A troublesome 16 year-old schoolboy promises to "shit on" his teacher's lawn and waits outside his home to ostensibly do just that. He waits on hour. The teacher arrives home and first checks his own children are OK. Then an argument develops between the two and the teacher punches the kid eight times. The teacher is prosecuted, given diversion and sent on an anger management course. He was demoted and ultimately fined by the Teacher's Council.
When I try to think about such a case, acknowledging all I know is what the media discloses (How badly hurt was the boy? What were his previous misdemeanours?), I find it useful to put my own players in the picture. My 14 year-old and a teacher for instance. Notwithstanding I am finding it almost impossible to imagine him in this scenario (but teenagers can go off the rails very quickly and kind, patient teachers can be pushed beyond their limits) I feel some sympathy with both parties.
The teacher's reaction is over the top but it is a rare man or woman who hasn't "snapped" at some point in their personal or professional lives. The problem lies in how the explosion manifests. In my younger days, I clearly remember hitting a bathroom wall so hard once I bruised by fist. I have never hit a person. And there seems to be something "missing" when a person hits someone repeatedly rather than taking their enormous anger and frustration out on something inanimate or simply turning their back and walking away. The teacher may have tried the second and been further provoked. We don't know.
As for the youth, if my son was carrying on like this I would think he was off his trolley. That he was in need of help possibly beyond that I could provide. I don't accept threats of that nature and waiting outside someone's home are just "infantile" pranks.
What I really, really, really want to know is, did the teacher's actions make an impression on this boy? Did they make his behaviour better or worse? I suspect that the father may have nullified any positive effect. I would have been very "agitated" if my son had been punched eight times but I wouldn't be making excuses for him. I would be telling him that he just learned a valuable lesson about human nature. Based on the degree of provocation I probably wouldn't have pressed assault charges. But no account seems to be taken of provocation these days. Especially if it is female provocation of a male.
Based on what we do know I am happy that the teacher was allowed to continue in his job. Violence is never desirable but if it had been 'horrendous' I doubt the man would still be teaching. We need all the male teachers we can get.
19 minutes ago