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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...


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In keeping with our policy of ignoring as far as possible the hysterical exaggerations of the nation's worst newspaper, we bring you this important article by Frances Childs from ... er ... from that well-known and highly respected journal, the ... er ... Maily Dail ...

Dylan stands up, dashes across the room to snatch his friend’s pencil case and promptly tosses the contents into the air. When I order him to sit down, he laughs, climbs on to the window ledge and begins to hiss. Some of the other children in the class of 14-year-olds join in. As I attempt to persuade Dylan to get down, another pupil, Richard, grabs his neighbour Rory by the neck and wrestles him to the floor.
‘Stop it, Richard,’ I shout, trying to pull them apart. His response is to reply: ‘Oi, Miss, you ain’t allowed to touch us. That’s assault, that is.’ His victim, meanwhile, scrambles back to his chair. The hissing has become jeering and a paper ball sails across the classroom, closely followed by someone’s PE kit.
It is a chaotic scene, but don’t be fooled into thinking it is in any way unusual. Like it or not, this is life in the average classroom of an average comprehensive. And during the ten years that I’ve been teaching in state secondary schools, I can honestly say that the standard of behaviour has imploded.
You may shrug off bad behaviour as being down to a teacher’s inability to control their class but believe me, these days every state school teacher I know, regardless of ability, has been subject to swearing, physical fighting and constant disruption on nearly a daily basis. What’s more, there are incidents of physical violence towards us too. I, personally, have been shoved aside by one 15-year-old pupil, who was annoyed at being kept for detention. I’ve had coins and pencils thrown at me and colleagues of mine have been bitten, kicked in the stomach and on the legs.
None of the children who assaulted us was expelled. These are the reasons why I am now seriously considering spending at least £9,000 a year to send my four-year-old daughter to private school when the time comes.
As a staunch supporter of the state system, this is something I never believed I would even consider. But my ideals of equality have been well and truly trampled under foot. Behaviour in many schools is now so appalling that I just cannot risk my daughter having to witness the things that as a teacher I have grown depressingly accustomed to.
An extreme example of the catastrophic state of our schools is that of science teacher Peter Harvey. Last week he was cleared of attempting to murder one of his pupils. He had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm after repeatedly hitting a 14-year-old boy over the head with a 3kg dumbbell and shouting ‘Die, die, die’ as he did so. The jury was shown footage of the moments leading up to the attack that left the boy with a fractured skull.
A girl in the classroom had been secretly filming with a camcorder as the class taunted and goaded their teacher. They were hoping that he would snap and humiliate himself, perhaps swear or cry. They would then disseminate the footage around the school.
The teenagers knew that Mr Harvey had been off sick with stress and depression, but thought it amusing to ‘wind him up’. They hadn’t expected that he would lose all self-control and attack a boy described at Harvey’s trial as a ‘known troublemaker’, but that’s exactly what happened.
Tragically, Peter Harvey’s experience is far from unique. Most teachers reading about the events in his classroom, in a school rated ‘good’ by the government inspectorate Ofsted, will recognise the raucous and calculating behaviour of pupils.
Some of the children came into the class intent on disrupting it at any price. Pupils were shouting, running about having mock sword fights with wooden rulers, chasing one another with Bunsen burners and generally causing havoc and mayhem. When Peter Harvey asked the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, to sit down, the teenager insolently turned his back and told his teacher to ‘**** off’.
It was then that Harvey, a teacher for 16 years at All Saints Roman Catholic School in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, snapped and launched his attack. Of course, what Peter Harvey did cannot be condoned, but I do understand only too well the terrible sense of anger, frustration and humiliation he must have felt that day.
I, too, have worked with children who deliberately set out to disrupt and destroy lessons. I don’t believe that there can be many state school teachers in Britain who haven’t. Like Peter Harvey, whom witnesses at his trial described as a good and dedicated teacher, I have put many hours into preparing lessons to captivate and interest my class, only to watch as the lesson is hijacked and wantonly destroyed by disruptive pupils.
You may think back to your own schooldays and recall pupils being cheeky and showing no enthusiasm for learning. But, believe me, long gone are the days when disobedience amounted to a crafty fag behind the bike sheds or reading a magazine under the desk instead of copying out notes on Macbeth.
Now, shouting and swearing at staff is commonplace, and you can utter a perfectly reasonable request to be met with a fury that beggars belief. Ask a pupil to sit down or be quiet and chairs might be kicked over, desks sent flying — followed by the obligatory foul-mouthed tirade.
Over the past ten years, I have been an English teacher in three state secondary schools in the South-East. Last year, for the first time in my career, I walked out of a classroom. Halfway through the lesson, in a school classed by Ofsted as ‘good’, I packed my bags and left because the behaviour in that room was so dreadful that had I stayed I would have either burst into tears or thumped one of my 15-year-old pupils.
That day, my carefully prepared handouts had been screwed up and thrown around the room as children ran about jumping on chairs and chucking one another’s bags around. One of the boys, Mark, a persistent troublemaker, refused to sit his place. He plonked himself down in someone else’s chair, feet on the desk and whipped out his phone. When I tried to confiscate it, he simply laughed at me. ‘**** off! You ain’t having that,’ he jeered.
When another boy, Andrew, started chucking paper aeroplanes across the room and the rest of the class started whistling and chanting raucously, I walked out. I’d had enough. I was at breaking point.
It might not sound as if anything particularly outrageous occurred that day. But what had broken me wasn’t the bad behaviour, but the personal nature of it. Children have always been mischievous, and teachers can cope with that, but what’s new is the proliferation of swearing and deliberate attempts to humiliate us.
The first time a pupil swore at me was five years ago. It was a girl — don’t be fooled, they can be just as bad as boys — and I had asked her to leave my classroom as she wasn’t supposed to be in my lesson. The response was: ‘F*** off, you sad b****!’ I was frozen to the spot with shock. But now I can honestly say that perhaps three days in every five I’m sworn at or personally insulted in some way or another.
You might wonder why we teachers stand for it, but largely our hands are tied.
Take this example — one pupil swore at me, hit a fellow pupil over the head, tipped pencil cases to the floor, called another a ‘w*****’. I complained to the head teacher, only to be told the pupil in question is attending anger management classes. When I pointed out that their behaviour was preventing all of her classmates from learning, I was told that there was nothing anyone could do. We just had to curb the behaviour as best we could.
So how have we descended to this level? In my opinion, the Government’s policy of inclusion — whereby even extremely disturbed and aggressive children are taught in mainstream schools — is largely to blame. Special schools — where children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties were educated in tiny classes by teachers trained to deal with their complex needs — have been closed. Now, those children are educated in mainstream comprehensives by people like me, who just aren’t equipped to deal with them.
I’ve grown accustomed — as have my colleagues — to watching groups of teenagers in hoodies marauding around the school, banging on classroom windows, opening the doors and shouting insults into lessons. Sometimes they even beckon other children out of classes to have a fight or disrupt someone else’s lessons. When they’re challenged about their behaviour, most of these children simply sneer: ‘We ain’t got to go to classes, we’re in anger management.’
In the past few years, schools have started to spend tens of thousands of pounds employing counsellors to teach youngsters ‘anger management’. Inclusion in this nebulous group gives pupils carte blanche to behave in any way they please, without having to take the slightest responsibility for their actions.
And what of the parents? Complain to them about their children’s behaviour and it’s quite likely that you’ll be met with a shrugging indifference. On one occasion, I rang a mother to complain about her daughter’s abusive language and was told to ‘lighten up’.
Other parents become angry and foulmouthed themselves. My friend Joanna, a tiny woman of five foot, was screamed at and threatened in her classroom by an enraged father. She’d kept his daughter in for a detention and was accused of ‘picking on’ the girl. With role models like that, it’s little wonder that so many of our children are violent thugs.
As for expulsion, schools are loath to do this to unruly pupils because there are financial penalties. And the policy of inclusion has meant that children expelled from one comprehensive on Friday afternoon will just turn up on Monday morning at another one five miles down the road. It is no wonder that a survey of more than 1,000 teachers carried out by the teachers’ union ATL in March found more than 50 per cent had experienced verbal abuse this academic year and almost 40 per cent had been intimidated.
These figures, shocking though they are, I believe, underestimate the problem. Many teachers don’t like to admit that they’ve been abused and intimidated, feeling that somehow it reflects badly on them rather than on the pupils who push, shove and swear their way through the school day.
My friend, Carol, confides that violence in the classroom has got much worse. ‘I was knocked over by some boys shoving their way out of the room after I’d tried to keep them in for a lunchtime detention. One of them punched me hard on the arm first,’ she tells me. She is now considering quitting the profession after 15 years. Even more shockingly, another colleague, Mary, was punched in the face after a 13-year-old lost his temper when she confiscated his mobile phone.
I’ve worked in schools that Ofsted has deemed to be failing, and the behaviour was atrocious. I’ve also worked in schools that like Peter Harvey’s were rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, and the behaviour was equally dreadful. Many of my teaching colleagues admit almost shamefacedly to educating their children in the private sector.
For those of us who’ve spent our lives teaching in comprehensives, there is a sense that we are letting the side down by turning to private schools for our own children. But we see what’s happening in our classrooms and we are left with little choice.
Hence my plans for my own daughter. The difference is that no private school would tolerate behaviour even half as bad as that now taken for granted in state schools. If children turned up in classes intent on disrupting them in any way possible, then parents would be asked to take them elsewhere. I’m a mild-mannered person, I’ve never smacked my daughter, or even raised my voice to her, and yet there have been days at work when I’ve felt so utterly humiliated that I’ve wanted to punch the next child who screws up my handout and tells me to ‘**** off’ when I protest.
Although my colleagues and I accept that what Peter Harvey did was wrong, there can’t be a state school teacher in the country who doesn’t at some level understand exactly why he did what he did.

The GOS says: I believe every word of this article.
I was a classroom teacher for twenty years, and I suppose I had a pretty easy ride. The schools I taught in were good, the pupils pleasant and fairly well-behaved, and I rarely had any difficulty with discipline. If I'm honest, being a man and over six feet tall helped – don't let anyone tell you it doesn't make a difference.
I left the classroom and moved into management for a number of years, then retired. At the beginning of my retirement I received calls from two head teachers I knew. One asked me to go into his comprehensive in a seaside town and cover for an absent colleague a couple of days a week. He was desperate, so I did it for half a term until he was able to make a more permanent arrangement. It wasn't hard. The kids didn't know much, but they were cheerful and willing to have a go at anything you put in front of them, and perfectly well behaved.
This positive experience made me confident when I received a cry for help from the second head, this time from a minor private school. Well, I thought, small classes, nice middle-class kids, I obviously haven't lost my touch, this should be a piece of cake.
How wrong I was. They were a bunch of right little sods, frankly, and the laziest people I have ever encountered. Their determination to do as little as possible was staggering, their respect for authority miniscule, and their confidence in their own invulnerability colossal. It was only a few weeks before I decided that I'd done my bit for the youth of this country, and that a retired gentleman of advancing years should have better things to do with his time ...
So yes, as I say ... I believe every word of this article. And let no one offend me by suggesting that it's the fault of the teachers. I won't deny that standards have fallen in recent years, but teachers are supposed to teach, not act as warders, policemen, security guards, or punchbags. For many years they have been able to rely on their own determination, aura of authority and a loud voice. If those no longer work, they have nothing to fall back on - they're allowed nothing to fall back on. And if they can't get on with their jobs, it's high time we policed the corridors with security guards. With big sticks. How's that as an opportunity for non-commissioned officers retiring from the forces?


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