Troublemakers need a wake-up call

29th January 2010 at 00:00

Coverage of the trial at Sheffield Crown Court of the young brothers who tortured two younger boys troubled me greatly.

I discussed it with my Dad. We talked about toxic homes and about parenting. In the discussion we agreed that many kids grow up without being instilled with self-respect, regard for others, respect for authority, or a sense of responsibility for their actions, and it is not just the case with under-privileged children.

I attend a well-regarded state school with good facilities. I am not that smart, not perfect, but I do want to learn.

Quite often, unruly behaviour of others spoils the lessons. I'd say roughly half of the pupils don't take proper interest and can contribute to poor discipline. With an arrogant disregard for teaching authority, they act innocent and in denial when challenged.

I've heard that African children clamour for an education but have poor and inadequate facilities (at my school we have a partner secondary in Kitivo, Tanzania). What would they give for an opportunity to attend and benefit from facilities like ours? By contrast, half of my school doesn't appreciate how fortunate they are.

So I suggested an educational exchange. Why not let the unruly pupils at schools like mine experience poor facilities in developing countries? Then also, why not open the vacant places created by the exchange to the children from poor countries - the ones intent on learning?

Ben Palmer, Aged 13, Stockport, Cheshire.

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