Teachers Losing Control
The Constant Battle
Maybe we should replace our human teachers with robots, as it would seem that this is now how they are expected to function.
The Daily Mail reported on the 18th of May the case of Lynda May a 54-year-old teacher from Neath who slammed a Pritt Stick down onto the hand of one of her pupils causing his thumb to bleed.
I have to say, as much as I care for the safety of children in school I feel that teachers are fighting a losing battle in trying to take control of their classes, given that so much of their powers have been taken away.
Corporal punishment in schools was abolished in the UK in 1988 and with this loss of power the teachers also had to face another losing battle, the rising culture for parents to back up their children no matter what. Not to mention the many laws in place that prevent teachers even from physically restraining their students and it makes me wonder, how are they supposed to handle the wild children of today?
People with children may be inclined to think that if they are capable of controlling their own children without losing their temper then why shouldn’t a teacher be capable of the same, well I would firstly like to know which parent out there has 30 or so children to take care of? With classes so big, it can no doubt be tough on the teachers who on top of all their paperwork, class preparations, continual meetings, and target achievement pressures and so on, they have to deal with unruly kids whose parents would rather blame the teacher than discipline their child.
Compare our teacher to pupil ratio of 1:30 with the normal ratio of police to protesters being around 1:10. I realise that grown men and women protesters are harder to handle than children are but teachers do not have the same freedom to retaliate in ANY way and they don’t have full rights to restrain people as police do. If a child wants to hit their teacher, there isn’t much the teacher can do about it.
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The boy said, “I was trying to move my hand out of the way. She kept going for my fingers and my thumb”. The boy was known to have behavioral difficulties, as do many children it would seem these days. The boy had been banging his hands down on the table and had hit Mrs May’s hand just prior to the incident. However, under cross-examination the boy admitted that his intentions were to deliberately wind up Mrs May to provoke a reaction so that she would be sacked.
It is without a doubt that teachers receive verbal abuse, probably daily, but there are also many cases of teachers being physically abused and even raped by their pupils. Violence is never a good thing, but at least give the teachers some power to restrain an unruly child, to physically remove them from class if they refuse and to hand out detentions without parents complaining.
The incident with Lynda May follows that of Peter Harvey another teacher pushed to the brink of madness by his students. Peter Harvey smashed a 14-year-old student over the head twice with a dumbbell but he was found not guilty of attempted murder due to not being of sound mind at the time of the attack not to mention that the kids had set out to film him being wound up from the start.
Personally, I would prefer the teachers of my children to have the power that they need to keep their classes under control than have one of them lash out due to built up frustrations. The release of Peter Harvey was seen as a small victory for teachers but Lynda May’s trial continues and who knows if she will be as lucky.
People need to realise that teachers are as much human as the rest of us and all relationships between humans require an element of give and take. For our kids’ sake, give the teachers a break.
Mrs May was released! Another victory for the teachers.
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