Letter on teachers searching pupils for weapons
- Credit: PA Images
Society needs tolerance and care
Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M ED (Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:
The front line report of the introduction of training being given to teachers for them to be able to search pupils for the possession of knives and other dangerous implements is a sad indictment of a modern society where tolerance and care for one another are meant to be held up as pillars of our society.
This is hardly the role that teachers want to do beyond their teaching, for such actions of distrust are likely to affect the results of their teaching. Searches carried out by the police may not have those adverse effects and in some countries, the police may be attached to schools where it appears to be a dangerous situation.
The increase in violence is growing year by year with hardly a week that goes by where there is not a mention of a knife attack.
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This year is the worst year in more than a decade for killings reported in this paper. But this is not limited to the Barking and Dagenham district, but is a worldwide problem.
Some reasons can be assumed to be causing such problems such as a growing distrust of authorities together with anger at financial inequalities and needs existing within certain social groups.
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The amount of violence seen by teenagers on TV is enormous during their formative years, and much of this shows graphic physical violence.
Unfortunately, society is not always an egalitarian one and thus when physical and social needs are not met, may incur anger and resentment maybe with physical violence or with words or hate words, which are also violent.
It is not that this reaction to modern society is bringing such despicable results, but it is a call for society to return to the principles of the past such as tolerance and care for one another.
Therefore there is little justification to use teachers to do the work of law-keepers, such as the police, to correct the frailties of society. But within their teaching, they should include aspects of morality that can have a salutary effect upon the pupils.