One school administrator has noticed that behavior of students at her school was particularly unruly — and has decided to address it in an interesting way.
Louise McGowan, head teacher at Walderslade Girls’ School, in Chatham, Kent, in England recently sent a letter home to parents condemning students for poor behavior, as well as to their guardians for not putting a stop to it. Although McGowan is set to leave her position at the school soon due to poor health, she felt it was necessary to address the problem before her departure.
“Nationally the picture on poor behavior in schools is worsening; teachers and school staff are reporting a significant increase in disruptive behavior, rudeness, disrespect, and blatant flouting of the rules, answering back, refusal to follow instructions, and a host of unpleasant and quite frankly inexcusable attitudes from children, often starting at younger ages and worsening as children grow through teenage years,” the letter reads.
The head teacher then shared her thoughts on parents’ responses to the behavior of their children.
“I have noticed increasing numbers of parents have not been supporting the school’s decisions to implement sanctions and punishments for their children’s poor behavior,” McGowan states. “We have had several incidents where parents have actively fought on behalf of their children against the school, even when it has been found through investigation evidence that their child was in breach of the behavior policy.”
The letter comes after five students were reportedly expelled from the school due to poor behavior — another point the head teacher touched on in the letter.
“The fact [that] five students this year have lost their places is unprecedented, but I will not tolerate and never will tolerate extremes of poor behavior that risk spoiling the school and the valuable education it provides for the majority of really wonderful students that attend here,” the letter reads.
The secondary school and high school maintains a strict policy on mobile phones, which she noted students have not been complying with.
“More students now are ignoring the school’s rules on use of mobile phones, choosing to openly use them in front of staff without fear of consequence, refusing to comply with instructions to put them away, and often refusing confiscations.”
For these reasons, the head teacher is implementing a new, stricter policy on electronic devices at school and a new discipline and behavior policy, that she states in her letter parents must enforce.
“It will be an expectation that parents support the school if it is deemed necessary to issue sanctions and that parents do not protest or argue against the school instilling discipline,” the letter sates.
At the end of the note she thanked parents who have been supporting the rules and regulations of the school — and added what an impact the support has made to the teaching staff at Walderslade Girls’ School. McGowan told the Medway Messenger on the new regulations, “I want to ensure I leave the house in good order.”
We have reached out to Walderslade Girls’ School and will update when we hear back.
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