Letters - Headteachers must act over bullying

I WRITE in response to your article in last week’s Express on the subject of bullying and peer intimidation in our schools.

Naturally our sympathies are with all those school pupils who daily ‘run the gauntlet’ to the detriment of their education and general well-being, but also with the other pupils in a school with low standards of behaviour (not just bullying) who are also affected to some extent, and I recall earlier initiatives by councillors on the matter which seem to have fizzled out.

There is an aspect of this problem which should not be overlooked. In my own family the cruel attentions of youngsters in one of our local Secondary schools and the failure of the school authorities to protect him so severely traumatised a boy that after a prolonged period of intimidation he was unable to complete his education.

As a result the state now supports the young man through the benefits system. A very bright and initially enthusiastic pupil, who could by now be gainfully employed (and paying his taxes like the rest of us) is alienated from the world, seen as a liability and a drain on the public purse. And there will be thousands of less dramatic cases nationally, especially among the boys, of under-achievement and consequent reduced chances of employment as a result of low behavioural standards in our Secondary schools.

This unnecessary burden on our country’s finances due to the failures in the Secondary schools system would not be tolerated in other countries in our increasingly competitive world and is a national disgrace.

Unfortunately many headteachers fail to challenge cultures of inappropriate behaviour (of which bullying is only a part) in our classrooms and other school environments.

“It’s society’s problem” they say. But what happens in school hours is their responsibility and the standards appertaining in any school are those tolerated by the Head.

Name and address supplied