Staff are not the only sufferers

26th September 2003 at 01:00
Mr Gachi, a teacher who has been seriously assaulted by a pupil, says "Teachers are entitled not to be abused in the course of their work" (TES, September 12).

According to The TES, teachers are demanding a response to the "Litany of shameful behaviour" caused by violent and abusive pupils . While this is clearly a good idea, is anybody listening to the litany of children's complaints?

An RE teacher sustained cracked ribs when a ring binder was slammed into his chest. How many pupils have gone home, silently nursing injuries from playground "antics"?

A teacher was viciously teased about her size and had to have time off. A pupil was found hanged last week, her suicide attributed to verbal abuse.

Teachers refused to teach a seven-year-old boy with a history of violent behaviour after his expulsion was overturned. The rest of the class don't have choice about whether he's in the playgrounds and corridors, classrooms and toilets.

The truth is that there are always some children who suffer intolerable physical or verbal abuse while some teachers "turn a blind eye". So teachers have had enough of the kids' shameful behaviour. Well, so have the kids.

Anna Knight

Special Educational Needs Support Service

Davidson Road, Croydon

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