Sunday, 18 February 2007

Violence In schools

From the Moaning Drama Teacher

On Friday night fifty teachers hit the Globe pub in Hackney. To our astonishment about twenty of our kids were loitering outside, standing by the windows staring at us. They just would not go home. Maybe home isn’t where the heart is for these kids. Maybe school is about the only decent and normal thing in their lives.

Anyway, after two glasses of white wine I found the school governor and questioned him about the role of the senior management team. There are a lot of really great things about my school: It is incredibly well organised and the resources and facilities are excellent. However, what I have great difficulty with is the lack of support for the teachers, from the senior management team. We are subjected to a great deal of abuse and at times extremely challenging and difficult behaviour.

A few weeks ago now the police informed the school that there had been a number of significant complaints from the local community, about the way our kids are behaving, on their way home, and if it continues the kids will be arrested. So, in the community they can get arrested but in school their unacceptable behaviour is tolerated.

There was a vicious fight on Thursday with a group of about six year 10 and year 11 boys, and these kids are about six feet tall as they are wide. One female teacher was punched in the chest another was pushed to the ground. Surely, this is a police matter. At the end of the day we are educators, not mental health professionals or police officers. What the teachers have to deal with is above and beyond their role as teachers. There needs to be a stronger police presence in the school and kids need to be informed that violence is unacceptable.

Education is such a powerful mechanism which has the ability to dramatically change an individual’s quality of life, yet these kids just don’t get it. They have absolutely no interest in academic attainment. Very few of them are brave enough to break the stereotype of a Hackney youth.

What really grates me is that it is very difficult to permanently exclude a child, even if they have been violent, and when they do eventually get excluded they are sent to the next school within the local authority. We need to take a harder line on violence in schools and parents need to be informed that if your son/daughter is violent they will no longer be educated in a mainstream school.

Do ya get me blud?

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