May I post a slightly sideways comment? I've been following this thread here, and a matching one on TES Online. The discussion here has in the main been much more professional and concerned much more with the effects on the people involved. I am as impressed by the professionalism here as I am disappointed with some of the posts on TES.
My views: my heart goes out to the victim's family, to her friends and colleagues, to the staff who will be picking things up as I write, and also to the pupils who will have been witnesses to the attack. Nothing much else matters at all. Our thoughts are with them as they try to rebuild and come to terms with it all.
It has to be said though that this tragic event has made me think a lot about some of the recent controversies in the news and alarmist rantings about the 'nanny state' and how bad CCTV in classrooms is I can't help but think that with the way things are going with the challenges teachers face in managing student behaviour and the reports of physical assault on teachers rising we are approaching a breaking point and we are going to have to rethink the entire classroom format because before long it won't be safe for pupils OR teachers.
When you look at pupil behaviour in places like China where discipline is strict and in countries where having an education is a privilege, pupils WANT to be at school, work hard and pay attention. This is because their society and communities VALUE education. Education is not a valued thing in this country. Leaving the 'benefit scroungers' out of it for the moment, we have many pupils who work hard and get a degree only to end up unemployed or not working in their chosen sector. We hear from companies who interview these students and their degree is barely worth the paper it's written on because it has no practical use or experience. Perhaps we should re-examine the whole role of education in this country. Perhaps we should educate the 'basics' in primary and 'middle' school then offer more varied education pathways that are more focussed on the practical and vocational. Instead of doing A-levels in 'Chemistry' for example, perhaps we should educate in Science to an entry level then involve industry partners like Glaxo Smithkline in a more vocational pathway where the 'classroom learning' is combined with industry placement and shadowing so the pupil comes out at the end of X years with vocational Biochemistry qualifications and experience. So when they go off to university to study Pharmacology they a) know what the industry is actually like and b) have some practical 'lab time' experience so when they come out at the end they have real marketable skills to take to employers.
Very very few people could say yes to that question. We undergo some tremendous changes to our inner and outer selves during puberty and moving into our 20s. By 25+ someone can be a totally different person to when they were a teenager. I say 'can' because some don't change...
A jail sentence will still screw up the student's life, and it should. But if they get released aged 35 after a 20 year sentence I wouldn't expect the same person as they were at 16 to emerge from the prison gates.
An obviously severely troubled/damaged child kills somebody and people start crying out that society is going down the plughole, that children have no respect, or even fear?!
Who wants children to fear the staff? That's ridiculous. I sit here as a teacher shouts loudly enough to be heard by me in the next room. I know that when I was at school that turned me off to showing them the automatic 'respect' that was expected.
This is a very sad, very isolated, case and shouldn't be used to draw any conclusions from. Stop trying to solve problems that you're convinced exist because you've only used a case study of one student, one teacher. The world isn't black and white.
Don't kid yourself, @gwendes, teachers don't just shout for no reason. When you hear a teacher shouting, it's because the children aren't listening to his/her normal 'speaking voice' and are likely causing enough noise that they have to raise their voice above it. It's not like they walk into the room, the class are sitting nicely at their desks, pen, pencil, ruler and workbook ready and the teacher just decides "RIGHT! CLASS! TODAY WE'RE GOING TO DISCUSS CONVECTION CURRENTS!"
Last edited by Garacesh; 29th April 2014 at 02:50 PM.
Just because you haven't been given love and affection or that your family has little to no money doesn't mean you need to be naughty and disrespectful to people, everyone in this country gets free education and if you work hard and set yourself a goal you can do anything you want and get as far as the next person. You have the same opportunities.
I'm sorry if I have offended some people but it does anger me, I watched that program "Teen Killer" on iPlayer and all you heard was sob story this or sob story that "My farther wasn't around so I killed him", as if they where trying to make the person watching feel sorry for the kid that murdered his own family it makes me sick and the media doesn't help with cases like these!
Now this is assuming the child acted up because of these types of reasons although it could have been a lot more serious and different such as child abuse on the teachers end etc etc.... which is a whole new kettle of fish.
If you've not worked with them yet, you're very lucky. I just don't believe any relationship based on being scared is worth it.
Violent crime is down year-on-year - this is a very sad and very isolated case.
We don't have the full facts. We don't know why he did what he did. We only have speculation.
@Earthling asked why he should be allowed to lead a normal life? I ask - is there some extenuating circumstances we don't know about and can he be rehabilitated? If so, then why shouldn't he be allowed a normal life?
abillybob (29th April 2014)
Last edited by gwendes; 29th April 2014 at 02:55 PM. Reason: spelling error
I don't believe @abillybob meant it in the 'child actively fears the member of staff' way, either. I think you're misconstruing things.
Some adults, like children, cannot control themselves, yes. And they ought to be ejected from their employment if it causes reasonable concern (tearing up a child's work for no reason constitutes bullying in my book). People should required to pay for their consequences. Such as this kid serving time for murder.
Violent crime is always down year-on-year. Either we arrest more people (less criminals out there on the streets, crime falls) or we arrest less people (people aren't being as violent this year, crime falls)
Edit: That being said, I think you're also being a little too harsh @abillybob. Childhood trauma can scar a child beyond repair, often blurring the lines between right and wrong. Your mother managed to pull through her difficult childhood, and kudos to her, it sounds like it took significant effort and that achievement shouldn't be overlooked. That being said, some people don't have the capability to do that.
It's just as possible that the teacher was molesting this child and they'd simply had enough as it is the child was undiagnosed with schizophrenia and a violent personality disorder, or anything else inbetween. Without the facts, we can't really know for sure.
Last edited by Garacesh; 29th April 2014 at 02:58 PM.
If this was due to a 'broken home' we'd see more than one case a day. Fact.
Also why are you attacking me because I stated theirs no fear in children nowadays. You'd be mistaken if you think I think the perfect world is all children shaking in their boots when a member of staff walks up to them! I am not saying this I'm merely stating the fact that children now know you can touch them, know you can't inflict a simple punishment like a detention as their parents will stick up for them so they can do what they like. As a result they are not scared of getting into trouble as there is no longer a way to discipline the children. This also makes the case that staff are more worried to confront children anymore as they think it will lead to them loosing their job or getting themselves into trouble so staff ignore the issues!
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