There has been an increase in children vaping and swearing at teachers since the start of the Covid pandemic, leading to concerns from staff about the impact on their well-being. In response, schools in Carmarthenshire have appointed inclusion officers to work with pupils and parents to improve behaviour.
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Pupils interviewed by BBC Wales said they had seen children as young as 11 vaping in school and that “shocking” language was being used towards staff.
One teacher said the situation put significant strain on those working in schools and called for more support from parents and carers.
It is hoped that pupils’ behaviour can be improved by working together and everyone can feel safer and more supported in school.
Vaping and swearing are not only disruptive behaviours, but they can also be harmful to pupils’ health.
Based on precedent…
It is expected that the number of children vaping and swearing at teachers will continue to increase unless action is taken to address the problem.
In Year 13 at the same school, Lucas said behavioural problems had increased, saying he had been appalled by the abuse directed at his teachers.
“We now have around five students vaping on the bus,” he said.
“And I’ve heard shouting when I walk past the class; there have been students swearing at teachers. I’ve heard vulgar language. I’m just absolutely in shock.”
Now Molly and Lucas, along with other pupils, have contributed to a new joint campaign video with all secondary schools and the council to try to improve behaviour.
The inclusion officers will be working to help pupils understand the risks and make better choices about their behaviour. It is hoped that pupils’ behaviour can be improved by working together and everyone can feel safer and more supported in school.
Schools play an important role in promoting positive behaviour, and the appointment of inclusion officers is a step in the right direction. However, it is also important for parents and carers to support their children in making good choices about their behaviour.
If you are concerned about your child’s behaviour, please speak to their school or contact the Carmarthenshire Inclusion Service at 0800 085 6086.
How would you deal with a child vaping or swearing in school?