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It’s up to the parents to take control
The revelations that guns, knives, alcohol and drugs were confiscated from pupils at Bradford schools will quite rightly outrage anyone.
The fact that several of these confiscations and incidents involved children at primary schools is all the more shocking.
School staff have coped admirably with these events and pupils have been excluded or suspended from schools when such incidents have taken place.
But there is only so much that the school can do and that is largely in terms of reacting to the problem. The issues that cause children to be handling these highly-undesirable items in the first place need to be tackled.
And very often, that can only be done at home. American TV newsreaders used to ask viewers: “Do you know where your children are?” and parental responsibility is still one of the major influences on a child’s behaviour at school.
Where parents of children who are caught with weapons or drugs are as shocked as anyone else, they must take more care to control their children’s outside influences and take steps to ensure their children are going to school with the right attitude and ideas about what is right and wrong.
Where parents have less care about what their children do and what they find lying around the house, they should be told in the strongest possible terms that their own behaviour needs to be checked and thought about if they are to have a positive influence on their child’s development.
No-one wants our schools to become fortresses like some American establishments, with security scanners on the gates and – heaven forbid – a shooting or knifing tragedy lurking around the corner.