Letters: Alarm bells ringing over ADHD - Robin Smith

14th August 2009 at 01:00

Original paper headline: Alarm bells ringing over ADHD

I wonder if you or your readers could clarify what the recent High Court ruling against a Cambridgeshire primary school means for teachers and society as a whole ("Primary fails in High Court bid to overturn ruling on ADHD exclusion," July 31).

Does this now mean that legally any pupil with ADHD has been given a green light to assault any member of staff at will? Because Andrea Bilbow of the attention-deficit charity ADDISS tells us that: "If you know a child can fly off the handle you have to manage it and anticipate it will happen." Surely this simply means that if a child with ADHD assaults a teacher it is the teacher's fault for not managing the situation better?

Does this ruling mean that if a person of any age with ADHD goes into a nightclub, has too much to drink, assaults a member of the public and is arrested, then the police have discriminated against their disability by arresting them? Does responsibility then lie with the bar owner or the victim because they should have anticipated it?

Does this mean that if a person with ADHD becomes a teacher, it will be the school's fault if they assault a colleague or pupil?

As a teacher and not a lawyer I can please be excused for not fully understanding the ruling so I would gratefully appreciate some clarification regarding what this ruling really does mean for the future - because, as a professional, I or a colleague could be placed in the very same situation as the assaulted teacher in the very near future.

  • Robin Smith, Manchester.

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