Are schools safe anymore?

LIKE many parents, I pack my kids off to school, secure in the knowledge that they are safe and being cared for.

When I went to school, it was the last few years of teachers being able to discipline as they saw fit. We never got hurt by this and it definitely made us think twice about back chatting.

We had respect for our educators and I believe this instilled strong behavioural codes in my generation that would last a lifetime.

Over the past ten years, we see more and more of American schools on TV that have been subject to gun crime and in the worse cases, students going on a killing rampage. It breaks my heart seeing the parents sobbing at the school gates waiting to hear if their child is alive. I have always assumed this would never happen in England, that we were safer.

I now believe that this is a very naive notion. In 1995 we read about Phillip Lawrence, a headteacher who was stabbed to death trying to defend his pupils from attack. More recently, Ann Maguire from Leeds, a teacher of 40 years, was stabbed to death in her classroom in front of the other students by a pupil.

How can this happen?

Being a teacher never used to be seen as a dangerous profession. But now what the students could do must be a real fear for teachers. Does the answer lie in society today and the lack of discipline given to children?

The government comes up with new guidelines all the time, telling us what we can and can’t do. Perhaps if children had a real sense of fear over right and wrong actions, then we wouldn’t be seeing a rise in situations like this.

I am not condoning corporal punishment but fear of getting in trouble, in this ridiculous politically correct world we are now in, stops many of us from even attempting true discipline.

But when events like this happen, it always falls back to the parents who, for the most part, have their hands tied by a government that lives in a very different world. Sending my children off to school now, I do worry.

School is no longer the safe haven that it always was. The school bullies that were confined to the playground are now active in the classrooms, not only to other children but also the teachers.

Bad behaviour is not necessarily indicative of any medical or mental condition.

When you next think about your child’s behaviour at school or at home please think whether you support your child’s teacher enough and have done your upmost to guarantee that your child clearly knows right from wrong and has enough respect to choose the right path. These events are increasing and are society’s problems.mii

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