Drugs, passion, stress

5th May 2006 at 01:00
The English teacher's being abused and there's a bloody fight in the playground. Just a normal day in school then, writes Ian Roe

I arrive in school and have a meeting with pastoral staff. My Year 10 class revealed to me yesterday that two girls are in a passionate relationship and have been seen kissing: they are outraged.

We will support the young lovers as best we can. I promise that I shall attempt to broaden the horizons of my gels in Y10. This may prove to be something of a challenge, since last week they went en masse to the travelling fair and removed the trousers of one of the attendants.

Kirsty turns up. It is always Kirsty. She has been posting abusive messages about her English teacher around the school.

The poor man had the singular misfortune to involve himself in a heavy domestic argument with his wife during an anniversary meal in a local pub.

Kirsty was working there, collecting glasses.

The occasion is now the stuff of legend. The moment when Roger was taunted by his wife baring her breasts, suggesting to those present that they should help themselves, has proved especially popular among our less sophisticated students. Divorce proceedings have begun.

"I 'ates him. He does my swede in. He couldn't teach a dog to bark." Thank you Kirsty. A career as a school inspector beckons.

I examine her IT skills - a picture of Roger taken with an illicit mobile phone, and a pithy comment added.

My horror at Kirsty's actions is compounded by her dreadful spelling. I have been teaching her for two years and she still does not know how to spell "hate".

I sign her exclusion letter. "Just a small point Kirsty. It is wife. Not Wive."

At 10am I do a home visit to a teacher. Terry has been away for five months now with stress. He tells me about his counselling sessions while I drink tea and stare out of the patio doors at two huge dogs ripping up his lawns.

His wife got him these hounds to give him something to do.

I have decided that I do not want to have stress. I do not like dogs. I return to a temazepam moment - another boy wandering slack-jawed and glassy-eyed. I phone the police again.

It is generally accepted that the dealer is Robert. Today he is having trouble with his knuckles. Last night he was in a stolen car and went for a spin to Oswestry. On the way back they detoured to Mold so that Robert could have a fight with the driver. It makes sense. Have you ever been to Mold?

So he has been seriously inhibited in his Certificate of Educational Achievement examination by weirdly misshapen knuckles. We will apply for special considerations from the exam board.

This is an important exam for Robert. With a qualification like this, he should be able to walk straight into a top job in the prison library.

I do my duty in the dining hall. They run out of burgers again and try to disguise the fact by selling cheeseburgers without the burger, in the hope that no one notices. Such an imaginative approach to catering is sadly unappreciated by most. I have to deal with endless complaints.

I retreat to my classroom but it is not long before a teacher arrives. She has brought with her young Karl. Given the choice between coming to my lesson or sitting among the broken bottles at the back of the school, he has unaccountably chosen the latter.

He shambles to the back of the room and puts his head on the desk and falls asleep. He is a friend of Robert.

Meanwhile, Lawrie has discovered why he has been unable to snatch precious moments of love with Kirsty between lessons (remember Kirsty)? Her exclusion he lays fairly and squarely at the door of Peter. So he attacks Nicky.

It is by all accounts a nasty affair. Blood, swollen jaws, everything. The head of Welsh who tries to separate them is flung to the floor. And then we discover that Lawrie has a carving knife in his sock. He says that he needs it to protect himself from Robert because he had some pills from him but has not paid for them yet. I let others deal with this.

I discover Roger the English teacher in tears. He reveals that he has been suffering systematic abuse from Y9. They have been pushing letters under his door. I will notice later, when I review the evidence just before I go home, that their spelling is better than Kirsty's. They can spell "bastard".

Ian Roe is a teacher in north Wales

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