Our schools are bullying children on an almost daily basis and we wonder why behaviour is deteriorating.
The mainstream media yesterday reported on a primary school which gave some of its pupils an ice cream treat to reward their attendance. This on its own may seem like a good idea. Possibly some of these pupils will never be award winners for academic excellence and it’s always good to have everyone achieving something.
That is until you have kids as young as 5 and 6 crying wondering why they are watching their peers out the window eating ice cream and they are not allowed.
Attendance is a double edged sword. It is great to have children attending school every day they are supposed to and supposedly learning everything they are supposed to. It is not great to penalise children who have been sick or whose family have suffered a tragedy.
What is worse is for the school to publicly shame those who have been unable to achieve these attendance levels. This is bullying, something schools are supposed to be stamping out and instead we find it on an institutional basis in many schools.
Pupils not allowed to attend dances, missing out on trips and rewards. There have been a number of reports over the last few years about schools publicly shaming pupils. Sometimes it is for bad behaviour, sometimes it is for attendance outwith the pupil’s control. Whatever the reasoning, pupils being bullied by their own school is not acceptable.
Why on earth were primary school children having attendance used as a basis for a reward in the first place? It’s not like they have any control over it. Surely the obsession with attendance should be something for High School when the children could feasibly miss school because of their own actions rather than those of their parents?
No matter why these measures are taken, the public shaming of school children by the very school which is supposed to nurture and teach them is wrong and should not be tolerated.