Heads call for protection against violent parents

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The Independent Online
A LANCASHIRE head teacher alleged yesterday that he had been beaten up while visiting a pupil's home.

Charles Stubbing told the National Association of Head Teachers' conference in Newcastle upon Tyne that he had been on the point of excluding the pupil from school but when the boy disappeared from outside his office he went to his home to make sure he was safe.

Mr Stubbing alleged that as he was knocking on the door, a man jumped over the fence, shouting abuse. He said the man took hold of him, banged his head against the wall and punched and head-butted him, leaving him with a swollen cheekbone. He was then taken inside the house to talk to the boy's mother.

Mr Stubbing later made a statement at the local police station. He telephoned the station the next day to find out what had happened but was allegedly told that the people concerned had denied the incident, explaining that the head teacher had been invited in for 'a friendly chat'. There were no witnesses and the police said they could proceed no further. 'I would like to say to the Home Secretary that I don't want sympathy; I want protection, support and understanding.'

The conference voted unanimously to urge the NAHT national council to issue 'comprehensive advice on all issues of security' and expressed concern at the growing number of physical and serious verbal attacks by parents, pupils and members of the public against teachers.

Douglas Fallows, from Wirral, said he had received information about 10 such incidents in his area between March and December 1992. 'Such reports used to be few and far between,' he said.

Mr Fallows described several assaults against staff, including one in which a head teacher was supervising children going to the outside lavatories during the interval of a Christmas concert. The teacher was grabbed from behind and his head was smashed against a wall. He required hospital treatment.