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On the impact of violence

The feature "Why should I listen to you, Miss?" (12 July), about lewd comments, sexism and disrespect from boys towards female teachers, explores the reasons why boys might behave this way and how teachers can respond to these behaviours.

Much of the article focuses on possible cultural factors but misses one crucial background contribution: experience of domestic violence.

If a growing boy sees his father abuse his mother - and this happens regularly - and his mother seems helpless, the boy is in an impossible position in terms of learning how men and women behave towards each other.

I feel that it is important to mention this, because where domestic violence is concerned, child protection procedures ought to be involved. Cultural background is at this point irrelevant.

Barbara Curry, educational consultant and former inner-city headteacher, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.

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