In her lecture, the Children's Commissioner argued that measures which undermined a pupil's human dignity ultimately undermined the cohesion and peace of the school community.
She cited the case of a secondary pupil who had been sent to his guidance teacher after being disrespectful. He was persuaded to return and apologise in front of the class. The teacher, however, replied: "So you're sorry? Well, sorry is not good enough". The subsequent dressing down had caused the pupil to "go on the rampage", the police had to be called in and the incident escalated.
"Here we have an example of a cycle of insult and anger spiralling out of control. As far as I know, it was started by the young person, but I don't know that for sure. I don't know what preceded it; whether, for example, a humiliation, an insult, had first been perpetrated upon him.
"But the point is, we need to be aware of these triggers for destructive emotions; and we need a school ethos and a system of ethos that avoids them."