A school in England has a lot of people up in arms after allowing students, ages 11 to 16, to smoke cigarettes in the playground.
Elmete Central School in Leeds says that the students have to hand in their cigarettes and other posessions when they enter the building, but at specific times during the day, the students can take a break to go have a cigarette. The new policy was put in place by the headteacher at the school, who is reportedly fairly new.
Deborah Arnott of the anti-smoking initiative ASH says that the school’s new policy is wrong and that it needs to be stopped.
"Allowing children to smoke at school is wrong in so many ways,” said Arnott. “It is illegal to sell tobacco to young people under the age of 18 precisely because tobacco is so hazardous to health and wellbeing. It is totally inappropriate and unethical to allow children to smoke in a school environment. The school wouldn't allow children to drink so why are they allowing them to smoke? We urge the school to urgently review this policy."
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According to reports, children’s services were called to investigate the matter and have ordered the headteacher to put a stop to the allowance of smoking for these young children. They say they are confident the school has stopped it.
Elmete Central School provides education for students with emotional and behavioral issues. The students at Elmete range in age from 11 to 16.