directly responsible for someone else.

N0tinmylife Wed 03-Oct-12 20:22:26

Clarice, I am curious, at what point does it become other peoples business what she does in her personal life? Bit of shoplifting to pay for the drugs? If she is arrested for possession? Is it still all fine then?

Goldenbear Wed 03-Oct-12 20:32:04

Lady, surely if you're a liberal thinker your views would be consistent - not one rule for abstract discussions and a different rule for your personal context. I'm sure your children have no desire to snort a line of coke at the dining table but if they did, given your views, why is it different to a glass of Cava?

sonofzod Thu 04-Oct-12 03:43:04

its noones business what she does out of school, as long as her drugtaking doesnt affect her responsibilities at school why does this bother you :/

Iteotwawki Thu 04-Oct-12 04:07:21

I'm impressed by all of you who know doctors that take illegal drugs or medical students that steal them from work. I'm a doctor, my social circle has contained mostly doctors from varying fields and places for the last 20 years. I don't know a single one that has taken an illegal drug since qualifying. (I knew a couple who smoked cannabis as students but they also stopped when they started working).

Where are all these drug addicted doctors? How come everyone knows a doctor who takes drugs and yet I don't know a single one?

Drugs (the interesting ones) are kept locked in double cupboards on a named patient signed for basis. Stealing them borders on the impossible.

I would be horrified if a TA were taking the sorts of drugs described, even if only at weekends.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 09:22:09

Iteotwawki - my point exactly. These tales people tell of sordid and rife drug taking amongst professionals are purely anecdotal. It does not prove a thing. Your experience amongst the same profession is very different.

FWIW my brother-in-law works in the cardiac department of a very busy hospital. He's worked in hospitals for roughly 25 years, in A&E and other departments as he's risen in ranks. He's never seen or heard of drug taking either.

Anyone can tell tales. But these are third hand stories that mean nothing.

AmberLeaf Thu 04-Oct-12 09:53:24

Just because you haven't experienced something doesn't mean it doesn't happen you know!

People are more likely to share such info with other people that they know wouldn't disapprove. if you make it clear that you don't they're not likely to be open about it are they.

There have been cases taken to court that have been reported in the press so clearly it does happen. That applies to stealing drugs from work.

There is of course the illegal drugs that a doctor for example can buy just the same as anyone else.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 09:59:46

Just because you have experienced it doesn't mean that it is rife.

Iteotwawki and I are not saying that this doesn't happen, just that some posters are making out that it's common and happens all over based on their own experiences. The point I am making is that different people have different experiences and you cannot make a general point based on an experience which is purely anecdotal. That is called generalisation and is not a good way to conduct a debate.

Iteotwawki Thu 04-Oct-12 10:02:20

... what Rhubarb said smile

HaveALittleFaith Thu 04-Oct-12 10:21:13

Equally Amber what you're referring to certainly impacts on working life! People who have access to drugs at work that steal them cannot sustain that long term. I knew a nurse who started stealing pills. Odd ones at first but then got top brazen. She was caught, disiciplined and sacked. IIRC the Sister who was under question at Stepping Hill about the saline interference was actually sacked for stealing drugs in the end - antibiotics and (a?) controlled drug.

Certainly as healthcare professionals we have to be very conscious of our actions. There's lot of comments along the lines of whatever people do in their own time is up to them but if it brings the profession in to disrepute it's a different story. For example, if I was caught drink driving outside of work, I would likely still lose my registration. Part of the issue of probably that unqualified staff like TAs, healthcares in hospital aren't under the same professional guidelines but if they were caught, I still think they'd be severely disiciplined!

Certainly the culture I know of within the NHS is much more about alcohol - yes at times to excess and certainly lots of doctors will drink heavily and turn up to work with hangovers, getting a few hmm looks from other members of staff but IME drug taking is not the norm.

Goldenbear Thu 04-Oct-12 11:40:23

Well if it is as common as posters on this thread are suggesting why do people not notice their colleagues on Comedowns? My DP is an Architect so not in a job with direct care of anybody but there is so much pressure in the office, anyone on a comedown from a drugs binge at the weekend would be noticed. If it became a pattern they'd be asked to explain what is happening as it is undeniably the case that Comedowns which can last a week, would affect someone's ability to do that job with the pace and accuracy that's required. If you are in a job that directly involves working and caring for people/children Comedowns will surely be a huge problem as the consequences of incompetent care are a lot greater. It is not about how much your paid it is that are responsible for looking after people. If you can't accept that responsibility perhaps you should avoid work like that.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 11:59:40

Comedowns vary from drug to drug Goldenbear and the week long lows only happen with Class A drugs usually.

You can snort coke or smoke cannabis all through the weekend and no-one would be any the wiser on Monday morning. Esp if that's something you do regularly.

However as Havealittlefaith points out, when you choose your profession you are also choosing a fair amount of responsibility that goes with it.

As a teacher or TA you are directly responsible for childrens welfare in the workplace and as such, it would not be appropriate for you to be actively taking drugs every weekend. After all, part of the staff's role is to educate children about the dangers of drug taking and so if you are taking them yourself, you are making a mockery of the message you are sending out to kids.

There is a real danger of a drug user being caught and the children getting to know, so I believe that it is a parent's responsibility to report a teacher or TA who has been seen taking drugs.

They are public sector workers, providing a public service that is heavily relied upon and if they are not fit for that job then they should move over and let someone else take it on.

Goldenbear Thu 04-Oct-12 12:25:34

I thought MDMA was a class A drug as is cocaine. I meant you can have a comedown for up to a week with them. depending on how much you've taken, whether you mixed your drugs determines the comedown- depressive tendencies, panic attacks, flashbacks if you are a regular user.

Cannabis can vary in strength, if you're smoking skunk to help your comedown like a lot of people do then you're mixing your drugs and this is when the problems arise. I actually do know very well what I'm talking about but this is a public forum and I'm not a fool.

SamSmalaidh Thu 04-Oct-12 12:46:45

Week long comedowns sound very extreme! Most people would feel a bit rough the next day and back to normal come Monday.

Goldenbear Thu 04-Oct-12 12:58:25

Back to normal on Monday?

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 13:12:44

Yes. My dh took drugs. It's like having a hangover for some, on others you just feel tired and lethargic. So long as you have Sunday to recover you can be back to normal on Monday.

But then dh was never in charge of kids (cows but not kids). He never held a position of trust and responsibility as a teacher or TA would.

SamSmalaidh Thu 04-Oct-12 13:19:17

Yes, back to normal on Monday. Do you really think people would indulge in recreational drugs on a Friday/Saturday night if it meant a week of suffering afterwards?

Goldenbear Thu 04-Oct-12 13:25:10

Well my DP's friends/acquaintances wouldn't have been able to work Monday morning but then again none of them seemed to work atall! We didn't see any professionals within the sordid vacinities they visited to obtain their 'drug of choice'. We did once see a very famous British actor/comedian though- not going to say who obviously. All these people are now 'professionals' or proper jobs, early 30's none of them take drugs.

SamSmalaidh Thu 04-Oct-12 13:26:26

Maybe they over did it a bit then. I have had several day hangovers from drinking in my younger days.

Goldenbear Thu 04-Oct-12 13:33:57

I said up to, which obviously depends on a number of variants that I've already explained. Yes I do think people would do drugs on Friday, Saturday with no thought of the aftermarth, it is called an addiction and it's what can happen when you take class A drugs as opposed to Low strength cannibas!

Another thing about highly addictive drugs is that it becomes a bit tricky to control your need to take them!

waterlego Thu 04-Oct-12 16:13:39

To be fair, Therhubarb, the OP has no proof that the TA takes drugs every weekend. That part was a rumour, as far as I could make out. She mentioned one occasion when she had seen the TA taking drugs (really bad idea to do so in front of a parent from the school, IMO)

Personally, I would feel that taking any drug every weekend (including excessive alcohol) is indicative of a problem with dependency/MH, (whether or not it interferes with work being a separate issue) but on an occasional basis, I would consider it none of my business.

THERhubarb Thu 04-Oct-12 16:18:54

Well if you are stupid enough to take drugs in a public place where you wil be seen by parents and possibly ex-pupils then you should not hold down such a position of responsibility and yes, I would report that TA.

It's not a question of their own private business. Parents entrust their children to a school and staff that are supposed to be good examples to their kids. It is a position of trust and responsibility. It is not compatible with a drug taking lifestyle.

Oblomov Thu 04-Oct-12 17:02:12

OP "mentioned one occasion when she had seen the TA taking drugs"
Err, actually this is incorrect.
OP: "I was offered a line of coke while out at a gig"
The someone asked OP: "So you're offered one line of coke and you speak to people who know this person (not the actual person themselves)"
to which OP did not respond.
So we don't even KNOW for sure whether it was the actual TA who offered OP the line of coke.
Anyway this is all besides the point, becasue the OP, with her drip-feed gossip, is LONG GONG. wink

Oblomov Thu 04-Oct-12 17:03:02

GONE grin

AmberLeaf Thu 04-Oct-12 18:23:57

Iteotwawki and I are not saying that this doesn't happen, just that some posters are making out that it's common and happens all over based on their own experiences. The point I am making is that different people have different experiences and you cannot make a general point based on an experience which is purely anecdotal That is called generalisation and is not a good way to conduct a debate

FWIW my brother-in-law works in the cardiac department of a very busy hospital. He's worked in hospitals for roughly 25 years, in A&E and other departments as he's risen in ranks. He's never seen or heard of drug taking either

Anyone can tell tales. But these are third hand stories that mean nothing

Your experience is anecdotal too though!

I don't think I said it was rife? But it most certainly happens as several people have said here.

ilovetermtime Fri 05-Oct-12 11:58:49

ilovetermtime Fri 05-Oct-12 11:59:11
THERhubarb Fri 05-Oct-12 12:52:06

Erm, Amberleaf would you mind not taking my quotes out of context please? I gave my experience as an anecdotal piece of evidence to illustrate how peoples experiences could lead them into one way of thinking or another.

I said that at the time.

Taking quotes completely out of context and holding them up to use for your own argument is also quite unacceptable. You will have to do better than that.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 13:57:27

How on earth is that quote out of context?

It is totally in context and also shows you did what you were criticising others for doing!

THERhubarb Fri 05-Oct-12 14:00:19

This is the full quote dear:

"These tales people tell of sordid and rife drug taking amongst professionals are purely anecdotal. It does not prove a thing. Your experience amongst the same profession is very different.

FWIW my brother-in-law works in the cardiac department of a very busy hospital. He's worked in hospitals for roughly 25 years, in A&E and other departments as he's risen in ranks. He's never seen or heard of drug taking either.

Anyone can tell tales. But these are third hand stories that mean nothing."

Read it again. I am illustrating that my story is a third hand story that means nothing. That is the point I am making. Everyone has experiences and they are all different, you cannot make a general point based on an experience.

Try reading the whole post next time.

Back2Two Fri 05-Oct-12 14:03:57

Personally I think that i would be more concerned about alcohol use (if heavy) during the week.

Drugs during the week too, but I think the OP siad the TA doesn't do this and it is totally possible to limit drug use and take them as responsibly as possible.

Getting pissed in the week would leave you tired, poor concentration, poor judgement and lacking in motivation.

AmberLeaf Fri 05-Oct-12 15:25:51

Rubbish Rhubarb!

You told your anecdotal story to back your opinion that it isn't as common as posters on here are saying it is.

You missed a bit too Iteotwawki - my point exactly remember? thats the part where you were agreeing with Iteotawki in that its not common, you then used your example of your BIL.

Don't backpeddle.

THERhubarb Mon 08-Oct-12 09:18:00

Give it a rest dear.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 08-Oct-12 09:55:28

If she was arrested for possession at least she wouldn't be at the school any more to corrupt the children, or whatever you imagine she's doing, which seems to be the main concern amongst those throwing up their hands in horror on this thread.

As for shoplifting to pay for the drugs, well, I would venture to suggest that some people can afford to buy drugs without shoplifting for them. Although that might shatter the illusion some on this thread seem to hold that taking any kind of drug is automatically connected to having a seedy lifestyle. Which is presumably easier to deal with than the thought that people can give every impression of being 'normal', hold down jobs, have money etc and yet still take drugs in their personal time. Because where on earth would everyone be if you couldn't immediately identify and pour judgement upon someone who likes a bit of E and coke?

I'm also not sure why my views ought to be 'consistent' as you describe, Goldenbear, or why you seem to think that rule only applies to 'liberal thinkers'; are 'illiberal thinkers' permitted to have inconsistent views?

I wouldn't want anyone to take coke at my dinner table because it would be inappropriate; the general 'culture', for want of a better word, at the average dinner at my house doesn't involve drugs, or much alcohol for that matter, and anyone drinking a lot or taking drugs would be in a different mood/headspace to the rest, which wouldn't be much fun.

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