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Parent drinking alcohol before assisting with school trip

(87 Posts)
Baydreams Mon 11-Mar-19 16:21:08

I would describe the parent of one of DCs classmates as a functioning alcoholic.

I frequently see them post-morning school run sinking 4 tins. Despite this, they never seem particularly inebriated to me.

This morning I saw this parent doing their usual 9.30am routine, and then this afternoon I saw the same parent returning from assisting the class school trip (primary school).

So, my questions are:

1. What would you do?

2. This question is for anyone who works in schools or has knowledge in this area - what action might the school take? Short of breathilising them, it’s a he said / she said situation, so I’m interested to know what the standard course of action would be if I had a conversation with the school.

And 3. Do I need to check my double standards? Eg, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid at PTA mums drinking a a handful of glasses of mulled wine at the Christmas fair whilst still running the show. There are other helpers and teachers around so should it be up to them to judge if someone isn’t
up to the job of assisting with the class?

I feel like it’s important that I do mention it to the school (although I’m pretty certain this isn’t the first time a parent has made the school aware), but think I just needed to mull over my thoughts first and ask what others would do.

Rock4please Mon 11-Mar-19 16:50:15

That sounds weird, frankly, are you sure it's an alcoholic drink?

AspasiaLunata Mon 11-Mar-19 16:52:27

Are you sure they aren't cans of energy drink or something? How close do you get to this person? Would you be able to name the type and brand for example?

LikeDolphinsCanSwim Mon 11-Mar-19 16:53:46

Some of the energy drinks are in cans that look a bit like alcoholic drinks

Baydreams Mon 11-Mar-19 16:55:31

@rock4please and @aspasialunata close enough to have a chat and see a pack of Stella.

AutumnCrow Mon 11-Mar-19 16:55:40

I guess the OP must live with them / have lived with them / see through their windows?

x2boys Mon 11-Mar-19 16:55:45

Well that's What I wondered Aspasia some of those energy drink do look like cans of lager still.odd to.drink four of them though!

AutumnCrow Mon 11-Mar-19 16:56:40

So do you SEE them drinking the cans of beer?

Smoggle Mon 11-Mar-19 16:56:55

Some cans of energy drinks are the same size/shape as beer.

If you are sure it's alcohol, go to school tomorrow and make an appointment with the designated safeguarding lead. Tell them only what you know as fact. State your concern that they were then on a school trip.

x2boys Mon 11-Mar-19 16:57:10

An cross post , very odd thing to do though how far is how from school?

clairemcnam Mon 11-Mar-19 16:59:59

Yes energy drinks makes more sense. I have seen alcoholics drink cans of alcohol in the morning in the street, but they stink of alcohol.

Marcipex Mon 11-Mar-19 17:01:21

It can't be that uncommon. I worked in a nursery in a fairly wealthy area and one parent would walk carefully upright as he had the open can (not) concealed in his coat pocket.

AspasiaLunata Mon 11-Mar-19 17:02:59

close enough to have a chat and see a pack of Stella

Were you not tempted to ask wtf are you doing drinking Stella at 9.30am???

Bananasinpyjamas11 Mon 11-Mar-19 17:03:25

Tell the schools safeguarding officer or head. This is definitely your business. Let’s not muck around when it comes to child safety.

anitagreen Mon 11-Mar-19 17:03:34

Its sad but I don't know if telling the school which you should do would do much, if she's drinking that early in the morning they must be aware of it as the smell from last nights booze plus this mornings would surely be overwhelming?
Saying that we had a new headmaster when I was in school who let a new lady work in the playground supervising kids at lunchtime and she was well known to be a crack addict and addicted to spirits, in the end loads of parents got together with some sort of higher person/s and she was dismissed along with the headmaster confused

EmeraldShamrock Mon 11-Mar-19 17:04:38

I am surprised other parents including yourself didn't reported this earlier, well before the school trip, How many DC do they have, are the DC looked after.
I bet if I had a few beers each morning on the street the school would hear.
Strange behaviour but very sad too, yes I'd talk to the school, hopefully they can help this person.

AutumnCrow Mon 11-Mar-19 17:05:00

But seeing somebody's shopping isn't the same as seeing them drinking four cans of beer at 9.30 am 😕

MondayMorningBluesy Mon 11-Mar-19 17:05:02

frequently see them post-morning school run sinking 4 tins. Despite this, they never seem particularly inebriated to me.

If they are a functioning alcoholic they won't will they?

And neither will their judgement necessarily be impaired.

Unless they are driving, I think it's not your call.

Cosmos45 Mon 11-Mar-19 17:06:16

I wanted to say that this is such an odd thing to do, most "functioning" alcoholics are incredibly sneaky and hide as much as they can relating to their drinking. I can imagine them drinking out of a plastic water bottle (the type you take to the gym) etc but to just drink straight out of a tin of Stella in the morning sounds very strange indeed.

Bananasinpyjamas11 Mon 11-Mar-19 17:06:26

Once the school knows they have to do something. Probably review how they vet / recruit parent volunteers. That’s why safeguarding is there. You don’t have to know the best course of action. You just report facts. They then follow up in the best way.

What is not good is keep info to yourself or gosssip.

MyNewtMyFrogMyLittleRedDog Mon 11-Mar-19 17:07:53

I live in one of the poorest towns in the UK and this really is nothing unusual. I have lived here all my life and regularly see the known "faces" going to Asda at the same time every morning. A boy I grew up with, his dad buys a box of crappy perry/pear wine every morning at around 11am. Everyday he makes the same journey at the same time.

You see the same alcoholics around the local shops/off licences at various points through the day. Then those that are parents will make their way to school at kick out time, stop at the shop for sweets and beer. I can think of at least 4-5 parents from my kids primary that were always half cut at school drop off/collection. But looking after peoples kids is very different to getting drunk around your own.

EmmaGrundyForPM Mon 11-Mar-19 17:10:06

So you actually are with them whilst they drink 4 cans? Even for someone who drinks quite quickly that suggests you are regularly with them for over an hour each time, which in turn suggests you have a friendship with them. Can you raise it with them?

greenlynx Mon 11-Mar-19 17:10:56

I would mention this to a head teacher or safeguarding lead. Just plain facts that you saw this parent drinking beer on the day of the trip and that you’re concern. And that it’s not a first time he/she drank in the morning so it’s not a one off. This parent probably had a snooze, cleaned teeth and looked ok for the trip but it’s very worrying attitude.

ApolloandDaphne Mon 11-Mar-19 17:11:27

As a social worker i have worked in many areas where people would congregate outside and drink openly, including parents with young children. Doesn't surprise me at all.

Bananasinpyjamas11 Mon 11-Mar-19 17:12:27

We should be reporting drunk parents at pick up too. I know it feels intrusive, but I’m currently living with a man who was bought up by an alcoholic, and he says everyone knew and no one did a thing about it. Even if it wasn’t a care home, he’d have had someone aware of his situation, a social worker or teacher, who could have given him extra support or even just a place to talk about it.

He does feel let down by adults who knew and turned a blind eye. Now if he sees kids in the same situation he always does something.

Stayawayfromitsmouth Mon 11-Mar-19 17:23:21

I am surprised at all the questioning. Of course there are people who drink on the street and in public.
I would personally raise it with school. I wouldn't want to be the person who turned a blind eye when little Jemima got lost (or worse) on the next school trip because drunk parent was 'supervising'. Or the person who turned a blind eye because drunk parent burned their house down with dc in it. (or worse).
Stella is not exactly a high brow drink is it.

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