School allows stressed-out students to nip outside for a vape or smoke

A school allows stressed-out students to take five and puff on their vapes or even cigarettes to combat disruptive behaviour.

Arethusa College in Queensland, Australia allows students of all ages to head off for a smoke break should they need it. More than 50 students are reportedly on a list permitting them to puff on their vape or tab in a designated area.

It is not the first school in Australia to allow smoking either, with a school in Brisbane allowing students to kill time in a smokers patch a few years prior. Arethusa College's Deception Bay campus implemented the rule years ago, despite staff concerns.

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The college seeks permission from parents, but one parent claimed their kid was allowed to smoke even after they informed the college they wouldn't allow it.

Lisa Coles, the executive principal at Arethusa College, said the plan is "open and transparent" with up-to-date health authority rulings.

She told The Courier Mail: "We have been open and transparent with public health authorities. We have seen the majority of young people who come to us with a nicotine dependency leave our College without one."

Principal Coles confirmed the smoking and vaping rules were implemented without judgement of pupils, who were integrating with a "rigorous education program". Arethusa College insists it has "never been found in breach of our legislative duties".

The school is not supplying vapes or cigarettes to any students. One parent, speaking to the Daily Mail, said: "They (the college) said they (students) are going to do it anyway, so they would rather they do it in a designated area where they are safe and supervised."

A former staff member said the approach was that "if they (particular students) are triggered, let them go and have a smoke". Another ex-staff member described the policy as counter productive.

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