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Kind hearts and bad boys

Sean McPartlin's article "The boy who wouldn't go away" (TESS, November 22) seemed to me a piece of sentimental nonsense. What is the teacher to do with the pupil who is determined to prevent the class from proceeding? What indeed would Mr McPartlin do?

Of course he doesn't answer that question. He simply sentimentalises about the poor lad who has been ejected for disrupting the class.

One has the strong feeling that Mr McPartlin approves of the boy's behaviour. "It suddenly struck me," he continues, "that if we are cynical enough to refuse to teach those who find it difficult to learn, we should not be surprised if eventually they lose the will to try."

It would be interesting to know what teaching experience Mr McPartlin has and in what kind of school. I taught French in a comprehensive school for 30 years, but with Mr McPartlin's philosophy I don't think I'd have lasted long.


Duddingston Park, Edinburgh

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