When a nose stud sparks attack

20th July 2001 at 01:00
Your "exclusive" interview with Sylvia Moore ("Hostage head speaks out", TES, July 6) has got to be one of the saddest reports ever to appear in your paper.

At the same time as feeling extreme sympathy for her, I began to wonder if the time for reappraising our responses to such acts of anger and violence was not long overdue.

While no headteacher should have to endure the ordeal of being barricaded in her room by angry parents, would it not be profitable to look at ways in which such incidents could be avoided?

The parents' angry attack appears to have been prompted by a letter asking them to make an appointment to discuss their daughter's refusal to remove a nose stud. While this seems a perfectly reasonable request, would it not make sense to start asking questions about why it acted as the catalyst to such an unfortunate incident?

At the end of the day, excluding children for the sins of their parents will not provide the answers we need. Nothing can justify the behaviour of these parents, but surely, we need to ask some serious questions. Has the time come to take a new look at our values, vision and purpose, and search for new understanding of these complex issues?

Ros Bayley Early-years consultant 14 Bentley Drive Walsall, West Midlands

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