Middle-class parents are smoking cannabis with their children because they prefer them to experiment at home, says top private school headmistress
- Helen Pike said that parents will happily offer their children a joint at homes
- Head of the Magdalen College School said parents see ‘children as friends’
- She added that middle-class parents see it as ‘a safer option’ to let their children drink and smoke at home rather than in ‘a bus shelter’ or by ‘using a fake ID’
Helen Pike, who runs the the £19,000-a-year Magdalen College School in Oxford said that parents will happily offer their children ‘a drink or few’ at home and will ‘also offer them a joint’
Middle class parents are smoking cannabis with their children so they are able to ‘experiment on their watch’ a top private school head has warned.
Helen Pike, who runs the the £19,000-a-year Magdalen College School in Oxford said that parents will happily offer their children ‘a drink or few’ at home and will ‘also offer them a joint’.
‘I don’t think feel you should be experimenting with drugs – but not all parents feel the same as you do, and some parents might be OK with it.
‘It is something that other parents might want to be aware of. They might want to take to their children about it and find out what they are doing at their friends houses’ she told the Sunday Telegraph.
She added that some parents will host house parties for teenagers as they see their children ‘as friends’.
Ms Pike, who became the first female head of the 540-year old independent day school in 2015 after previously running South Hampstead High School said it was more common in north London.
She continued that while she was at school there was a culture of going to clubs, but that parents are more willing to accommodate the ‘necessary evil’ of underage drinkers to avoid the alternatives of ‘fake IDs and drinking in bus shelters’.
‘We got up to all sorts of things, but we didn’t expect our parents to host and provide the refreshments’ she continued, adding ‘if teenagers are going to experiment, perhaps its better they do it on your watch’.
The school leader, who has three children aged 25, 23, and 21, recommended that parents become ‘the bartender’ to make sure alcohol is consumed ‘in moderation’ at teenage house parties.
‘I don’t think feel you should be experimenting with drugs – but not all parents feel the same as you do, and some parents might be OK with it. She added that some parents will host house parties for teenagers as they see their children ‘as friends’ (stock image)
Ms Pike has previously warned of drug-taking in schools, and sent letters to parents warning of the dangers of Modafinil, a ‘smart drug’ taken to improve alertness during exams.
She has also spoken of the private tutoring market ‘fuelling anxiety’ in students.
‘Tutoring is a market which feeds on parental anxiety’ she said in March.
‘So now parents will become more anxious that other parents are being tutored to be better parents than they are.
‘All schools I know do excellent talks for parents and are there to support them in partnership in doing what is best for their children.’
WHAT IS CANNABIS AND WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS?
Cannabis is an illegal Class B drug in the UK, meaning possession could result in a five year prison sentence and those who supply the drug face up to 14 years in jail.
However, the drug is widely used for recreational purposes and can make users feel relaxed and happy.
But smoking it can also lead to feelings of panic, anxiety or paranoia.
Scientific studies have shown the drug can alleviate depression, anxiety and stress, but heavy use may worsen depression in the long term by reducing the brain’s ability to let go of bad memories.
It can also contribute to mental health problems among people who already have them, or increase users’ risk of psychosis or schizophrenia, according to research.
Marijuana can be prescribed for medical uses in more than half of US states, where it is used to combat anxiety, aggression and sleeping problems. Researchers are also looking into whether it could help people with autism,eczema or psoriasis.
Cannabis oil containing the psychoactive chemical THC, which is illegal in the UK, is claimed to have cancer-fighting properties, and one 52 year-old woman from Coventry says she recovered from terminal bowel and stomach cancer by taking the drug.
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