It's the turn of Mr. Balls to give me another good laugh today.
"Tomorrow, Schools Secretary Ed Balls will release guidelines urging teachers to use the full range of powers at their disposal. Under the guidelines parents can be handed £50 fines and even face court action if they fail to take responsibility for their children's bad behaviour in school."
On the same principle, I could say that my dog misbehaved today while in my care so I'm going to sue the woman who bred him. She wasn't present, hasn't seen the dog, doesn't know how I handle the dear naughty mutt, but SHE is responsible because she bred it. Fine her. Heck, hang her.
How exactly do you take responsibility for your child's action when your child is in school? Doesn't the child take responsibility? I can't recall ever doing anything particularly heinous in school, but, if I had, I would've owned up and accepted my punishment. I certainly wouldn't have expected my MOTHER to cough up 50 quid for MY mistake.
If children misbehave in school, maybe it's because they don't want to be there at all.
Maybe they can't be there. Maybe it doesn't suit them at all. Maybe, just maybe, it's not good for them.
They don't want to be there. Perhaps, just perhaps, school isn't a place for children. It's a big business, is school, many thousands of people make their living out of it. But have we ever asked children if they want to go to school? If school fills their deepest needs, if it makes them happy?
My children aren't in school. Put me in gaol now.
But leave my children in the gaol we call school.
I used to think that children who misbehaved were really bad. Now I think that they're the ones we haven't tamed; the ones who haven't given up and begun to conform just to keep other people happy. That is the trick, isn't it? We don't care about their happiness. So long as they are contained in school-gaol.
And I bet the Treasury is having a great time counting those fines.