WHEN it comes to school discipline most right-thinking parents will support teachers as they show pupils the difference between right and wrong.
After all, discipline is supposed to begin at home and then be reinforced by schools.
But many parents of pupils clearly think Colne Valley Specialist Art College went too far when it kept hundreds of pupils in detention yesterday afternoon simply for forgetting minor items such as a pencil sharpener. The school is certainly taking a zero tolerance approach with this policy, but have the implications really been thought through?
At the start of a new term youngsters may be a little disorganised at first so why not give them a formal reminder that they could face a ‘full kit’ inspection – or give them a lunchtime detention.
The punishment yesterday outweighed the indiscretion and it’s hard to see where the pupils’ best interests come into this.
What about the health and safety implications of making hundreds miss school transport and have to walk home? What about the parents who were far more punished than their children by having to leave work to go and pick them up to be sure they were safe. Then there were those working away from home powerless to get back in time and pupils who missed out of school activities.
Schools need parents to be onside, but yesterday may well have done more to put many of them offside.