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Teachers Losing Control

Updated on March 20, 2011

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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    • FranyaBlue profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Windsor, England


      Thanks for reading my article.

      I can't really give you an answer, I have no idea which country you are in and the laws are different for different countries.

      Also, you have to look at the individual situations.

      In the UK the PM is supposed to be handing back powers to the teachers so that restraint isn't viewed as abuse. There has been this culture of 'no physical contact' between teachers and students for a while now but people are fed up with it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I'm a student and i want to know if the teacher tries to restrain me can i take that as a threat and defend my self

    • FranyaBlue profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Windsor, England


      I am sorry for your bad experience at school, what you went through was not discipline it was abuse. I feel that you got the wrong end of the stick with my article, if you read through it again you may notice that the emphasis was on restraint, I at no point said that children should be beat up or locked up. In the UK, if a kid wants to lay into their teacher or just get up and walk out of school, the teacher can't do a thing about it. Would you feel safe knowing that your kid could just walk out of class without your knowledge? And what about when another kid is beating up your kid and the teacher just watches cos they can't intervene without fear out of being accused of something. Agreeing that teachers need more powers to restain kids isn't the same as agreeing with child abuse there is a difference.


    • Stanley_19802 profile image


      8 years ago


      So let me get this straight, you believe all kids who "act up" should be spanked with a paddle and crap? First of all, all this "spanking in school" stuff just teaches give that if someone doesn't do what you say, you have the right to hit them till they do what you want. Yes, there are kids out there who do things just for attention. I would ask, what is going on at home that is making this kid willing to tick off a teacher for attention? Then why does a teacher need to touch a student at all. If a kid acts up, send him to the principles office and have their parents come and get them. If the child won't leave the classroom, call the police department to remove the child. That's their job.

      As for staff touching students, let me share with you my first day at this one school in Glendale "Tobinworld". The day before I was excited about going to a new school. So I got new school supplies and was ready for a fresh start with a new school. I wasn't in class 10 minutes before this buff teachers aide accused me of taking his pen. I tried to explain to the guy that I didn't steal it, that I got it the day before at the dollar store.

      He again told me I stole it and for me to hand it over. I told him he was mistaken and went back to my school work. The same guy again tried to grab the pen. When again he didn’t get it, he lunged at me tipping me backward in my desk breaking a table behind me in half, and smashed a small fan that was one the table to pieces. Then pen flew from my hand as I tried to grab something to break my fall.

      Once on the floor, the aide pulled me from my desk, laid me on my stomach. By this time, the aide from the room next door came over assuming I was “going off”. The both of them each took one arm, one leg and spread out all my limbs as if I was flying. Then the aide that lunged at me saw the pen laying against the wall. He picks it up and says “now who has the pen?”. Then he takes he elbow and places it on the back of my right should blade and digs it in till I am screaming in pain.

      After about 15 minutes of that he got tired. He and the other aid shifted their weight to my torso and back. This made it hard to breath with all the weight on me. I couldn’t get anything but a shallow breath and even that was hard. I began to panic from not being able to breath and tried to struggle and shift their weight. The more I panicked and struggled to get a breath, the more weight they would add to my back causing me to have a harder time breathing. I was getting light headed, dizzy and my vision was becoming foggy. I honestly felt I was about to die. Just as I was about to give up and let go……die….the second aide that came in shifted his weight off of me.

      I took a huge deep breath. I couldn’t believe I almost died…..over a darn ink pen. So after a total of 30 minutes on the floor, and almost dying I was escorted by the staff member who wanted the pen to rejoin the class outside. Just as we got outside he stopped me, put his mouth to my ear and said “If you try ANYTHING, I will drop your ass on the pavement. I don’t care”. That was my first day and almost last day there.

      I spent a year there with him calling me names to get me upset or angry so I would try to step outside the room to cool off which at that time he would claim I was “going off” for no reason and slam me to the floor. He withheld my lunch. He let another student place a noose around my neck while I was on the classroom computer while he stood at the door to watch for anyone.

      I had to fight the kid off of me to get the noose off my neck, then had to fight the kid off of me while the aide just watched it all happen. I tried to report it but the school believed the aid over me. So none of it was stopped. That is until I tried to take my life and ended up in the hospital for a few days.

      So I don’t want to hear that teachers have it hard. That they should be allowed to “restrain” and discipline kids. Because those at some schools that are allowed, I almost lost my life over a damn pen.

      At the school before that (Dubnoff Center in Burbank California), if you did anything you spent 1-4 hours locked in a closet sized “time out room”. If you were in there during lunch, you missed it. If you had to pee, you either held it, peed on the floor (as many kids did) or you wet your pants (which also many kids did).

      Teachers have it hard? I bet not too many feared for their life? Or had an anxiety attack every day before school. I dropped out of school for my own protection FROM THE SCHOOL. My education wasn’t worth dying to get. And everything I know today, was self taught through the internet and those cheap 2 dollar workbooks they sell in Walgreens to teach kids math and such. So giving aids and teachers the right to touch me, almost cost me my life. No child should have to go to school and have the fear of wondering if they will die today.


    • FranyaBlue profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Windsor, England

      Hi IzzyM

      Thanks for reading. I know I couldn't be a teacher for the same reasons as you. I'm just that bit too young to have experienced punishment like this in school but I remember plenty of kids in my classes who could have done with it.

    • IzzyM profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      Great hub Franya! I would hate to be a teacher - I'd end up in court for smacking one of them! I love kids, but kids without discipline must be a nightmare. I got the belt (the strap or whatever you like to call it) loads of times in school and it never did me any harm. But we knew our boundaries...we pushed the boat out occasionally and crossed them. That's where the punishment element came in. Nowadays there are no boundaries.


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