A news item caught my eye today...a teenage girl wore runners to school which had brightly coloured tags on the ends of the laces...against the school rules...a teacher snipped the tags off...mother is irate. She's reported the teacher to the Police for everything she could possibly think of...the school have already refunded her the cost of a new pair of runners to the tune of £55...
So, did the teacher run after the girl waving a pair of scissors in her hand? No, of course she didn't. It transpires the girl allowed the teacher to remove the tags. It was mother who raised Cain when the girl arrived home that day.
One of the many comments was from someone who said if you were to forget to bring your plimsolls for games then you did the lesson in bare feet...no point in complaining to a parent when you came home because the response would have been 'You won't forget to take your plimsolls next week then'
My little brother...who might well have been ultra bright but was a gobby little sod...was once hit on the head by a blackboard rubber aimed by an irate teacher who had presumably had enough...he made the mistake of telling Mother who slapped his legs and sent him to bed without his tea.
I very much doubt he was left traumatised...but he did learn not to argue the toss with that teacher again.
We had rules about uniform and rules about behaviour. We adhered to those rules. We might not have agreed to them...we often thought them totally daft...but when we were in school we followed the rules and if we didn't, then we had to accept the consequences.
It's natural to baulk at rules and regulations and to see just how far you can go before someone steps in...we used to turn the waistbands of our school skirts over to make them shorter but we had the sense to unroll them back again when going into assembly where some eagle-eyed teacher would have seen our knees and pointed at us in an ominous way...
Our parents followed the rules as well...if school said we needed a pair of plain black lace-up shoes then plain black lace-up shoes is what a Mother bought...
Abiding by the school rules gave us a basic grounding I suppose...and I rather think it made us feel safer...we were all exactly the same. There was never any competition over a fashion for instance...never any chance of being teased because you were still wearing Clarks sandals when every single child in your class was also wearing Clarks sandals...
No-one was ever singled out...nobody felt out of place or didn't fit in. And doesn't fitting in mean the world to a child? None of us had parents who went storming into school demanding their 'rights'...we have died had that have been so...
I can't quite grasp this enthusiasm for breaking a rule and then demanding recompense for so doing...
And those concerned don't seem to much mind finding themselves all over the media...they welcome it, I think.
There is ample opportunity in adult life to bend or break rules...I rather think we all do that at some time or other...and they are often rules which simply beg to be broken in the first place. But once we are adult, we've had that basic grounding of obeying rules in school. It is when we are adult we can sort out for ourselves which rules may be broken...which are there for our protection and which are in place because of some idiotic policy...
I've often wondered when it began to change...when parents suddenly took it upon themselves to charge teachers with assault for cutting the tags from a pair of forbidden runners...when was it that a parent could complain about assault when a teacher cuddled a child who'd fallen over and grazed their knee.
Puzzled about the world I live in....