Intrigue in the Big League

A uni student's intrigue in marketing and media

Parents to blame for unruly behaviour in the classroom

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“Schools are being forced to deal with the fallout of parents failing to set rules for their children and a breakdown in family life, according to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

A new survey, conducted by the union ahead of their annual conference, also suggests that behavioural and emotional problems, attention seeking and a dearth of positive role models are contributing to bad behaviour in schools.

Teachers have been forced to deal with youngsters – in some cases preschoolers – pushing, scratching, punching, kicking and spitting, the poll suggests.

More than half (53pc) of the school staff questioned said that student behaviour has worsened in the last 10 years, with a similar proportion (53.2pc) indicating that it has got worse in the past five years.

Many of the school staff questioned laid blame for poor behaviour on parents.”

(The Telegraph, 2013)

This article by The Telegraph is based on a survey that suggests parents are the cause of poor student behaviour in schools. The article outlines teacher’s concerns of behavioural tendencies of students who don’t have strong boundaries set by their parents or caregivers at home.

The title of the article (Parents to blame for unruly behaviour in the classroom) sounds one sided, as if it had already been decided that parents are indeed to blame. This article is a very good example of how a traditional journalist manages to seem objective throughout, yet the piece does not show the perspectives of all the parties involved.

The article is well set out. It explains the topic and straight away introduces a survey that shows the amount of teachers who have had to deal with several different types of bad behaviour in class. There are statistics given throughout the article to reinforce the argument that a lack of boundaries in the students’ homes is what commonly causes the bad behaviour.

“Many of the school staff questioned laid blame for poor behaviour on parents. Over three quarters (78.7pc) said that a lack of boundaries at home was the reason for challenging, disruptive and abusive behaviour by pupils” (The Telegraph, 2013)

As well as the statistics, there are professional sources introduced who have the same opinion as the teachers. These sources (Association of Teachers and Lecturers general secretary Dr Mary Bousted and a Department for Education spokesman) added strong content to the article. Dr Mary Bousted explained how the bad behaviour of pupils affected teachers and how they have to deal with the behaviour by themselves a lot of the time. The spokesman from the Department of Education explained how the problem was being fixed.

“We have strengthened teachers’ powers to put them back in charge. Teachers can now issue no notice detentions, search a pupil without consent when they suspect they may be in possession of a prohibited item and changes to the system mean a school’s decision to exclude a pupil cannot be reversed by an appeals panel.” (Department of Education spokesman, The Telegraph, 2013)

What the article fails to include is the opinions of the students or parents. They didn’t ask the students why they were behaving badly, they merely assumed that slack boundaries at home was the cause. They didn’t ask the parents what kind of rules were set in place for their child at home and how the child behaved in their home. The article does not include any perspective from the parents or students involved with bad behaviour in class. This is where the article is proven to be quite biased.

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