The slipping of the teacher’s chair at the Technical School in Trstenik horrified Serbia, and the demands that the children be punished most severely by expulsion from the school – were almost unanimous.
As much as the act itself, the public was appalled by the parents’ attempt to protect their children from sanctions at any cost. Surrounded by a crowd of lawyers, they brought certificates that their child was sane, that he needed hospitalization… One also submitted a request that his successor be expelled from the school before the decision of the Teachers’ Council, because the regulations provide that in that case neither the old nor the new school they cannot conduct the proceedings and punish him.
The desire of parents to protect their child is understandable, but experts warn that in this way they may be able to protect him from punishment at school, but not from the consequences for his development. By being uncritical towards the child and trying to protect him even when he is wrong, he is being sent the message that someone will always be behind their bad actions. Is there anything more wrong than that?
However, undefined regulations, loopholes in the system, principals who hide incidents so that the school does not get a bad name, and they, as the people say, have gone nuts, also contribute to the inflaming of violence and the protection of bullies. The regulations made by the educational system seem sluggish and in practice simply do not work.
And at the Technical School in Trstenik, an English teacher whose chair slipped is a victim of her students. But these students are also victims of an upside-down value system in no one and nothing is sacred.
The question is, are they the only ones to blame? Or the culprit is society in moral disarray. If the car breaks down only on them and if everyone – including parents, children, teachers and educational authorities – does not start a long and difficult struggle to return to the right values - the punishment that was imposed on these children will be in vain.
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