I am a certified Pilates Instructor and I have not heard that either. You must teach proper technique, I do not use my neck nor do I instruct it that way.
Pilates takes a lot of talking!!! it is probably the most talked class I have ever taught.
I start from a sitting position knees bent and feet flat on floor. From there, I grasp the back of my thighs and round my back, inhaling and slowly lowering myself to the floor, vertebra by vertebra til I get to my shoulders and head to mat.
To come up, bent knees are modification, I reach above my head bringing arms forward so I can see my hands. Then reaching for my thighs, if I need to, slowly coming up using shoulders, abdominals and then coming up straightening my back and exhaling. Students who have done this a lot, can stretch out, toes pointing and rolling up and down, concentrating on the core muscles. A trick or techniques, is to pretend you are bolting your legs together. use the strength of the legs pushing against each other to bring you up, pointing the toes helps too.
I have never had anyone complain of neck injuries.
I will say this, many years ago, in the fitness field, this exercise was put on the “do not do list” along with the plow and many others. With the proper instructor, these are done in pilates, yoga and more as these certified instructors know the proper techiques and know how to do the modifications to avoid injuries.
i hope this helps!!! I have been teaching both yoga and pilates for 10 years and have students from teenagers to 75 years old in the same class.