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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 July, 2005, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
How can unruly children be tackled?
Youths
Should parents be made to stay at home to monitor excluded children?

The prime minister has suggested parents should be forced to stay at home to supervise their children if they are suspended from school.

He says there is no point excluding pupils if they simply go and cause trouble elsewhere.

Meanwhile, a 15-year-old boy has won a High Court challenge to the legality of child-free curfew zones used to tackle anti-social behaviour.

What can be done to keep suspended pupils off the streets? Have you had to take time off because your child has been excluded from school? Do curfew zones curb anti-social behaviour?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Katharine Friedmann, UK:
Should parents be forced to give up work to supervise their children if they are suspended from school?

I've had this discussion with my a teacher friend on many occasions and each time we've come to the same solution; if the child causes a problem at school, have the child removed from the class and then simply the parent is called from work and told to come and collect them. Eventually it will get to the point where it is not financially viable (not to mention extremely inconvenient.) for the parent to keep doing this and the child will have to fall into line. Or no more trainers; no more playstations; no more allowance etc.
Frank Bradshaw, Horsham, UK

We need these curfews so that the rest of the population can feel safe and not intimidated
Caroline, Plymouth, UK
What is the phrase? "A few can spoil something for the many"?. Yes, not all under-16s walking the streets at 9pm are going to be trouble makers but unfortunately some are. Therefore we need these curfews so that the rest of the population can feel safe and not intimidated by groups of teenagers in hoodies on street corners. Anyway, why aren't these kids in bed, or at least getting relaxed beforehand. No wonder there are so many that are unruly and moody - they are all overtired!
Caroline, Plymouth, UK

So these children whose behaviour is mostly down to poor parenting will be subject to more poor parenting with adults who have now lost their jobs and are even more resentful of their children. Marvellous.
N G, Somerset

As much as I am for the tackling of anti-social behaviour, I'd hate to think that a 15-year-old couldn't go for a walk in the evening to get some fresh air without being taken home.
Kay, Newcastle, UK

The state is already dictating what parents are allowed to do to teach discipline to their child. So how can you expect a parent to take responsibility for their children if he/she is not to choose the most appropriate method of education?
Francesco Gianni, UK

Simple, the badly behaved children at my school hardly saw their parents, who did not take an interest in their actions. Parents should think that raising kids is a 18 year process not 4/5 years as many seem to think.
Helen, UK

The simple fact remains that these kids have no respect for their teachers, or parents due to the fact that there is little or no discipline. In my day we firmly believed in the adage spare the rod and spoil the child, and we had respect and dignity. There is a line between punishment and abuse, which needs to be clear and adhered to, but making parents stay at home as well will simply up the viewing figures for day-time TV!
Neil S, Moortown, Leeds

Forcing parents to stay at home with their children is yet another New Labour law that will be almost impossible to enforce and that many parents will ignore. What sort of example is that going to set for their children? Passing unenforceable laws ultimately serves only to undermine the rule of law.
Paul, London, UK

There is far too much emphasis on mothers returning to work, which knocks on to there being no-one at home to be a parent at crucial times of the day i.e. before and after school, during sickness and holidays. If children had safe and stimulating homes and a parent to return to, they probably wouldn't need alternative entertainment on the streets. Many lone-parent families take the blame for disruptive children and there appears to be a stigma attached to single parenthood, particularly mothers, but if they were supported by society - not just the Government - we might find less antisocial behaviour occurring. It seems that the general neglect by society as a whole is to blame, not just the parents.
Caroline, Maidenhead, UK

I think the 15-year-old has done the right thing, the government has gone too far with these curfews. I went out at night especially in the summer holidays when it was lighter in the evenings when I was that age and we never broke the law. Why should someone be made to stay in when they haven't done anything wrong just because they are under 16? What about curfews for everyone then? Most serious crimes are committed by adults aren't they - perhaps a national curfew would be fairer eh? But I imagine it's just easier to stigmatise young people isn't it, as they can't vote.
AJ, Edinburgh, Scotland

No, schools should have provision for separating unruly children from those who want to learn, a separate room supervised by strong and experienced teachers. The 'separation' environment must be strict and less enjoyable than the normal learning environment (eg strict enforcement of silence, no windows to stare out of, onerous work objectives set). This should be backed up with sanctions for non-compliance (eg banned from school teams, school trips, detentions, fines for parents, improvement objectives set and reviewed properly). Ultimately exclusion from the school, though again this should be seen (by the pupils) as a hard option, with separate 'hard-line' exclusion schools set up (ie don't inflict the problem on another set of pupils).
KP, West Midlands

Not all youths are bad, in fact I would say the majority are well behave but bored. Where have all the youth clubs gone? They are frightened to go to the park to play football/cricket because of the gangs of trouble makers who think nothing of using knives to get what they want - bikes, phones, trainers, tracksuits, etc. So unless they stay in with mom and dad every night what are they supposed to do. Going out with one's mates is part of growing up. If we stop this we stop our youths from developing friendships, social skills, etc, and what kind of adults will they make then? Perhaps the money being spent on the extra police to chase these youths off the streets could be put to a more productive use such as providing cheap amenities for the youths to use. Of course there will always be some that just want to cause trouble but that was the case when I was a teenager some 30 years ago!
Sue, Birmingham

Of course kids hang around on the streets, there is nowhere else for them to go, nothing to do
TJC, Bridgnorth, UK
These dispersal zones are a joke. I, and anyone else, should be able to go where they please for no other reason than I want to. We live in a free society. Of course kids hang around on the streets, there is nowhere else for them to go, nothing to do. Playing fields closing, no clubs, no where they can go without adults. This is what needs sorting out.
TJC, Bridgnorth, UK

My friend's son got into trouble at school, he's normally a good kid, but his father nipped it in the bud by grounding him for a month in his room, removed his TV, PC, mobile and only contact with his friends were at school. If he was late home after school a day was added on every time - he was never in trouble again. Now that's a responsible parent, must have been a long month.
Allan Hosie, Glasgow, UK

Not by issuing blanket curfews on children who are well behaved, that's for sure. The responsibility of children lies with the parents. It is up to them to bring them up correctly, teach them morals, and discipline them. So yes, if suspended, make the parents stay at home to look after them. But cause and effect is missing here. Smash a shop's window, then the child should pay for it and be involved in the repairs. Meet the shopkeeper and understand the result of their actions. Smash a car up, then pay for the damage. Even if it's 20k, so that child must work for years to pay it off, then so be it. The link between anti-social behaviour and effect must be crystallized in the minds of these idiots, and compensation to the victims is of paramount importance - made by the perpetrator, not insurance companies, or payments given in court. Link it together.
Tom Franklin, London, UK

While I am not condoning a return to corporal punishment, a lack of discipline is obviously the problem. Kids are not citizens with rights, they are children who need to be taught right from wrong, and the adults in their lives need to be free to teach them this. Forcing parents to stay at home is not the answer - most would probably love the opportunity to be full-time parents but simply cannot afford it. It's a long time since one wage was enough to raise a family.
Karen, London, UK

Bring back the rod and improve the child. Get on the cases of absentee parents and give more support (both moral and financial) to single parents. Stop the exclusion of pupils from schools.
Ayo Awoyele, Peterborough, UK

If my 13 year-old decides that she wants to go out, how do you suggest that I stop her - perhaps beat her, tie her up, lock her in a room, perhaps leg irons? There is very little that a parent can legally do to stop a child going out so stop blaming the parents, our society has changed so much that some of these kids has lost all respect for others.
James, Suffolk

The boy was right to challenge and win his case
Emily, UK
The boy was right to challenge and win his case. He was not being punished as some people think, he was just a law-abiding boy who thought it was wrong that he was not allowed to walk on the streets at night. Did you not walk to friends houses or go to the cinema at 15 years old? To stop this is a shocking restriction on human rights.
Emily, UK

I see myself as quite a liberal, moderate person. But anti-social behaviour amongst adolescents is out of control, and I believe the only solution is zero-tolerance and more police powers. I would like to see police in schools, more police patrols where teenagers congregate, and, yes, more controls on how parents monitor their children. To those who say this is too draconian or that society should change attitudes without state intervention, I can only say that moral limits have been distorted over the past few decades as regards to anti-social behaviour and that the state needs to establish boundaries. Unruly youngsters laugh at our weakness. We have to come down hard on them.
Seamus Wilson, Newcastle, England

This always goes back to main point - parents are responsible for bringing children to this world and the moment they can walk, seem to think their responsibility ends there. More action against parents is needed - discipline begins in the home. If the child has real problems such as ADD/ADHD, then support must be provided. It is time that errant parents took responsibility for the actions of their (delinquent) offspring.
John, Watford, UK

It seems the law doesn't apply to children, where I live gangs of kids regularly go round destroying cars and breaking windows. Despite reporting them to the police, nothing is ever done, even when they are caught red handed. You can't even look at kids now without risking a broken window or being reported for abuse. Curfews are one of the best ways of tackling this problem.
David Forden, Liverpool, UK

This government's biggest mistake has been to incorporate the Human Rights Act into our law. Since it foolishly did this, law and order has become a laughing stock in this country. Until we start taking personal responsibility seriously again, nothing will change.
Andy, Manchester, England

The problem with a small minority of teenagers is that they know all about their rights but very little about the responsibilities that go with them. Movies and video games are to blame and the parents who allow their children to have age-inappropriate video games.
Iain, Scotland

Why are there questions being asked as to who will pay for parents to stay at home? The answer has got to be no one. This will inevitably mean a reduction in living standards both for the parents concerned and the erring children. If the misbehaving junior is suddenly faced with not being able to afford designer hoodies, trainers and expensive mobiles then, perhaps, it may prove a deterrent.
Keith W, Swindon

Pauline Yates should note that the boy who took the case to court is a model student who has never been in trouble. He took the matter to court because he thought it wrong that he and other under 16s should be under curfew for no reason other than their age. Perhaps the fact that Ms Yates automatically assumed him to be some sort of delinquent is part of the problem ie treat people like criminals and they will behave like criminals.
Matt F, Bristol

If more was done to provide these youths with somewhere to go and something to channel all their energy, I don't think we would have half the problems. I do agree that children under 14 should not be allowed to roam the streets after 9pm in the summer and 7pm in the winter. These are vulnerable young people and it should be up the their parents to enforce these rules as a matter of safety.
Maddy Stott, Sale, Manchester

Kids have too many rights and not enough responsibilities
Chris, Telford
Kids have too many rights and not enough responsibilities, and if their parents don't make them responsible for their actions then there is no hope. Lee Kwan Yew the leader that made Singapore such a dynamic and successful country was quoted as saying "the good of society comes before the rights of individuals". How right he was.
Chris, Telford

I'm glad this boy won at the High Court. There are far more respectful teenagers than the badly-behaved ones but they're less noticeable.
Laura, London

Excluded kids should have to attend some form of highly-staffed compulsory education facility - the government needs to invest in new services to deal with this. The educators need to have some training in child psychology and behavioural techniques. The parents should be made to attend compulsory parenting classes.
Liz, Worthing

Well said John James. It is about time that this country woke up to the fact that discipline has to be taught and is not an instinct. Restore corporal punishment in schools and the bobby on the beat. Make children understand that bad behaviour means that a suitable punishment will be metered out, not a psychologists couch session.
Dave Jowett, Yate, UK

The do-gooders have wrecked discipline in schools and the children know they are untouchable
Ian, Baildon
Even if parents didn't have a control over their children, schools used to be able to instil some discipline in children. However, the do-gooders have wrecked discipline in schools by preventing physical chastisement and the children know they are untouchable.
Ian, Baildon

Only a few weeks ago, we heard of a proposal to keep children in school from 8am to 6pm,to help 'hard working families'. Now parents will be expected to stay at home, in case their children are excluded. Seems to me that New Labour is confused and lacking direction.
Alistair Scott, Birmingham

Excluding a child from school is a typical attitude of our modern narrow-minded society. Instead of working on integration, the system works on exclusion.
Mathieu, Switzerland

What people here fail to realise is the boy who took the case to court was not a yob. Just a normal 15 year old who felt it unfair that he should be subject of a curfew because other people his age cause trouble. Of course children his age who can act responsibly should be allowed out after 9pm. What if he is walking home from a friends house or from a sports club?
Ian, UK

You got it wrong, Pauline from Suffolk. He was a law abiding citizen who had done nothing wrong! Blanket curfew orders take away the basic rights of freedom of movement and freedom of assembly of the innocent.
Frank, Bristol

Parents need to take responsibility for their own children
Rhyannon, Gloucestershire
Parents need to take responsibility for their own children. If a child is excluded then parents should stay at home with them to keep them off the streets and out of mischief. Then decent law-abiding children could walk the streets without curfews which are unfair on those that have done nothing.
Rhyannon, Gloucestershire

Maybe the government ought to consider employing this boy in the future. He obviously has the brains to see the pitfalls in the government's policies. Good luck to him.
Helen, Hampshire UK

It can hardly be a surprise that kids who get kicked out of school end up on the streets causing trouble. Why not send them to a US style "Boot Camp" to be taught some manners and discipline.
Michael, York, UK

Rather than exclude the pupil, which does them no good at all, why not compel a parent to supervise the student in class? That way the student still gets educated as well as the "punishment" of having their parent sitting in class with them.
Dave, Moira, N Ireland

Put the suspended pupils into unpaid and supervised community service
V, London
Forcing parents to stay at home will not necessarily help, as the parents in question will not necessarily possess the right parenting skills and would need to be supported by benefits in order to stay at home. Instead, put the suspended pupils into unpaid and supervised community service, clearing rubbish, removing graffiti etc.
V, London

This ruling by the courts is just another example of the pressure groups medalling with projects that are proven effective. I am willing to guess that many of the people who work for these groups don't have to suffer the torment of seeing their communities ripped apart by feral teenagers, whose sole goal in life is to destroy everything for everyone else. Whilst teenagers might not like the curfew, perhaps it will encourage them to 'dob in' the trouble-causers. Motorists don't like speed cameras, but we have to put up with them because of a minority of speeders!
Andy, Leeds, UK

Only a few weeks ago, we heard of a proposal to keep children in school from 8am to 6pm, to help "hard working families". Now parents will be expected to stay at home, in case their children are excluded. Seems to me that New Labour is confused and lacking direction.
Alistair Scott, Birmingham

The parents of these children should be forced to attend counselling sessions to they learn basic parental responsibilities.
Paul Collier, London, UK

It is not the right of any politician to dictate that parents will be forced to stay off work to look after them
George, Chichester, UK
If a school excludes an unruly pupil it is their responsibility to have them in a secure area until they are picked up by a parent of responsible adult. It is not the right of any politician to dictate that parents will be forced to stay off work to look after them. Today's schools are too often happy to send the problem elsewhere. But, in saying that it is because of the interference of the PC lot and politicians that say discipline cannot be dished out at schools. The nanny states rules OK. Curfews cannot and will not work properly. The individuals concerned only move out of the curfew area and take the problems to others. If this government would return discipline to the parents and schools, a large proportion of the problems could be reigned in.
George, Chichester, UK

I am a parent and I know what it means to be dealing with an unruly child. It will be unfair to force parents to stay at home because their child was suspended from school. Parents should be left to decide what to do when a situation like that arises. I am lucky so far that I have not had to deal with a situation like that. Enforcement of curfew zones will definitely go a long way in curbing anti-social behaviour. Parents should do everything possible to do their homework in order to prevent a situation like this. Parents should not forget the biblical saying that 'if your spare the rod, you spoil the child.'
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

So, one minute Ruth Kelly is asking for schools to stay open longer and the next Tony Blair wants parents to stay at home to keep an eye on them! The governments' priority should be to decide whether children are the responsibility of the state or their parents! And in terms of keeping suspended pupils off the streets: send them for military training, that would knock some discipline into them!
Michelle, Cardiff, Wales

I agree with the prime minister. Once the parents realise they are using up their holiday entitlement or are not earning as result, they might start acting as normal responsible parents should.
Paul Collier, London

Restore all the disciplinary powers that have been taken away from parents, teachers and the police. The reason children misbehave is because they know they can get away with it. If the first time they stepped out of line as a ten year old they got caned, then they would think twice about there ever being a second time.
Colin Wright, UK

Most of my generation (30s) are well balanced people because we had a good upbringing and were allowed to be children. A lot of today's children don't spend much time with their family eating dinner or doing things together. Instead, they are given money, clothes, PlayStations etc in compensation. Parents actually need to spend time with their children instead of giving them material goods.
Lou, Lowestoft

Parents should be punished more than the children and publicly humiliated. They should be made to feel ashamed for their child's actions. I'm 27, when I was a child if I got into trouble I knew that my parents would give me the biggest roasting of all! If these kids don't respect their parents then who will they respect?
Tom, Derbyshire

Parents of unruly children should be made to accompany them to class and stay with them all day at school. This way, parents could see first hand the type of behaviour that is unacceptable or the child might actually be so embarrassed at mum or dad tagging along, they actually pay attention and learn something!
Janice, NI

Two words - 'National Service'
Adrian Evans, Exeter
Two words - 'National Service'. There's nothing you can do to stop teenagers being teenagers, but National Service would certainly go some way to stopping the rogue element developing into habitual criminals.
Adrian Evans, Exeter

In my area the streets are constantly filled with children, regardless of whether it's a school day or not. They are rude, abusive, and violent, often throwing stones at passers-by. I do not think suspension is a solution, since they don't go to school anyway. They should be kept in a secure area within the school, with some form of security guard to stop any potential violence.
Jess, Cardiff, Wales

In my day, a good smack on the back of the legs had the desired effect. But then in my day, we respected authority, and being chastised was a matter of shame.
John, Ceredigion

Problem children are, more often than not, a result of bad parenting so it would perhaps be a better idea for the government to set up some schemes to teach parents how to parent properly, and save the punishments to deal with any who still do not make an effort to bring up their children properly.
Joe, Birmingham

Most of the problems we experience in school relate to home life
Sue, Tyneside
I think that some form of sanction (like actually spending time with their child) needs to operate on parents. Most of the problems we experience in school (I am a teacher) relate to home life. Too often we have parents stating 'I don't know what to do with him/her'. How can this be when the child they are referring to is their own? They have chosen to bring this life into the world, they have a major responsibility to their child. There are many agencies that will help parents if they get into difficulties but they have to be prepared to make the effort not pass the buck.
Sue, Tyneside

It's easy for a privileged 15-year-old from Richmond, one of the wealthiest parts of the country, to complain about his human rights being infringed by dispersal zones. However, may I suggest the child and his parents speak to people in areas affected by antisocial behaviour, I'm sure their blinkered outlook would soon change. I sincerely hope that legislation is brought in to circumvent this outrageous ruling.
Giles, Chester

I think the answer is community service. Telling a child that because he isn't behaving he can have an extra holiday isn't going to convince him to behave. It would work on a few pupils but they are highly unlikely to do something that would warrant suspension. If you made them pick up litter or I think a better option would be get them to work in the kitchens in a prison. They would get an impression of both hard work and where they're likely to end up should they not change. Plus it would give the inmates something to do to elevate the boredom temporarily. They could harass these kids who think it's fun to be suspended. Slightly Draconian but no one would be in any danger so what harm could it do.
Chris, Liverpool

If children want to be equal then we need to treat them equally which means they pay fines for littering and vandalism. Most importantly they must be held accountable for their actions - these rules were there to protect them but if they don't want it then we should change sentencing laws.
Ian, London, England

Surely schools want to get parents on side, not alienate them
Alan Chambers, Birmingham
I would rather see a proper investigation into the causes of the (apparent) huge increase in anti-social behaviour. For example, there is evidence that the now common junk food diet appears to be a factor. Surely schools want to get parents on side, not alienate them. Let's find out what's wrong before discussing solutions likely to cause more problems than they solve.
Alan Chambers, Birmingham

Children do not magically gain discipline and respect through osmosis; it is up to the parents to teach these skills to their children. If these skills have been neglected and have resulted in a child being excluded then the parents should take responsibility for that. As a parent of two children I believe it to be illogical and unfair to expect the child, school or state to take responsibility for my own shortcomings.
Jessica, London

I think it's quite simple to tackle this issue. If children are excluded from mainstream schooling then the Government should set up special schools for these types of children, who can then receive the schooling, counselling and help that they require without them having to miss out on an education.
Jill, Scotland

I have never seen any problematic behaviour that wouldn't be solved by having a policeman on patrol
Fiona, Cranleigh, UK
We have a curfew zone in our village centre, although I have never seen any problematic behaviour that wouldn't be solved by having a policeman on patrol in the evening. The curfew may help to reduce vandalism in the village centre, but it has tended to move the few yobs to the outskirts of the village (where most people live). It is much more difficult for the police to patrol here as they can't be everywhere so the curfew seems pointless. If, in addition, it is going to lead to innocent youngsters being treated like criminals then I would say that it is a retrograde step. After all I remember when I was a kid that being picked on by someone in authority when we had done nothing, tended to make us more likely to cause trouble!
Fiona, Cranleigh, UK

I have never seen the point of suspending schoolchildren - it is in essence a reward for bad behaviour - time off school. If you are going to force the parents to do anything make them sit in their disruptive child's classroom.
John, England

I am 89-year-old man and I think these children who hang around doing nothing all day are a disgrace in society. I started a 14 hour day at around 15 and it taught me that you get out of life what you put in. Unfortunately, these days the youths have no respect for society in general.
Lee W, Dagenham, UK

Pupils need to be punished for bad behaviour. We seem to be very unimaginative when it comes to punishment. It's either detention, suspension or exclusion. Why not make them run around the sports field as a punishment. What about weekend detentions?
Jonny Mayle, Cranleigh, Surrey

Parents should be ultimately responsible for their children's behaviour, however what Mr Blair is suggesting seems tantamount to house arrest. I suspect most parents would remain at home if their children are suspended from school anyway. Are we going to get more laws just for the sake of it?
Nick, Driffield, England

Perhaps if parents stayed in more full stop rather than going the pub all the time they might know what their under 16's are up to or have more chance to make sure they come in at a sensible hour?
Peter, Sussex UK

I think we all know that there is a lack of discipline with children nowadays. We cannot do anything about it for fear of being in court charged with GBH/ABH. The EU and this government have caused this problem. Discipline needs to be retaught and this means that parents and children need to face harsher punishment if they do wrong.
John James, Stoke

What about law abiding citizen's human rights?
Pauline Yates, Suffolk
It's ridiculous that this child was even allowed to take his punishment to court. What about law abiding citizen's human rights? Children who behave badly need to be shown it's wrong and won't be tolerated. Parents of these children need to be forced to take responsibility for their offspring. We are far to liberal in addressing an area where discipline is sadly lacking.
Pauline Yates, Suffolk

Too many parents in this country couldn't care less where their kids are, or what they are up to, and this attitude is fuelled by the current legal system. At the moment we have a ludicrous situation where nobody is responsible for the bad behaviour of children. The children themselves are protected by law, and the parents are not held to account. By making parents legally and financially responsible for the suffering and damage that their unruly kids cause, we will see an automatic improvement in parental responsibility and attitude which is bound to result in a sizeable reduction in unruly behaviour.
Dan, Yateley, UK

Why should the poor tax payer keep having to bail out bad parents?
David Quinton, Wigan, UK
Good idea making parents take time off work to supervise their children. If they have been excluded because of thuggish behaviour or some other reason, perhaps doing this will make the parents realise their child is off the rails and they should do something about it. Why should the poor tax payer keep having to bail out bad parents?
David Quinton, Wigan, UK

Yes parents should stay at home, but equally they should be given guidance - dare I say parenting classes to be taught how to deal with their kid's unruly behaviour.
Julie, London, UK

Am I the only one that thought police had this power already? Don't we have 'no loitering' rules? I don't think anyone has any business hanging around on the streets no matter how old they are. Police should rightly be able to ask what they are doing and if they have no credible explanation then they should be able to move them on.
James, London, UK

Forcing parents to stay at home will only increase the tax bill as they will want paying to not be at work. What about community service for children excluded from school? We certainly don't want them on the streets.
Thomas, Spoughton, UK

I was suspended once during my schooldays. I was generally considered well behaved, intelligent and I come from a 'nice' professional, educated family. I had to work very hard to get myself suspended. Why? For the simple reason that I hated my 'nice' private school and it's attitudes. The reasons behind the suspension need to be fully understood before the correct action can be taken. These blanket assumptions that it is lack of parental involvement, poverty, poor education etc are truly damaging.
Rachel, UK

I can't see this working at all! The reason the vast majority of these children have been excluded is because of bad parenting. I would suggest the government invests in a number of 'special' schools where these children can be taught their regular lessons, but also get counselling, anger management training, vocational training and so on. Clearly the parents can't or won't cope too. They should be made to take parenting classes and undergo close monitoring. That's the only way we can stop badly-behaved children turning into adult criminals.
Mo C, UK

All youths under 18 should be subject to curfew every evening. They are not adding any value to society wandering the streets every night.
Keith, Essex

Children are, in the end, the responsibility of their parents and, providing notice has been given, parents should be responsible for their offspring when suspended. It is true, however that many pupils suspended from school are also out of control at home so a more creative solution need to be found. Let us remember that schools are primarily places of education, not baby-minding services or an extension of the courts.
Derek, Hatfield Herts

Who exactly is paying for these parents - many of whom are at least in part responsible for their offspring's behaviour - to stay at home? Unless they are also taught to parent properly, I see little value in enforcing more of the same parenting at taxpayers expense.
Stephanie Boyd, Edinburgh, Scotland

There needs to be a collective change of attitude. Presently there is too much emphasis on rights, not enough emphasis on responsibilities, coupled with an attitude that 'the state will provide so it isn't my problem'. Sadly it is a problem that we have all helped create and that we all need to change.
John, Cheshire





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