British Expert Blames Knife Crime Rise on Culture of Greed and Rudeness

by Gopalan on  July 12, 2008 at 1:04 PM General Health News
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 British Expert Blames Knife Crime Rise on Culture of Greed and Rudeness
As Britain is wringing its hands helplessly over the recent spurt in the teen knife and gun crimes, a senior adviser to the government blames it all on the culture of greed and rudeness plaguing the nation.

Sir Alan Steer, behaviour expert, noted that adults were partly to blame for rising teen violence because youngsters after all picked up on anti-social behaviour around them.

He attacked a growing "greedy culture" and warned that children were copying adult hostility towards others.

Parents especially need to accept their responsibility to set a good example to their children, Steer said.

A teenager was among four victims of separate fatal stabbings which took place in London Friday, and a fifth man is fighting for his life.

The tally thus far in the capital this year is 20 and comes just days after the Metropolitan police announced that knife crime had usurped terrorism to become their top priority.

Describing the latest attacks as "shocking and tragic," Prime Minister Gordon Brown promised the first ever "cross-government youth crime plan" would be published later next week.

And his government would be relying upon advice from the likes of Sir Alan Steer headmaster of an east London comprehensive. Steer is to present Monday his proposals for improving behaviour in schools.

A comprehensive school is a secondary school and State school for children from the age of 11 to at least 16 that does not select children on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. Some 90% of British pupils are educated at comprehensive schools.

Speaking ahead of the document's launch, Sir Alan said the growing toll of killings of young people was "connected to a violent sub-culture".

He went on: "We live in a greedy culture, we are rude to each other in the street. Children follow that.

"You wonder what has gone wrong in these children's lives. Of course the kids have a responsibility, but there are questions about what's going on at home.

"Parents have a huge responsibility. Government doesn't bring up children, parents do."

Sir Alan has led Seven Kings High School in Ilford for more than 20 years and Ofsted has praised its "outstanding" discipline.

He was appointed by ministers in 2005 to lead a review of school behaviour policies, which led to the law being clarified to give teachers powers to discipline in their own right.

His update next week is expected to highlight the role of parents in addressing behaviour problems at school, Daily Mail reports.

"You need to set out the rights and responsibilities of families," he said.

Sir Alan went on to claim that "pointing the finger of blame" at parents was not constructive and schools also had a role.

"You can pass moral judgements on families, but the reality is that they are in that situation," he said.

"Our job as schools is to educate children. We're places of learning or nothing. But sometimes we have to help bring up children as well. We need to give them tough, intelligent love."

He insisted comprehensives were not responsible for breeding violence as was sometimes made out.

"I get incensed when I read impressions of comprehensives as in chaos. It's not true. The majority are havens for their students from a disruptive society: 90 per cent of parents say they love their kids' schools."

He went on: "They have to mitigate the problems of wider society. Schools and parents need to be clear of their responsibilities. I can't bring up people's children and neither can government. But when things go wrong we can't say it's none of our business.

"We have to give a helping hand."

Source: Medindia

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I agree with Sir Alan's down to earth, common sense approach to this issue as it is parents who guide, nurture and initially influence their children not governments.
In my work as a Parent Coach I help parents become far more aware of the influence they wield on their children. Whether it is through the words they use, or the actions they take, parents are a role model for their children throughout their lives from toddler to teen whether they are aware of it, like it, or even accept it.
Parents have a huge responsibility for teaching their children about respect and self discipline but the place where they can influence them the most is in setting firm, fair and consistent boundaries for them so they feel the “tough love” of being guided, protected and nurtured surrounding them.
Sue Atkins Author of "Raising Happy Children for Dummies"

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