Cruel catharsis

17th January 1997 at 00:00
I read Andrew Wright's article with dismay (TES, January 3). He obviously felt inspired after encouraging children to reveal their families' secrets to the rest of the class, but I wonder how the children themselves felt.

A few years ago, in a lesson just like the one Andrew Wright describes, our adopted daughter told everyone the details of the abuse that resulted in her going into care. The results were shattering. She was taunted and teased by the class bullies who used the information as ammunition to attack her where she was most vulnerable.

Much of the progress built up by therapy was lost. In addition, another mother told me how difficult she had found it to handle her own child's distress at my child's story.

Encouraging children to talk about abuse can be beneficial, but it takes time, trust and, above all, privacy. The classroom is not the right place for this type of work.


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