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Thursday, April 29, 2010
Peter Harvey Yet Again
Hoorah! Peter Harvey has just been found 'not guilty'. Are our courts suffering from an outbreak of common sense?
No Frank..... they usually let people off, only this time we wanted him let off.
Not exactly let off as he pleaded guilty of GBH.
God result though.
Its fair to say that I have been amazed for all the right reasons this time!
Could there be light at the end of the tunnel after all?
He did cave in a pupil's skull with a dumb-bell...... For most of us it remains just a wonderful dream.
Courts - probably not. Although the judge seemed to have some sympathy.
Jury - quite clearly common sense. Just enough time for a cup of tea and a bun and then troop out and say not guilty!
And I should think so too.
I don't like to rain on your parade, because you and your commenters have good reason for rejoicing, but could I interject a bit of reality here...
In the private sector, where we have to earn a living, people who are stressed because they can't do their jobs are called incompetent.
Incompetent people are sacked.
A teacher that beats a pupil within an inch of his life can, I respectfully submit, be called incompetent.
Why, I would like to know, is everyone rallying to the defence of this public-sector incompetent?
Perhaps every school should have a teacher like this. Imagine the way in which pupils' minds could be concentrated by the possibility of being "sent to Mr Harvey".
Or being told to "go into the gym & wait for Miss Bullcrusher".
The man is clearly mentally ill.
He should never have been tried in a criminal court.
He should however have been committed to a secure institution for the dangerously insane.
I am sickened by the teaching professions glee at this. He beat a child half to death with a heavy blunt instrument. How would you all have reacted if it had been the other way around?
I dont think the man is mentally ill. He has been let down by the school. This pupil should have been excluded/punished for his earlier inappropriate behaviour. But then it's the same in many schools. Pupils are not told of boundaries. I sometimes get stressed out because of poor pupil behaviour. I complain to the senior teachers but nothing gets done. You just have to let it go over your head.
I think Brian has a point but it is not Harvey who is incompetent. His line managers are incompetent. They see problem pupils all the time but won't exclude them in case it triggers an inspection.
Another problem (?) I have noticed is that many classroom teachers are too caring and soft. They will not stand up to headteachers and say, "I am not teaching that pupil because....". If more of us were to do that something might get done about it all. And that pupil would not have a cracked skull.
I am a teacher who is desperately trying to get out.
It is because of this case that the public now has a much clearer picture of what kind of disruption is allowed to go on in schools every day. Let's hope there are some changes now, and that heads in these schools start supporting staff who have to deal with difficult classes.
How? How can a head support a teacher who has a class like that? S/he can run through the sanctions, most of which lack any serious bite especially if the parents won't take responsibility, use the PRU briefly and then exclude.
Exclusion carries a financial penalty and close interest from the LA and Ofsted. You have to have somewhere to exclude to.
The only way to sort out disciplinary problems of this nature are Special Schools for those who can't help it, and Reform/Approved Schools/Borstals, call them what you like, for those who can. Optional detentions and an understanding chat are going to solve nothing.
We have had repeat situations in our school where staff have been insulted, threatened and actually assaulted by kids who have a team of apologists working for them, and who have finally refused to have the pupil in their class. The only possible alternative is to put the pupil in a colleague's class or provide supervised withdrawal for a very limited period of time.
They have to go. And they have to go to somewhere much worse.
I would be very surprised if some `no win no fee` lawyer has not been approached by now.
Lets see what happens when the odure hits the ventilation
"In the private sector, where we have to earn a living"
Chortle. I worked in the private sector between the Army and joining the police. I saw scams, bullying, laziness, theft and waste which would NEVER be allowed even in the worst civil service departments.
I'm a long time fan of both yourself and Frank.
As usual you've got it just about right.
I have worked in the civil service for a good many years, I have also worked in a local authority and the NHS, but I've also worked in several private companies too; a solicitors and two insurance companies.
By and large the public sector is more professional and tends to recruit a better calibre of individual on the front line.
Where it all falls down, however, is the middle and senior management; we are top heavy with managers and non-jobs such as Diversity prats, Health and Safety arseholes, and all manner of weired and wonderful job titles; 'Adding Corporate Value Managers,' 'Corporate Impact Assessment Managers' 'Change Coordinators' and other jobs for the boys.
You could probably sack 90% of these hangers-on. They waste untold millions in public money and make our organisations inflexible and ineffecient, because we spend so much time becoming obsessed with 'Diversity,' 'Green Issues' 'Change,' and all other types of crap, most of which exists only in the warped brains of senior managers.
Add into the mix a desire to tick all the million and one boxes, and met the ever chaning, revamped, renamed targets and priorities, just to prove we are doing our jobs (all of which are fiddled anyway, and only prove that managers know how to fiddle the system to their advantage) and you end up with the woeful public services we currently have.
The poor, long suffering British Public end up with ever worse, and ever declining service levels, whilst paying ever more in various stealth taxes. Middle and Senior Mangers shin further and further up the greasy poll of promotion, and the decent hard-working staff at the coalface become ever more demoralised and pressurised.
Following blogs like yours and Frank's is the only thing that keeps me sane.
Keep up the good work both of you!
I think good strong head teachers and and middle management can make a difference. They can affect the whole morale of the staff and effectively command the respect of the pupils and as a result standards of behaviour generally. OK, so there will always be the ones who break the rules repeatedly - and when that happens these heads are not afraid to resort to exclusion. It is such a crazy system that fines schools for excluding pupils, though.
jerym, I really do hate people like you have an opinion without understanding a thing. There will be no "no win no fee" lawyers involved in this case as such arrangements are only permitted in very specific cases of which this ain't one!
Frank, I do seem to be in the minority here, but this teacher should have been convicted. The kid may well have been nasty and obnoxious, but that does not mean that he should be allowed to beat the child half to death. He should have been dealt with like any other violent thug and been locked up. Contrary to popular belief that is usually what happens in cases of very serious violence like this.
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