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School CP - April 2005
The Times, London, 28 April 2005
Letters to the Editor
Chaos in the classroom
Has the liberal approach to dealing with unruly schoolchildren failed? Is it time to get tough?
IT IS ironic that the behaviour that so frightens teachers now has largely been created by them over the past 40 years when they argued against corporal punishment, grammar schools, sports competitions and the like, and insisted that to reward success was divisive.
The short-term solution is to institute a strict regime in schools that includes the threat of corporal punishment and rewards success in every field. This regime should include compulsory team games and prizes for the best arts, academic and sports performances. Parents should be made responsible for their children's behaviour and any uninvited intrusion into the classroom should be treated as potential assault. If that means the temporary presence of security guards, so be it.
NO ONE must be blamed for anything, you mustn't offend anyone, mob rule wins, people can do anything they like and children are largely left to fend for themselves. Teaching used to be a highly regarded profession -- not any more and new Labour is still astonished that working-class parents make sacrifices to send their children to private schools. Who can blame them?
WHEN classrooms are shown on TV children are sitting in groups, sideways or with their backs to the teacher. The rot set in when individual, front-facing desks were removed and children were allowed to sit this way. Perhaps if they sat facing the teacher, not speaking when someone else is talking and not playing or reading comics, they might learn some self-discipline.
Copyright (c) Times Newspapers Limited 2005
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