Friday, October 21, 2005

Restraining pupils

From the Guardian:
"Teachers will be given the clear legal right to discipline unruly pupils and restrain them through the use of "reasonable force", ministers announced today."
Well that's nice of them. I think the law's different up here and we already have this. On one occasion I had to intervene in a racist assault. Got the perpetrator in a head-lock and dragged him up to the school office. I don't think he thought this was 'reasonable' but fortunately for me, no-one else agreed with him. Or perhaps if it were just an ordinary assault, I would have got my ass sued.

On the way to the office, I was sorely tempted to open the various swing doors with his head. I do accept that would have been a tad unreasonable.

I shouldn't joke because it was actually a fairly horrible experience and I really didn't appreciate being put in the position in the first place. A clarification of the law would be enormously welcome because at the moment a lot of kids are like this one, who was under the impression that I wasn't allowed to physically intervene in any way. As if I'm going to watch someone getting their head kicked in while I stand around pathetically and say, "Now come along - settle down".

This proposal is part of a wider package designed to tackle the general problem of indiscipline in schools. About time, but this next bit from the article shows there's good reason to be skeptical:
"The taskforce rejects a code of rules for pupils, but recommends a national charter of rights and responsibilities for youngsters, parents and teachers, to be included in home-school agreements."
Can anyone get their head around the first nine words of this? I certainly can't...

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