Monday, July 12, 2004

To Every Little Action ....

The anti-parent - sorry, anti-smacking campaign has long found greatest support in the most politically correct part of Britain - the Central Belt (sorry) of Scotland. Not that the inhabitants are particularly PC (far from it in my experience), but total left dominance has enabled the Scottish Parliament to host some particularly idiotic debates.

Already Dad's slipper and the clip round the ear have been consigned to the dustbin of history, and Scotland has an unenviable record on jailing tourists ('French children are so well-behaved') and sacking teachers for the grave offence of disciplining their own children.

I can't understand then why discipline in Scottish schools seems to be deteriorating so much. Look at the links from a report of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association conference last year.

This year the conference of the largest Scots teaching union, the EIS, is reported as follows :

"The issue of increasingly violent pupils dominated much of this morning’s session at the EIS conference in Dundee’s Caird Hall.

Against a background of rocketing attacks, despite “massive under-reporting” of such incidents, repeated calls were made for teachers to be able to go about their work without fear of assault.

Some estimates show an increase in assaults by pupils on teachers over the last year of 20%. These concern reported incidents only with no figures available on the actual number of incidents.

Larry Flanagan, of the union’s Glasgow branch, told delegates that thousands of attacks were being made on teachers every year across Scotland and they were now in real need of protection. South Lanarkshire teacher Linzi Moore movingly described how violence in school had affected her entire life. She said it had shattered her confidence, reduced her to tears and reached a stage where she could not face going to work.

She said, “There must be effective sanctions against people committing these incidents.”

EIS executive council member Willie Hart said education authorities had to face up to the problem and not just sweep it under the carpet."

I don't understand. If violence breeds violence, surely Scottish school discipline should be a marvel, given that the dominie's tawse went out in the 1970s (I was talking at the weekend to a native of Fife, who remembered abolition and the worst behaved boy in the school asking for (and being given) the headmaster's tawse as a souvenir).

PS - I've written before about the reluctance of anti-family organisations to provide evidence to support their campaigns, but here's one small and idiotic piece of research from the NSPCC.

"Discussions with more than 70 children aged four to seven indicated that children felt smacking reinforced cycles of violent behaviour and did little to help build up a positive relationship between parent and child."

I like that 'indicated'. Our old mate the cycle of violence comes out for a pedal, too. And apparently children had 'negative feelings' on the subject. I think that's the whole idea, actually, without getting too B.F. Skinner about it all. The research boils down to 'children don't like being smacked'. I'd be worried if the results were anything else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have Dad's slipper and the clip around the ear really been consigned to the dustbin of history? It would be nice to think so, and schools are clearly setting that example. But I think ther are many dads (mums) out there who still rely on their slippers to keep control in the home. I have no evidence for this, but it's just got to be happening...