Consequences are crucial

4th November 2011 at 00:00

I most fundamentally disagree with your behaviour "expert" on last week's question, when he says if a pupil throws something at a teacher which results in the need for dry cleaning, the teacher should not expect to be recompensed.

He suggests that there is a logic by which rewards and consequences must be measured by the same units (meaning presumably that if we ask for #163;10 dry cleaning from bad pupils, we have to give a #163;10 download voucher to good pupils).

This is arrant nonsense.

We are doing young people a catastrophic disservice if we fail to make them aware of the real consequences of their actions.

Of course it would be petty and demeaning to pursue a family who couldwould not pay for the consequences of their child's vandalism. However, school is in the real world, despite all appearances to the contrary. Why should the classroom be different from the street?

If a child wilfully damages my clothing or property, I expect the school's first demand to be for appropriate restitution. Thereafter negotiation is possible.

We are abdicating our responsibilities if we turn away from the task of preparing our young people to play a mature part in the real adult world.

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