Forfar Academy ban energy drinks

Pic Greg Macvean, 05/04/2012, Picture to go with story on teens drinking energy drinks like Monster and Rockstar of breakfast instead of proper food.  Picture posed by models
Pic Greg Macvean, 05/04/2012, Picture to go with story on teens drinking energy drinks like Monster and Rockstar of breakfast instead of proper food. Picture posed by models

Forfar Academy’s headteacher has banned high-energy drinks blaming them for classroom violence and youngsters falling asleep in class.

Melvyn Lynch has sent a letter to all parents of the 1,000 pupils at Forfar Academy saying any youngster found with drinks such as Rock Star and Monster will have them confiscated.

He said he was concerned to learn some pupils were downing cans of the caffeine drinks for breakfast.

He said: “There is certainly a group for whom this is their first drink of choice, and for some a can of high-energy drink is their breakfast.”

He blames the sugar-laden drinks as a contributory factor in bad behaviour which has resulted in some youngsters being excluded from the Tayside school.

Mr Lynch said he hoped the move would encourage parents to have a conversation about high caffeine products.

In his letter to parents, the rector warned of health risks. He claimed consumption can lead to insomnia, anxiety issues, headaches, nausea, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, type two diabetes and bed-wetting.

The letter stated: “Rather than helping pupils stay alert they can result in young people falling asleep during the day due to problems with sleep at night time.

“It is our opinion the drinks are a danger to the health of our young people and they contain no nutritional benefits. In additional to these health risks, we are also extremely concerned about the effect these drinks are having on the behaviour of our young people.

“They can cause conflict with staff when pupils are advised they should not be consuming these drinks in classes.

“Moreover, we have also had occasions where pupils who have consumed energy drinks have been involved in more serious incidents that have led to exclusion. Whilst energy drinks are not solely to blame, we believe they are a contributory factor.”

An Angus Council spokesman confirmed energy drinks are not sold in the county’s schools. He said: “We support moves that provide our young people with the relevant information about what they are consuming.”

Graeme Dey, Angus South MSP, said having a conversation about the issue is need.

He commented: “It’s not about taking a heavy handed approach, it’s about having a sensible conversation around these drinks and their impacts involving youngsters, parents, schools, councils and retailers.

“We need to get a handle on the scale of the problem first and foremost and then find ways to address it, including increasing awareness of impacts.”