Be careful not to 'explain' terrorism

It is true that schools have a responsibility to help prevent the radicalisation of impressionable young people in their care ("Schools must play a key role in combating extremism, experts say", 31 May). But, in addition to challenging their students' misconceptions, teachers should be very careful not to peddle a leftist anti-Western agenda in which British and US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is used to "explain" terrorism. This fashionable but intellectually vacuous and irresponsible argument simply reinforces a vulnerable child's sense of victimhood and further alienates them from society. It should be unequivocally emphasised that, in a democracy, an aggrieved minority does not have the right to aggressively undermine the parliamentary will of the majority. Disliking the foreign policy of a nation cannot possibly justify or explain murdering its citizens. The only civilised way to change society is by using the ballot box, not the bomb.

Stan Labovitch, Secondary teacher, Windsor, South East England.

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