Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Dangers of Teasing, Dares, Bad Behaviour

A boy was killed by an allergic reaction to cheese at a school in England. Police are investigating whether another pupil deliberately flicked cheese at him or even pushed it into his mouth and down his throat.

This would not have happened if pupils had all been taught not to tease or disrupt others.

First consider:
1 It is a sign of ill will.
2 An attempt to get attention.
3 A distraction from group school work and friendly activities and friendship.
4 Ignorance of the possible severity of consequences.
5 It destroys friendship.
6 it takes up the time of parents, school staff and police investigating incidents.
7 It damages the reputation of the attacker.
8 It stresses the victim and the witnesses, both pupils and parents, school staff and prospective pupils and prospective pupils' parents and prospective teaching staff and administrators.
9 If schools don't already they should have a list of school rules and reasons to include:

Possible Rules For Schools and/or Pupil's Own Perusal or Family Conduct
I do not tease.
I do not mock.
I do not bully.
I do not touch another person's property.
I do not take school property.
I do not respond to bets nor dares.
I do not deface nor take signs.
I report accidental damage and apologise.

I might endanger another person.
I might distress another person, their family, school staff.
I could waste the time of pupils, parents and staff.
A joke could be very expensive if anybody has to buy another item.
I could damage the reputation of myself, my family, the staff, my school.
I could cause others to take revenge.
I could be denied a place in my favourite class, sports activity or school.

Long term results of gaining a reputation for being a nuisance:
You might not be taken on a school trip or holiday.
Teachers might refuse to take a school trip or holiday.
The school might close because pupils are removed by parents.
Interfering with food could cause somebody else to die.
Interfering with fire alarms could cause people to ignore them in a real emergency and die.
If you do naughty things at school and get away with it you are likely to be copied by others and to continue to do so at college.
Your bad reputation might stop teachers from giving you a good reference for your first choice college or your first job application.
Your bad reputation at college could stop other parents investing money in your parents' business.

1 When our son was at school his elderly and frail grandmother bought him a new laptop for his birthday. Other boy or boys took out part of it so he could not use it. As a result he was distressed. I as a parent was distressed. His grandmother was distressed.

Later, computers went missing. The boys who took parts of others' laptops were suspected. ((The culprit turned out to be the boarding school caretaker. This was found out when somebody went back and the item had gone missing when all the boys were out. A member of staff went around the whole building and found the missing laptop in the basement to which only the caretaker had access.

However, the point is that those who took small items were later suspected of bigger thefts.

The caretaker was not suspected. Why? Because the frequent minor thefts by school boys led staff to think the thief must be one of the boys trying out small thefts to see if he could get away with it.

Years on I feel hostile to his former schoolfriends, staff, and the school, and decline to give the money to any appeals by or for old boys or the school because I feel they did not set rules and could not be trusted. Even if I were to decide that I am being unreasonable, I would still have a gut feeling, an instinct to keep away and not get involved.

2 When our son was at university another pupil set off a fire alarm for a joke on a regular basis. Eventually our son discovered who it was. He did not tell me the name of the person because I threatened to write to the college. Besides, neither he nor I could not prove who it was.

After our son had left college, I was asked if I wanted to invest money in a business connected with one of his friends.

I asked, "Was that pupil was one who set off the fire alarm? I do not want to be involved, if it was him and his family."

If I was not told categorically that he was not the person involved, or I was told that nobody could be sure who it was, I would simply not trust anybody my son knows from that era.

3 I have read numerous stories of people taking selfies and doing dangerous things. One boy in Singapore died jumping over a barrier onto what looked like a marble ledge. It was merely painted. It was not strong enough to bear the weight of a person although it conformed to architectural legislation. The friend who was going to take his photo was also going to do the same thing next. Even if it had taken the weight of the first person, it might not have withstood the weight of two.
Romanian sign warning of drunk on road. Photo by Angela Lansbury. Copyright.

4 At a party somebody sat on a table. A table does not take weights designed by chairs which support people. The table was strong enough for one person. However, when he pulled me onto his lap, the table broke. This cost us money in offering pay. The host had to live without the item which could not be replaced. We paid for a gift. The gift was probably not as much as the cost of buying not one table but a next of two or three tables. I am forever uncomfortable. Maybe the host was not comfortable with us.

5 A woman in Wales left her child in a parked car on a slipway. (Reported in an online newspaper 20 March 2018.) When the mother came out of the building, the car was gone. She thought the car had been stolen with the child inside. That's one possible bad outcome. Another is that the animal or child interferes with the handbrake. the sad outcome was that the car was found under water.

The morals are:
1 School pupils should not touch other people's property.
2 You do not bully.
3 You do not dare others to take risks nor take risks yourself.
4 You only stand on surfaces designed for people to stand on them. You don't take risks. You only sit on chairs designed for people to sit on them.
5 Do not leave children or animals in parked cars.

Schools should have lists of actions pupils should take, and actions pupils should not take.

Useful Warning Websites

Angela Lansbury, author, parent, tutor, teacher. Please share links to your favourite posts.

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