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Any success stories in stopping parents smoking at school gates ?

(27 Posts)
despwifey Tue 04-Nov-14 17:33:08

Does anyone have experience of their school successfully preventing parents from smoking at or near the school gates ? We moved 6 weeks ago and I am absolutely horrified at the amount of passive smoke I and my children have had to inhale so far at the (primary) gates. I would say it's more than I've ever had to breathe in my 41 years. As a teacher of many years and a parent for 11 years, I am gobsmacked at how prevalent smoking is among the parents at this particular school. I have raised the issue with the Head teacher and the Governors, but does anyone have practical advice on any successful campaigns ? I don't want to blast the smoking parents with a negative message however I would like them to feel good about helping the children to be healthier and have a more pleasant start and end to their school day.

HonestLie Tue 04-Nov-14 17:37:53

Well where I live outside the school gates is public land so you would have no success at all unless the smoker wished to not smoke there. If that were the case they would already not be smoking there so I would guess your success would be minimal at best. Is it public land? I'm afraid it's probably something you can't change regardless of your feelings.

Honestly I think you're being a bit daft.

theposterformallyknownas Tue 04-Nov-14 17:38:49

They aren't smoking on school property so there's nothing you can do.
Maybe stand outside the gates yourself and ask if they can move somewhere else away from the entrance.
6 weeks and complaining to HT and governors. Wow, you are very brave.
What sort of campaign can stop people smoking outside.
They are even putting signs up in park play areas now, they just get ripped down and ignored anyway.
I know this is bothering you and you may not want to be popular at pick up time, but your child might.

WorraLiberty Tue 04-Nov-14 17:42:24

How are you/your child inhaling so much smoke?

Is the gate locked until a certain time, so you have to stand in a crowd of parents, waiting for it to open?

HelloItsMeFell Tue 04-Nov-14 17:43:07

You could lobby your council to declare the immediate vicinity for X amount of metres around entrances/exits to all schools a no smoking zone. That would be a really good national campaign, actually. I don't see why it can't be done. They manage to justify no parking and lower speed limits for the safety of families accessing schools, even though the road might otherwise be a standard road with standard parking restrictions/speed limits.

milkingmachine1 Tue 04-Nov-14 17:43:11

I don't think you're being daft at all. That would really annoy me. Not only is it unpleasant but it's a bad example and I wouldn't want my kids exposed to that.

I know that there is a no smoking policy in and around hospitals. Is there some sort of policy/law that could apply to schools also?

HonestLie Tue 04-Nov-14 17:45:17

In and around hospital is on the hospital land not a public pathway. Go for it OP but I think you'll be wasting your time.

HelloItsMeFell Tue 04-Nov-14 17:46:22

t's not just about the risk of inhaling, it's about protecting children from seeing people doing something inadvisable and unhealthy, and having them see it as normal/desirable/something adult to aspire to.

It's no different to wanting to control their access to porn or hard drugs and booze, or on screen violence. That's why there are advertising restrictions on cigarettes.

HelloItsMeFell Tue 04-Nov-14 17:48:47

But hinest people would have said that about offices and restaurants once upon a time. It would take some time but eventually it could be achievable - it's not that much of a difficult thing to envisage, after all. It is just the next logical step if you ask me.

hoppingmad Tue 04-Nov-14 17:49:33

Whilst I would argue that smoking is slightly different to watching porn confused I do see your point. Which is why, as a smoker, I would never smoke anywhere near the school. I just don't even consider it.
Not sure how you could prevent it. Our school has a no dog rule and it's just meant that we now have a row of dogs tied to the gate!

WorraLiberty Tue 04-Nov-14 17:49:49

t's not just about the risk of inhaling, it's about protecting children from seeing people doing something inadvisable and unhealthy, and having them see it as normal/desirable/something adult to aspire to.

I think that's a bit silly really.

They will always see smokers when they're out and about...just as they'll always see people drinking alcohol if they walk past a pub, or people tucking into junk food in McDonalds.

The answer is education, not hiding it all away.

HonestLie Tue 04-Nov-14 17:51:26

Children see things every day that are unhealthy. Surely you educate your children and trust them to make their own minds up like we do with millions of other things. If its a public pathway there will be jackshit that can be done.

Essexmum69 Tue 04-Nov-14 18:09:34

We have the no dog rule as well and the same problem of lots of dogs tied to the school gates. As someone who's allergic asthma is triggered by both dogs and cigarette smoke I have great sympathy but no solution I'm afraid. In winter I dash through under a scarf looking like I'm going to the artic, but summer is a nightmare. However our gate is onto a public road so the smokers and dogs have every right to be there.

ohtobeanonymous Tue 04-Nov-14 18:45:35

Hopping - I applaud you for exercising responsibility in your choice of where to smoke, rather than just exercising your right to do so wherever you wish.

Would that every single smoker was so considerate around others! Sadly it seems that there are those who don't give a shit about anyone else but themselves and focus on their right to smoke, whilst thinking nothing of others right NOT to.

actually I would prefer that no one ever smoked a cigarette ever again but realise that won't ever happen

despwifey Wed 05-Nov-14 08:41:54

Thank you for your comments, much appreciated. Why am I brave to raise an issue with Head Teacher and Governors ? They have been very receptive and action has been taken. They are there to listen to and respond to concerns. I think that fear of my child being unpopular is not an issue and I refute the suggestion that turning a blind eye (and lung) to the plethora of smokers due to fear of unpopularity is sensible. Interesting also that some feel nothing can be done. David Cameron and Boris Johnson have both raised concerns over this self-same issue in London so I feel it will be something that can be overcome. As I originally stated, smoking at the school gates is not something I have ever come across before so I refuse to shrug and accept it.

bearwithspecs Wed 05-Nov-14 22:40:55

Thankfully this is something I have never seen outside our school or the two we walk past. I think you are totally right to challenge it as it's in everyone's interest for children not to start smoking. If they think it's normal them they are more likely to take it up. That was me a long time ago at a young age ...

pantone363 Wed 05-Nov-14 22:47:34

Good luck OP.

We have to queue up until the gates open and lots of mums smoke in the queue.

ReallyTired Thu 06-Nov-14 22:24:32

The TAs smoke outside dd's school gates and I have had zero sucess at stopping it.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 06-Nov-14 22:34:53

You can't ban them. However our new HT has taken to popping up outside the school gates every so often to chat with them pleasantly about unrelated matters. Apparently they tend to drop their fags behind them and stamp them out like teenagers. Love it.

minifingers Fri 07-Nov-14 17:58:42

Get some placards made up with this this picture and persuade your children to wear them at school.


PunkrockerGirl Fri 07-Nov-14 18:03:08

They're not doing anything illegal, guess you'll just have to get over it.

TheDogsMissingBollock Sun 09-Nov-14 09:52:14

That would trouble me! Can honestly say been at a good few school gates over the years and has never been an issue. Wd put me off the school, to be honest. To the point of moving.

northernlurker Sun 09-Nov-14 09:58:19

I don't see why the OP has to get over it. Smoking is a dangerous habit and passive smoking is known to be a health risk. Good for her for having the nerve to do something about it. Personally I think the only place people should be able to smoke is their home and not there if they live with an under 16 or one is present.

ohtobeanonymous Sun 09-Nov-14 13:41:25

Well said northern and I think IHeart's Head Teacher is a legend!!!

So grateful this is not an issue at my children's school and has never been at their previous school (come to mention it, any school at which I have ever worked...).

Can't believe OPs school would be averse to wanting to promote healthy habits among children and their families.

OpalQuartz Sun 09-Nov-14 15:11:23

There was a head in croydon who asked parents not to smoke outside the school gates and she was subjected to abuse and threats to do a smoking picket outside the school gate. hmm Here

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