Twice in recent months, it’s become headline news when a teacher has been sacked for doing what they felt was right. The first incident was reported on 4th May 2011 when a deputy head teacher was dismissed for carrying a child into school from the school playground when he refused to budge; even though leaving him there would have put him in danger.
The second incident was highlighted on the 24th May 2011 when it was alleged that a teacher dug his fingernails into a pupil’s wrist whilst attempting to retrieve a piece of coursework belonging to another student. While the teacher concerned admitted to touching the child’s wrist “momentarily” as he took the scrunched up coursework, he denies digging his fingernails in. He told a tribunal that this student also threatened to stab his eye out. It was also established by experts that the marks left on his wrist, could also have been self-inflected.
These two events, whilst recent, are not uncommon. Every day around the UK, children are becoming more and more unmanageable and teachers are being given less authority to discipline them.
Are we now a nation of parents who do not believe our children can do any wrong? Most children know they are simply untouchable. Some have even been known to make up stories in an effort to have teachers sacked. This is leading to a sense of fear amongst teachers, with lives simply being ruined by child vendettas. Do we really believe that our young shouldn’t be disciplined at school?
While we recognise the need for strict rules surrounding discipline, has society taken this lack of it too far?
Discipline in general appears to have become a major problem in our society in recent years, with crime and anti-social behaviour levels rising, and maybe we should ask ourselves why? Corporal punishment in schools was banned in the state system in 1986 and then outlawed in the UK entirely in 1998. Were those children who were raised before this ban better behaved? Were they more respectful? Did they become better citizens? Is a little bit of fear healthy for a child?