Legal high teens back in class

St Mary's Catholic College.
St Mary's Catholic College.
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Three teenagers who were taken to hospital after taking a legal high in school have returned to class.

An investigation is ongoing at St Mary’s Catholic College, Blackpool, after the incident on Wednesday which saw Year 10 and 11 pupils smoke Pandora’s Box, a synthetic cannabinoid similar to cannabis.

The legal high had been taken into the St Walburga’s Road school by a pupil, who The Gazette understands had earlier boasted of it on social networking site Facebook.

Public health bosses have today issued a stark warning about the dangers of legal highs.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool Council’s director of public health, said: “There is limited research into legal highs and their effects.

“Although the drug is branded as legal, it does not mean the drug is safe. They may contain similar health risks to illegal drugs.”

St Mary’s Headteacher Stephen Tierney said: “I’m confident the pupils knew what they were doing was potentially wrong and potentially dangerous but sometimes knowing something does not affect actions.”

Teachers at the Blackpool school, considered good with outstanding aspects by Ofsted inspectors, have said they will deal with all issues related to the incident.

One pupil has already been disciplined by the head-teacher and two more are being investigated over their involvement.

The three children who were hospitalised are also said to be helping teachers with their inquiries.

Mr Tierney added: “While this is clearly a very small number of students and an isolated incident, I will be looking at a number of issues that may be of potential interest to a number of parents.

“These concerns relate to social media use and availability of legal but potentially harmful substances to young people.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “There is no age restriction on the sale of legal highs; however, we are looking at the issue jointly with Trading Standards.

“Further to this we will be speaking with pupils at local schools to try and educate them about the dangers of taking these substances and the harm they can cause.”

Any young person with concerns about drugs can contact The Hub on (01253) 476010.