The mother of a troubled teen has hit out at his Hemel Hempstead school for allowing him to smoke on the premises.
Caitlin Sherringham says the school’s policy – she claims there is a special smoking hut for students at Roman Fields in Box Lane – is undermining her efforts to keep her son on the straight and narrow.
She said: “I am one really cross parent. I can’t get my head round that they are allowing underage children to smoke on site.
“The argument they have is all the children are smokers and they don’t want them to go off-site. But if they can’t encourage them to stop smoking and keep them in school then clearly their programme has failed before it’s started.”
Caitlin, from Adeyfield in Hemel Hempstead, says her son Kye Dell, 14, has had ADHD since he was seven.
He has been going to Roman Fields, for children with behavioural and emotional difficulties, for a year. Caitlin admits Kye has been in trouble with the police but she tries to set clear boundaries.
She said: “Having a child that has special needs, that does have the potential to go off the rails, to be a criminal and end up in prison, and you are a parent doing your best to prevent this and everyone around you is making it worse, how are you supposed to raise a child to be the best they can?”
A spokesman for Roman Fields said: “Some young people come to the unit as smokers and would not attend if there were an outright smoking ban.
“The first priority is to reintroduce these vulnerable young people into the education system after sometimes lengthy periods out of school.
“Roman Fields actively works with those young people who smoke to help them adopt healthy lifestyles and to stop smoking.”