Lock up disruptive sons, say mothers

20th February 2004 at 00:00
A group of Southampton mothers has asked for their disruptive sons to be educated in locked classrooms with reinforced windows - and away from other pupils.

The six women say their boys, who have attention deficit disorder, are damaging other children's education and placing a heavy burden on their teachers.

They have set up a campaign group calling for separate classes for pupils with behavioural difficulties, which they say would also provide their sons with more appropriate teaching.

Sarah Lamont, a dinner lady, said she would have hated it if her ADD son Matthew, 12, had been put in a class with her two other, well-behaved children.

"We're not against inclusion, just the way it's being done," Mrs Lamont said. "My son has been yo-yoed between mainstream and special schools. He has been in trouble, crawled around barking like a dog and attempted suicide. I sympathise with his teachers."

Becky Crawford's 15-year-old son James has an IQ of 136 and has been arrested by police twice, once for hitting a pupil. He has also escaped from lessons by climbing out of the window.

Mrs Crawford said it was vital that he gained an education in a mainstream school, even if it meant separate classes. The group called ADDSUP - ADD Supporting and Understanding Parents - says their boys should be taught by staff trained in restraint techniques. It is organising a petition to present to Southampton council and the Prime Minister.

Ron Clooney, National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers executive officer for Southampton, said the campaign highlighted problems which had been raised for years.

Southampton council said it was considering expanding special units in secondary schools.

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