Lessons with mother curb bad boy
Saturday 25 May 1996
A disruptive school pupil was shamed into faultless behaviour after his mother was brought in to sit with him in class.
Staff at Hattersley High School, Tameside, Greater Manchester, had suspended Anthony Kidd, 15, who had a history of rudeness to teachers and disruptive behaviour in class.
Threats of further sanctions were met with scorn from the teenager, until his mother suggested accompanying him to school.
"When Anthony found out what was up he was absolutely devastated," said deputy headmaster Michael Buczynski. "He was terrified that he was going to be shown up in front of his friends."
Mother-of-four Debbie Kidd, of Hattersley, attended school one day this month and sat through lessons to make sure her wayward son paid attention.
"She just sat at the back and said 'Come on Anthony, this is no big deal, just get on with your work'," said Mr Buczynski.
Red-faced, Anthony said he had learned a lesson he won't forget: "I was really embarrassed because I thought my mates were going to take the mickey out of me, but they were so afraid their own mums would come in they just said they felt sorry for me."
Now Anthony, who hopes to become a vet, is determined to study hard for his GCSEs to prevent another visit from his mother.
Mrs Kidd said she was "over the moon" with the success of her school visit, adding: "He has improved a lot already."
The 500-pupil comprehensive has no plans to repeat the experiment, but teachers say the fear of similar humiliation has subdued Anthony's classmates.
Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, called the exercise "unprecedented" and welcomed its success. "If anything works in turning around disruptive pupils, I welcome it. But bringing parents into class would be totally impractical on a national scale," he said.
Anthony, now recovered from the embarrassment of having his mother in class, has now been nominated as a prefect.
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