Time to blame the parents

23rd March 2001 at 00:00
YOUR article about keeping control on school buses ("Bus drivers hold tight to respect", TES, March 2) and a letter in the same issue demonstrate the causes of increasing indiscipline among today's youngsters - and the reasons why we have been so ineffective at providing a solution.

Headteacher Joan Olivier ("Hostile parents disrupt discipline", TES, March 2) hits the nail on the head - as could many other heads and teachers. The root causes of indiscipline are the failure of many parents to instil discipline in their children and parents' readiness to aid and abet their children's bad behaviour at school.

And, of course, it is the bus drivers, not the parents, who are responsible for the lack of control on their buses! So they, like teachers, are sent off on courses to reform their perceptions!

The realistic solution to the discipline problem on school buses would be simply to deny transport to the disruptive pupils and return that responsibility to their parents.

Similarly in schools, we ned to remove those pupils who are persistently disruptive and return them to their parents.

Of course that could result in some children being left on the streets by the kind of parents who would allow that sort of thing. However, that is a separate problem, and not one that should be solved by forcing more and more disruptive children onto schools.

Schools end up child-minding these pupils at the expense of the decent majority, whose education they disrupt and whom they often terrorise.

All this does is mask a problem which can only be solved through better parenting and through highlighting the reality of parental responsibility for their children.

Another move that would prove effective would be a return to straightforward, descriptive terminology.

Bad behaviour is bad behaviour. To call it "challenging" suggests that it can simply be put down to a lack of skill in teachers - and bus drivers!

Ron Evans


Havelock junior school



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