Two mums were fighting in our playground and the head had to split them up...

27th April 2007 at 01:00
Q. Two mums were fighting in our playground and the head had to split them up. I was shocked. Do you have any experience of badly behaved parents?

Beka, Wolverhampton

A. I have vivid memories spanning nearly two decades of parents fighting.

For six years in Brighton, I witnessed daily spats, ranging from the comical to the terrifying.

I have seen razor blades, punches, scratches and bites. One incident involved two screaming women chasing each other through the classrooms, swerving around the children.

And it's not just the "rough" schools - posh parents do it too. We have had to involve the community warden, who is employed by the council to keep an eye out for antisocial behaviour, to mediate between several of our mums this year.

Viv, Kent

A. I have seen parents fighting in the playground and in school several times.

Once was when the children were waiting to come into school; it was over a non-school related issue - a husband was apparently "playing away from home". A more disturbing incident was in the corridor as key stage 1 children were coming into school. A mother decided to speak directly to the mother of a pupil who was bullying her child, who responded with her fists.

The result was two mothers scrapping, while infants put away their coats around them. And I am still haunted by another example of parental bad behaviour - a Year 2 girl in my class had spent most of her golden time making a card for her mum. She went to meet her with the card, along with her book and coat. She was greeted with, and I quote: "What do you think I am? A fucking donkey?"

Jenny, Rainham

A. These incidents are upsetting, but the greatest worry is the negative impact of such poor parental role models on their children, who often accept this behaviour as the norm.

Many of these parents suffer low self-esteem, poor basic skills and a lack of parenting skills, so my school offered support through self-help groups.

To help pupils, the school's curriculum emphasised PSHE and raising esteem.

The staff acted as positive role models and built relationships with both pupils and parents John, Cumbria

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