Letter: Teachers need to be stricter

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to your leading article, "Giving up on children - now that's naughty", 2 April, I cannot help but wonder if you would hold the same opinion if your own child was victimised, threatened or bullied at school?

Everyone is worrying about the "insubordinate" children, but there is something fundamental missing in this debate - the rights of those children who do not fall into the above category. Why should they have to suffer because the adults around them cannot decide on an effective solution? Why should they be subject to violence and disruption when they are actually trying to study and learn?

Discussing this issue with my peers (a few of whom are teachers themselves), it came to light that a majority of us feel stricter teaching is needed. We all attended state schools, and every one of us remembers the most effective (and respected) teachers were those who firstly refused to let anyone disrupt a class and secondly, took no verbal abuse from a pupil. Teachers whose tone of voice commanded silence or attention.

I lament the fact that teachers are almost scared to breathe these days, for fear of being accused of something ridiculous by a trouble-making child.

Does it not seem a strange coincidence that as the authority bestowed on teachers diminishes, the number of aggressive and disruptive children increases?

VICTORIA BENSTED

Twickenham

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