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Booze at School?

(53 Posts)
NotQuiteCockney Sat 18-Jun-05 19:36:39

At DS1's sports day on Friday, after all the events, some of the big kids (11-year-olds) brought around glasses of Pims for everyone.

I was pretty startled by this. In Canada, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't assume every parent drank alcohol (other juices etc were available, but the "default" was Pims). I'm very sure they wouldn't have 11-year-olds handing out booze. In fact, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't serve booze at all, at an afternoon event, with kids present.

I'm not really opposed, just surprised. Is this normal in the UK?

jessicasmummy Sat 18-Jun-05 19:37:47

Never heard of that before.... i would be very shocked!

mysterygirl Sat 18-Jun-05 19:38:28

likewise - i've never heard of this before and would be very shocked/

hercules Sat 18-Jun-05 19:41:42

Ds's school always serve alcohol at school stuff. For mufty day the kids have to bring in a bottle of wine to put on the wine tombola stall at fetes.
I think it encourages a healthy attitude to alcohol and noone gets drunk.

mysterygirl Sat 18-Jun-05 19:42:47

oh yes I think a lot of schools serve alchohol at events and we too have to "bring a bottle" for the tombola BUT we dont get the kids to serve it - that might be illegal!

edam Sat 18-Jun-05 19:48:37

mmm Pimms, what a lovely idea! I get the impression that the UK is a lot less puritanical about these things than Canada or the US. Agree with Hercules, it's all about teaching healthy attitude to alcohol and not making it exciting forbidden fruit.

jasper Sat 18-Jun-05 19:50:24

great idea.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 18-Jun-05 20:28:35

Certainly nobody was getting drunk. Nobody seemed surprised, either.

I'd agree that this would help foster a healthy attitude to alcohol ... only I know that the puritanical attitude we have back home is paired with a much lower level of general drunkenness. People understand the idea of alcholism much better in Canada and the US, and ok, they go too far sometimes, but I'd rather live in a country that's slightly twitchy about addiction than one which turns into a madhouse every night at 11pm. (The booze thing is probably my only significant problem with the UK.)

Slightly daft question: what is "Pimms"? I've seen it sold in bottles, but it's served with fruit in it. Is it as alcoholic as beer? Wine? What?

paolosgirl Sat 18-Jun-05 20:30:08

Think it's good idea, actually - makes alcohol the norm, and not the forbidden fruit. I don't think a glass of Pimms is going to have everyone falling over drunk, is it?! I would be shocked it they were handing out a can of Special Brew to everyone, though

edam Sat 18-Jun-05 20:51:27

Pimms is something you mix - don't quite know what the technical term is as it isn't a liqueur, I think. But you get it in a big bottle and then dilute it, with whatever takes your fancy but often lemonade and add veg/fruit to taste and it is GORGEOUS. But only in summer.

mumeeee Sat 18-Jun-05 21:18:59

My childrens high school have to get a special lisense to serve wine at any school event. This was also the case at the primary school they attended. They did have bottles of wine etc in raffles, but only adults were allowed to collect these.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 18-Jun-05 21:24:50

Hmm, I should ask if our school has some sort of special permit. It was only the next day when I realised it was particularly weird to have 11-year-olds serving the stuff.

I don't disapprove exactly, I'm just weirded out. Well, I mind the assumption that all adults drink, but I'm probably the only non-Muslim person in the country who feels that way. The prizes for winning the races were bottles of wine, woohoo! (I won. I also don't really drink.)

juicychops Sat 18-Jun-05 22:04:20

i wouldn't encourage it but then i do agree with the comment from hercules

Hulababy Sat 18-Jun-05 22:28:33

Not heard of the serving Pimms idea - personally think it sounds quite lovely, although not so sure on children serving it I have to say. But it is certainyly no different to serving mulled wine at Christmas surely?

Nightynight Sat 18-Jun-05 22:55:13

Pimms is based on gin or vodka, and beware, because it can be MUCH stronger than it looks.

My school didn't serve alcohol. I think I would have found it quite surprising too.

edam Sat 18-Jun-05 23:02:56

oh and you are dead right about booze culture over here. God knows how it happened, didn't use to be like this - think deregulation of pub industry in early 90s had some impact?

NotQuiteCockney Sun 19-Jun-05 07:34:37

I think mulled wine is pretty weak. But I'd also find serving that weird.

It's not as bad, at least to me, if it's an evening event. That's not logical, I know - living in this country makes explicit all my biases about booze.

I don't know how much the 90s had to do with it - I do thing the whole AA and awareness of alcohol thing started in the US, came to Canada, but hasn't really properly jumped across the ocean. (And yes, some people have become way too jumpy about alcoholism.)

mandyc66 Sun 19-Jun-05 07:39:25

never heard of the pimms thing at school either. maybe they thought it added a sophisticated touch?!!!

NotQuiteCockney Sun 19-Jun-05 07:42:35

Oh, I meant to add, I think it might be because this is an independant school? And hence into tradition, a bit more? (It's not that old, though, I think it's from the 19th century sometime.)

But I'm relieved to see that some Brits share my surprise.

tigermoth Sun 19-Jun-05 07:56:10

lol @japser - so you're still around!

tigermoth Sun 19-Jun-05 08:00:14

I think it's OK (and rather nice) have a bit of light booze at school events, as long as there are lots of non alcoholic alternatives. I hope the Pimms was very diluted, though.

Lots if parents drive to and from school events, lots will be driving home with their children, so I think strong alcoholic drinks are not appropriate at school.

edam Sun 19-Jun-05 08:42:03

AA - Alcoholics Anonymous? We do have it here!
Tbh when I was a student I used to go out and get horribly drunk - living away from home with loads of other late teenagers and all that. But seems to be much more prevalent in public now.

Caligula Sun 19-Jun-05 08:53:13

Private schools are much more into this sort of thing.

I heard something on the radio the other day about sixth form common rooms going to be affected by the new licensing laws, because it becomes illegal to supply booze to an under 18 year old or something. Apparantly lots of boarding schools have common rooms where the kids (16+) are allowed to have up to 2 alcholic drinks on a Saturday evening - 1 half pint of beer is 1 drink and 1 small glass of wine. The ethos is that they are drinking in a controlled environment under adult supervision so that they learn to do it in a civilised manner instead of going down the local pub and slamming tons of booze down their neck then vomiting in the street. Until this programme I'd never heard of this arrangement.

NotQuiteCockney Sun 19-Jun-05 09:34:12

edam, I know that AA exists here, but attitudes towards alcoholism here are really old-fashioned, to my ear at least. One of our English friends believes (or used to believe?) that alcoholics were people living in gutters peeing on themselves. By definition, if someone was living a normal life, they weren't alcoholic, in his view.

Teenagers back home drink too much, too. Drunkenness in teenagers bothers me less than drunkenness in adults, frankly.

Caligula, that sounds quite sensible to me - allowing that, not banning it. The general attitude, particularly in the US, that any booze at all before 18 (or 21!) is completely wrong, seems bonkers to me. What happens at that magic birthday?

edam Sun 19-Jun-05 09:38:48

But then again US and Canada have quite extreme attitudes to booze - I've seen news stories about waiters refusing to serve or even abusing pregnant women who order a glass of wine. There is absolutely NO evidence that the occasional glass of wine harms a baby - all the evidence is based on fetal alcohol syndrome which affects the babies of heavy drinkers. Although some docs are now pressing for extreme messages over here. But it's not based on scientific evidence, more on public health grounds that if you say blanket no alcohol that's easier for people to understand and might frighten heavy drinkers into stopping.

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