Official Government figures have revealed that just ninety pupils across the Country were expelled last year for school bullying, despite a new survey finding half of all 14-year-old children have been bullied.
Across Kent, 10 pupils were expelled last year from all state schools. In over two-thirds of local authorities across England, including Medway, not a single child was expelled for bullying. However in Kent 260 pupils and in Medway 40 pupils were suspended from state schools – meaning the disruptive students returned to the school where they caused misery and fear for their classmates.
Since 1997, Labour Government rules have deliberately made it more difficult for schools to expel pupils, undermining the authority of head teachers and meaning bullies end up back at the same school as their victims.
Bullying makes far too many children’s lives a misery – I have been contacted by parents whose children have been bullied, including being physically beaten up! But the Government’s own figures show that in the vast majority of cases bullies are returned to the same school as their victims after a short punishment, rather than being expelled. I firmly believe that the key to tackling bullying is giving our teachers the powers they need to crack down on bad behaviour. Schools need the power to take a zero tolerance approach towards serious offences such as bullying so that they can maintain discipline in the classroom before it spirals out of control.
There is a culture of bullying in this country, from shows like X Factor, Dragon's Den and The Apprentice to central Government with their authoritarian attitudes, punishment culture, hectoring adverts, laws and fines for virtually anything you can think of right down to local Government with their bans, spy cars and threats of prison if you're a couple of weeks late paying your counciil tax.
It's hardly surprising that children take to bullying given the unedifying example set to them by those in authority. Get rid of the bullying culture in Government and you never know, the kids might follow suit. Your post full of words like "zero tolerance" and giving Schools more "power" (there are more than enough powers and laws in place already) makes it sound like you're keen to perpetuate the nasty, authoritarian, intolerant nature of government in this country. It is one of the reasons that the quality of life for children in the UK is deemed to be amongst the worst in the civilised world. Have a read of the reports from Barnardo's and UNICEF who rank the quality of life for children in the UK as the worst in a survey of 21 economically advanced nations. Do you think more punishment and haranguing from a discredited Establishment will lift us off that bottom position?
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