Parents not soft on bad language

16th September 2005 at 01:00
I swear that I was more than a little bemused, bewitched and bewildered by the reported stance of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council on the use of bad language in schools (Letters, last week).

I paraphrase, but their initial position was along the lines of "let's not overreact to bad language in the classroom, and even the f-word is now in such common parlance that a wee bit of effing and blinding is nothing to get upset about".

The SPTC has now issued a retractionapology which seeks to set the record straight: they don't condone swearing in schools after all.

More seriously, and despite the belated attempt by the SPTC to explain its true position, there remains a widespread misconception that parent bodies are content with a lowering of standards and a dilution of what is acceptable behaviour in the classroom and in the workplace. Judging by the tone of complaints received at our office, it seems that this misconception exists still.

The Scottish School Board Association, representing parents through school boards in more than 2,000 schools throughout Scotland, is the country's only elected and truly representative parental body in Scottish education.

For the record, we condemn bad language and antisocial behaviour in schools. Teachers faced with the daily, difficult task of maintaining standards and promoting civilised behaviour in the classroom have our unqualified support.

That is our position and it is unfortunate that there remains a residual notion that parent groups have gone soft on the issue.

Caroline Vass President, Scottish School Board Association

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