I listened to Richard Bacon on Radio Five Live talking to a father objecting to his son being placed in a school isolation room with some shock and a decent amount of disgust last night, utterly shocked that a parent was raising the issue.
The parent, who was complaining, objected to his son being placed in a plain isolation room for one day where he would be expected to work in silence, whilst being supervised by a member of staff. Oddly, this parent thought his son didn't deserve this. His son, he admitted had done something wrong (having let the tyres down of another child's bike), but rather than this man letting this incident act as a salutary lesson for his son (if you do the crime, do the time), he has taught his son that you can complain, whinge and moan at the injustice of being punished for doing wrong.
The schools alternative form of punishment rather than keeping the boy in school and being educated would have been simply to exclude him. Presumably this would have been more acceptable for the boys father.
Then, of course, there is the message isolation rooms and using them sends out to other pupils. It lets pupils know that if they act like fools, if the endanger others, if they want to be "different", then they will be denied the oxygen of publicity for their actions by being kept from those they are seeking to impress, their peers.
But this man on the radio last night was not the only one to set their child a shocking example of parenthood. A mother was on the BBC local news tonight moaning that her child had been denied his "human rights" because her son was also being placed in an isolation room. This room, as we saw on TV was spartan and grey, but had normal desks, normal chairs, was permanently staffed, and just had booths for the children to work in (the sort of thing you work in when visiting libraries in universities).
This woman was incensed that her son had been placed in to isolation reckless violent behaviour. Let me stress that again, reckless violent behavior, and referred to it as incarceration.
It is odd this mother is more incense that her son is punished rather than being seen to deal with her son's reckless violent behaviour. Again, what message is she sending to her son.
Why is it always people who show a flagrant disregard for other peoples rights, the right of other children to be educated and the right to go to school without fear of being violently hurt in an act of recklessness who want to invoke the human rights act to protect them. How about protection for the innocent parties in all this ?