Epitaphs for dead lines

15th July 2005 at 01:00
The Government must provide me with an alternative to lines.

The Government must provide me with an alternative to lines.

The Government must provide me with an alternative to lines.

This was the response that "Lillyofthefield" posted on the TES online staffroom to news that teachers have stopped dishing out the age-old punishment of lines.

Many fear the sanction could contravene an article in the European Convention on Human Rights that protects children from degrading treatment.

The TES website was inundated with postings from dismayed staff. "21269" fumed: "For God's sake. Right, I'm getting on to the NUT in the morning - we need to counter-sue against these idiots under the bits of the Human Rights Act that protect employees from harassment at work."

The anger was sparked by a Mail on Sunday survey of 50 schools which found that only two still used lines as a punishment.

Sarah Tennant, deputy head of Repton, a private school in Derbyshire, said she had been advised that lines were illegal under child protection laws.

But protecting unruly pupils' rights was not a priority for users of the TES website. "Jubilee" said: "When they eventually finish and bring them to me I either tear them up in front of them or tell them to file them in the bin on their way out. Any protests at my treatment of them gets, 'You wasted everyone's time in class so I've wasted your time. Goodbye.'"

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