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Should schools teach pupils about the dangers of weapons?

09:47 UK time, Sunday, 31 October 2010

Ex-EastEnders actress Brooke Kinsella has said schools should teach pupils about the dangers of gun and knife crime. Will this improve the safety of young people?

She told the BBC that teenagers appeared to carry weapons for two main reasons - "fear and fashion" and that real people on the streets would be able to provide the solutions.

Ms Kinsella has been a campaigner since her 16-year-old brother Ben was stabbed 11 times on a night out in Holloway, north London. She recently became a government adviser and has produced a report on youth violence.

What is the best way to tackle youth violence? What part can schools and parents play? Are ordinary people part of the solution?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Is it that we have been satturated with US kulcha?
    Maybe not, thinking about the 20s razor-gangs.
    I suggest stamp out crime at the TOP and the rest will follow.

  • Comment number 2.

    I agree with Brooke. In order to survive in our ever busy galloping world, pupils need life skills. We need to discuss self-esteem with them, relationships, morals and coping mechanisms for our often frenetic life. There are too many disaffected youth, too many dysfunctional families ( who certainly won't help their young ones .) If schools can help to generate a less violent society then I'm all for it.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Two-pronged approach: Teach young people that 'respect' begins with self-respect, with a determined and ethical approach to life...

    ... coupled with zero-tolerance for violent gang culture. One member of a gang commits a crime, all members of that gang are punished for it.

    Only the weak-minded cowardly people join gangs, the ones who have no respect for anyone, especially themselves. Drum that home.

  • Comment number 5.

    HYS - "What is the best way to tackle youth violence?":

    1 - PRIMARILY via Parental responsibility.
    2 - Via Laws that hold PARENTS responsible for THEIR Childrens actions.
    3 - Via the PUBLIC 'shaming' of offenders AND their families.
    4 - Via regular Schools/Police education.
    5 - Via responsibility of the Music industry.

  • Comment number 6.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 7.

    3. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:

    Ms Kinsella needs to target the real problem in London - the violence coming from the immigrant crime gangs.


    Is there no HYS topic where you don't blame immigration?

  • Comment number 8.

    7. At 10:23am on 31 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    3. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    Ms Kinsella needs to target the real problem in London - the violence coming from the immigrant crime gangs.
    Is there no HYS topic where you don't blame immigration?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Look at those who murdered Ben Kinsella

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8091215.stm

  • Comment number 9.

    So no teenagers carry knives to commit violent attacks? Or are we to ignore this reason because we wouldn't want to be accusing young people because its not PC. A niave response from Ms Kinsella. Of course no teenager will admit to carrying a knife to be violent, its easier to say its for my 'protection' because it removes the responsibility from the user as to how it may be used. Its the same as the 'I didn't mean to ...' response as if that makes it ok then. Pat them on the head and give them a cup of tea and a scone while the victims lie bleeding in the street.

  • Comment number 10.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    I know of a teacher in that area who actually taught two of the young men responsible for Ben's death. This was in their primary school days. She said that from the very beginning of their school days, these pupils were deeply disturbed and troublesome and so were their families. They seemed to be almost beyond help when they became killers. There are others like them in our schools. We should start at nursery and primary level installing respect. Yes, we should blame the parents but the damage to children is often done by parents themselves. This is a complicated subject that has been discussed on this forum before. If Brooke's ideas can be taken into schools we might, just might, prevent more killings of our young men.

  • Comment number 12.

    Children need clear boundaries, and part (part only!) of the solution must be a very easy to understand deterrent. Research misses deterrent because there is no way of gathering statistics on how many children have been deterred from a crime (whether carrying weapons or using them). Hence academics leave it out of their equations.. believe me, I'm an academic, we're not as clever as we think we are). Allowing children to go unpunished because "it's the first offence" is the best way to confuse them and lead them gently into a life of crime. But deterent cannot work alone.. education and cultural change are also needed in equal measure.

  • Comment number 13.

    7. At 10:23am on 31 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    3. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:

    Ms Kinsella needs to target the real problem in London - the violence coming from the immigrant crime gangs.

    Is there no HYS topic where you don't blame immigration?
    --------------------------------------------------------
    IN REPLY:
    Hi 'Magi Tatcher'!- 'grainsofsand' is not wrong...

    Unfortunately, it's a sad FACT that knife-crime rose hugely - and continued rising - immediately after Tony Blairs / Labours opening of the immigration 'flood-gates'.
    I also blame that Government - not just for failing to 'register' the arrival of so many immigrants - but also for not CARING if they had a criminal-record beforehand...
    It will take MANY years for this Country to recover from such incompetence - and it's the vulnerable that CONTINUE to suffer...

  • Comment number 14.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 15.

    Much of the problem is about 'respect'.

    We must all respect the lifestyles and environments of others and the effects they have on behaviours. It is not a case of 'envy' looking up, or 'disgust' looking down; neither show respect no matter what the motivators for such feelings may be.

    There must be consideration in all and everything we do, a wish to allow 'esteem' to manifest in everyone, even those in dire and desperate circumstances, driving a wish to be and remain strong. We have created the jungle in which deprivation, depravity, and disrespect may thrive.

    If you treat animals badly they eventually strike back. If you imprison creatures in inappropriate conditions they manifest no end of mental health issues. There is deep anger in society which cannot be vented in the places it needs to be. We protect our ruling classes from the pitiful harvests of their contempt for others. There should be no refuge for hollow words and empty promises.

    Respect must be demonstrated by our leaders and until that happens manifestly and sincerely then will be no end to increases in the numbers of violent people. It is no good placing blame where it does not belong. The experiment has failed - kill it.

  • Comment number 16.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 17.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 18.


    14. At 10:41am on 31 Oct 2010, Robert Warstein wrote:
    "Our violence is W. Europe's highest, our social mobility, lowest, Don't tell me they're not linked."
    ------------------------------------
    IN REPLY:
    Hi, 'Robert Warstein': - you're RIGHT! - they ARE linked! - by 13 years of Governmental incompetence. Labours 'can of worms' is bottomless...

  • Comment number 19.

    8. At 10:29am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:

    7. At 10:23am on 31 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    3. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    Ms Kinsella needs to target the real problem in London - the violence coming from the immigrant crime gangs.
    Is there no HYS topic where you don't blame immigration?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Look at those who murdered Ben Kinsella

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8091215.stm


    Report states that they were "all from London". No mention of them being immigrants at all. Maybe your prejudice goes much deeper than I first thought.

  • Comment number 20.

    The increase in levels of serious teenage violence is directly linked to the breakdown of the nuclear family. If the background of the perpetrators of violent incidents were to be examined it would be found that in large numbers of instances there is a broken family and no strong male role model around. This is not to excuse the violence, but simply to point out that if we are to start looking for causes, there is a very obvious place to begin. The family unit used to be one of the foundational building blocks of society. It seems something of a no brainer to recognise that, as the general stability of the family unit begins to crumble, so follows society.

  • Comment number 21.

    I somehow doubt it - in my childhood, kids including me often had catapults, pea-shooters, pop-guns and pellet guns, but I suggest that very few became prototypes of the modern violent criminals who roam our streets.

    Usually the local bobby, or whoever suffered the nuisance, dragged the unruly child to his parents (there were two in those times) where Mum or Dad gave it a thick ear and got it to apologize. Such punishment was the norm, and kids quickly learned the difference between right and wrong, and how to behave themselves.

    Society then was so much different from the disjointed, disfuntional families that today spurn their responsibility to raise decent, hard-working children. Single-parent families from casual relationships appear to be the main cause. The father is not present to instil discipline and respect, or breed a lack of control, and such groups tend to move within their own circles. It is therefore hardly any wonder that gangs carry knives and other weapons as some form of badge against law and order.

    The weapon itself is not the danger. The danger comes from its misuse, and a total lack of control by irresponsible, ignorant parents over their childrens' movements after school hours. Until the parents are brought to book and made to face up to their responsibilities, the weapon culture will continue unabated.

  • Comment number 22.

    "Should schools teach pupils about the dangers of gun and knife crime"? is the HYS question.

    Should gun and knife crime be regarded as normal? NO.

    Should OUR government take FULL LEGAL responsibility to protect all our children AND teaching staff in schools? YES.

    This problem is being approached from the wrong end. Gun, knife and drug crime is unaccecptable in all areas of our society - especially in schools. Zero tolerance please Mr Cameron.

  • Comment number 23.

    Why should it be the schools who get clobbered, yet again, for the failings of the parents?

    Parents should be the people who teach their children how to be human beings. Schools should be left to augment this with the necessary background knowledge and skills required to have a useful and happy life.

    Instead, today's culture seems to be "I can't be bothered, let someone else do it."

    No wonder the children are disaffected. They have my sympathy.

  • Comment number 24.

    I was speaking to and elderly neighbour yesterday who during conversation said if he goes to our local pub for a pint at night he never uses the alleyways when it's dark which is quicker but walks the long way round because it's a busy road which is well lit. The reason being he is concerned about being attacked by someone carrying a knife.

    We live in a quiet village where there is little or no problem with crime but it just goes to show how today's society affects people. I have to say I had never given it much thought and frequently use the alleyways myself. However, I think he has a point and will not be using them if I'm on my own and it's dark.

    So I agree with Brooke Kinsella that young people need to be taught about the he dangers of carrying weapons and the consequenses if they use them and are caught.

  • Comment number 25.

    "Should Schools teach pupils about the dangers of gun and knife crime?"

    Er, if a child doesn't KNOW that a knife stabs and a gun shoots I would venture to say they should be put in a special hospital. I grew up in London and never had to be taught that it's not good to stab up and shoot my peers. Most gangs are black because most blacks don't have fathers in their lives. THIS is the root cause, and where the solution must come from.

  • Comment number 26.

    15. At 10:46am on 31 Oct 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:
    "Much of the problem is about 'respect'.
    We must all respect the lifestyles and environments of others and the effects they have on behaviours. It is not a case of 'envy' looking up, or 'disgust' looking down; neither show respect no matter what the motivators for such feelings may be."

    IN REPLY:
    Hi!Daisy Chained...
    I basically agree on the importance of 'Respect' - but where I differ, is when I see this 'respect' being raised to such a level of SELF-importance, that it endangers the LIVES of others.
    To put such an EXTREME level of importance on 'respect' - shows that there is something intrinsically deficient in that persons overall psyche.

    I see it this way - these people are SO deficient in most other basic morals, that the ONLY excuse they have is to claim 'lack of respect' from those better equipped around them - as an excuse to deny their own moral failings. It's known as the proverbial 'chip on the shoulder'...Tez.

  • Comment number 27.

    I think most of todays youth are just about aware that if you push a knife into another human being, the result is usually a wound which may, or may not, prove to be fatal. I am given to understand that a firearm will produce a similar result. There - job done, lesson over - off you go to the Job Centre.....

  • Comment number 28.


    Absolutely.. Covering all aspects and perspectives, from families of victims - to people who once carried and walked away from that life style...

    At #15 - regarding Respect.. I think it's more about demanding respect because they have a knife, or a gun. They fail to see that respect is generally a free source to and from everyone, until you do something to lose that respect (ironically, carring a knife or a gun).

  • Comment number 29.

    Why teach what,afterall is obvious. Even children at Primary school know its a no/no. The carrying of a knife should equal instant suspension, making parents criminally responsible for their childrens actions. A few parents in prison would soon put pressure on the majority to spend more time and care of their chilrens welfare.The government are trying to rid society of quangos, not another one please.

  • Comment number 30.

    All the talking in the world at the schools will NOT do any good
    There has been enough TALKING, it is now time to ACT POSITIVELY
    The law is to blame by keep letting those that carry weapons off
    and if one looks at those that are Responsible you will find it is the Ethnic Minority that are the ones that carry weapons but at the same time so do the whites
    Every time there is a stabbing or a gun used it is the Blacks that are involed MORE so than the whites
    Our laws are TOO soft
    Is this because the judges do not want to upset anybody
    If so TOUGH

  • Comment number 31.

    Schools should teach children English, maths, geography, etc.

    Parents should be responsible for teaching children right from wrong, morals, manners and how to behave like decent human beings. It's a hard job which takes time, effort and commitment but it's part and parcel of being a parent.

    Sadly, it seems too many parents today want to abdicate those responsibilities.

  • Comment number 32.

    What's the point! The Big Society will sort everything out...........

  • Comment number 33.

    17. At 10:57am on 31 Oct 2010, Stephanni Snape wrote:
    "Can you then offer us an explanation why the crime and violence is considerably lower in most of Western Europe, in countries which have more immigrants then we do? (and more benefits, on balance)
    UK is 12th. in W. Europe for immigrants, ie. well below average, but 1st. for violence."
    -------------------
    IN REPLY:
    Hi! Stephanni - Yes I can - the OTHER ingredient of Labours 'poison-chalice' - that aided & abetted them in ensuring high knife-crime figures in the UK - was Labours 'own brand' of EXTREME Political-correctness - that prevented ADEQUATE legal-redress against these criminals. In effect, these criimnals were (dogmatically) seen as the 'victims'... Ask the REAL victims - if you don't believe me...

  • Comment number 34.

    Thanks for that Miss Kinsella..Now back to the real world of violent gang turf wars and greed driven crime, and the tribal mentality of the people we're dealing with that have no respect for themselves or the law of the land, do you really expect schools to be able to sort these problems out through a few classroom taught lessons....Wake up and smell the coffee...this aint Eastenders.

  • Comment number 35.

    As a teacher who used to teach in a very slum London School for 30 years. The children being taught usually having long criminal histories up to and including murder. The problem is many fold. But the basic problem is simple - we do not have enough jobs of all types. It has nothing to do with Ms Kinsella's idea of teachers teaching about "crime and weapons". I always did with my classes of 11 to 18 - they all knew about "crime and weapons" Their problem in the last 30 years was the inability to find a worthwhile job -

    Please don't post that "Oh I got a job - everybody can get a job" It just isn't true.

    I've listed a few contributory factors.

    1. Lack of parental interest, ability and responsibility - often the parent is far too busy surviving in this society. There are not enough jobs to give many parents self respect which in turn would encourage responsibility.

    2. Basic lack of ability of the child to fit into society - the present violent culture exacerbated by media over-emphasis - either in factual publication or fictional productions. There are not enough low skilled jobs with sufficient money for them to gain self-respect by being members of our society - because they are already taken.

    3 The constant greed and self interest shown by everyone with ability and power (whether gained by self ability or family connections) so those with little ability and NO prospects will gravitate to violence as the "easy solution" this rubs off on everyone - who then carry weapons for self esteem - they are just not honest enough to admit it. This is exacerbated by the fact there are no jobs for too many people.

    4 There are not enough jobs - this has been the case since around 1960/70 when there was the massive rise in crime. It is certainly not helped by the fact that high ability immigrants and new EU migrants are taking the low skilled jobs traditionally held by the low skilled indigenous population because THEY cannot get the high skilled jobs either and elect to stay here rather than return home. Our greedy industries will not offer jobs - they are only interested in profit..

    5 The average potential violent "criminal" inside school has enough ability - or more - to see what is happening OUTSIDE school - and loses hope. Wouldn't you if faced with no jobs with no prospects even at a low wage - massive welfare cuts proving on each TV broadcast that this present government doesn't care - society doesn't care. What is there to live for???

    Just in case someone misses the message - there are not enough jobs!!!

    Finally the vast majority of children do not carry knives or guns and work hard - But if you are born and bred in a low slum area you have everything stacked against you - teaching about "crime and weapons" wil not solve the problem.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    #26 Tez says "I see it this way - these people are SO deficient in most other basic morals, that the ONLY excuse they have is to claim 'lack of respect' from those better equipped around them - as an excuse to deny their own moral failings. It's known as the proverbial 'chip on the shoulder'..."

    Hi Tez.

    Your last paragraph shows disrespect. You show no understanding, just contempt for these people, the disgust I was talking about in my earlier comment. The lack of morality of these people appears to threaten you and yet it is not 'personally' directed at you. Is it possible they may be threatened by YOUR behaviours and see the chip on the shoulder as being yours? After all they do not know any better do they?

    One person's guilt is another person's anger, or, put another way, in the long run we pay heavily for our blind sight and our hands kept tightly in our pockets.

  • Comment number 39.

    35. At 11:35am on 31 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    "Just in case someone misses the message - there are not enough jobs!!!"
    ------------------------
    IN REPLY:
    Hi! RichardGrey,
    I agree with most of your Post - except the bit above:

    I was born in a slum - but didn't attack people.
    I've been long-term unemployed - but didn't attack people.
    I've been & slept 'on the road' - but didn't attack people.

    Take my word - the knife-problem is a particular 'mind-set' problem...Tez.

  • Comment number 40.

    It all depends on what the content of the lessons is. If it teaches the children how to take care of themselves, and get help if need be, without using violence or carrying weapons, that will be good. If it is simply telling them that guns and knives are dangerous, or giving them vague lectures about self-esteem, that would be unhelpful and could glamorise the use of weapons even more.

  • Comment number 41.

    So who exactly is supposed to teach this? The current teachers are clearly not qualified to teach this and, in any event, are pushed to achieve educational standards that most of the senior adult population would recognise.

    This has to be a parental responsibility although many probably don't even know what their children are up to, never mind take the responsibility of being a parent as seriously as they should. Sadly, most parents do not spend anything like the quality time that they should with their children. The children all too often take second place to work and socialising.

  • Comment number 42.

    Definitely.

    And I would go one further and use shock tactics, and have a video showing the horrifying consequences of knife and gun crime.

    Shock tactics worked well when I was in school, I remember being shown a video educating people on safety on public transport.

  • Comment number 43.

    Interesting a thought just came to me - I used to take a 5 inch sheath knife with me to school on my belt - In fact I wore it daily - it was an excellent useful tool. It was used all the time.

    I wore it because I was a Boy Scout - it was seen by everyone - including teachers and the police without comment. Nor did I ever think of using on anyone.

    What has gone wrong is the massive media frenzy over knife crime - much more than during the knife (or shiv) crime that abounded in the 20s and 30s. This rapidly diminished during 50s when we had effective full employment and an excellent welfare system that everybody believed in.



  • Comment number 44.

    #35 Richard Grey

    I recommend your entry and repeat the whole mantra here, just in case ;-)

    "There are NOT enough jobs. And what jobs there are are the WRONG sort of jobs. And what is paid is often the WRONG sort of pay."

    We spend a lot on money on educating those with ACADEMIC ability, but we spend little on educating those with OTHER ability.

    A diverse society that is, in fact, the reverse.

  • Comment number 45.

    Perhaps they should also be taught that water is wet and that fire is hot - come on - get real !! The schools have enough P.C. items on their curriculum already - pity they don't have time for the three R's any more ! The little darlings have seen enough examples of the results of knife crime - they just think that they are invincible and that advice from anyone over sixteen is rubbish .
    When will we see punishment, instead of ineffective "advice", used as a deterrent

  • Comment number 46.

    36. At 11:42am on 31 Oct 2010, Peter Bassey wrote:
    "Selflessness among europeans is now a thing of the past - unless the UK wakes up to its moral poverty."

    IN REPLY:
    Hi! Peter:
    I wholeheartedly agree with you, but I would also like to add - that it's time other Races ALSO examined their 'Moral-poverty' - especially those migrating into the UK... Tez.

  • Comment number 47.

    Teaching children 'life skills', social behaviour & standards, and about things like weapons, is the job of parents. Schools should have rules and codes of behaviour which recognise and support what is acceptable in society, but it is not their job to give lessons in those areas. Don't they have a hard enough job teaching literacy, numeracy and academic knowledge?

  • Comment number 48.

    Naar! leave it to bruce lee he's a lot better at it..

  • Comment number 49.

    3. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    Ms Kinsella needs to target the real problem in London - the violence coming from the immigrant crime gangs.

    ///

    I'll remember that next time my young son and I have to run away to avoid getting trampled by hordes of football hooligans again.

  • Comment number 50.

    "
    7. At 10:23am on 31 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    3. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:

    Ms Kinsella needs to target the real problem in London - the violence coming from the immigrant crime gangs.

    Is there no HYS topic where you don't blame immigration?
    "

    So their are no gangs full of children/youths from immigrant families in London today? So, the majority of those of those committing and suffer in gun/knife related crime in London today are white children/youths who are not from an immigrant family background?

    The reason we have these types of crimes and problems are because we are too afraid to address the issues and the reasons why they occur. We step carefully around them for fear of upsetting the PC brigade, the problems get worse.

    In order to solve a problem you need to understand the problem, failing to do so will result in failure. This goes for structure engineering, Software engineering, genetic engineering and social engineering, which is what mass immigration is.

  • Comment number 51.

    42. At 11:52am on 31 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    Definitely.

    And I would go one further and use shock tactics, and have a video showing the horrifying consequences of knife and gun crime.

    Shock tactics worked well when I was in school, I remember being shown a video educating people on safety on public transport.

    = = = = = = ==

    Sorry - many main stream videos or games are highly realistic and very graphic.

    Shock tactics only work if they can shock - nowadays there is far too much realism on TV and it has reduced the shock tactics effectiveness.

  • Comment number 52.

    38. At 11:47am on 31 Oct 2010, Daisy Chained wrote:
    #26 Tez says "I see it this way - these people are SO deficient in most other basic morals, that the ONLY excuse they have is to claim 'lack of respect' from those better equipped around them - as an excuse to deny their own moral failings. It's known as the proverbial 'chip on the shoulder'..."

    Hi Tez.

    Your last paragraph shows disrespect. You show no understanding, just contempt for these people, the disgust I was talking about in my earlier comment. The lack of morality of these people appears to threaten you and yet it is not 'personally' directed at you. Is it possible they may be threatened by YOUR behaviours and see the chip on the shoulder as being yours? After all they do not know any better do they?

    One person's guilt is another person's anger, or, put another way, in the long run we pay heavily for our blind sight and our hands kept tightly in our pockets.
    -----------------------
    IN REPLY:
    Hi! Daisy - I'm not sure how I appear to have upset you...
    The PEOPLE I was referring to were those CRIMINALS who COMMIT knife-crimes - NOT just immigrants and NOT any particular Race.

    You see what I mean? - you JUMPED the gun and came to an innaccurate conclusion - without listening OR thinking - THATS called a 'chip on the shoulder' - DON'T be so NEEDLESLY defensive... Tez.

  • Comment number 53.

    Teaching kids about weapons, what a really bad idea.

  • Comment number 54.

    No, they should be allowed to teach discipline the way they used to before the pc thugs took over and let misbehaving kids off with everything.
    That's when the rot REALLY started to set in!

  • Comment number 55.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 56.

    39. At 11:47am on 31 Oct 2010, Tez wrote:

    35. At 11:35am on 31 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:
    "Just in case someone misses the message - there are not enough jobs!!!"
    ------------------------
    IN REPLY:
    Hi! RichardGrey,
    I agree with most of your Post - except the bit above:

    I was born in a slum - but didn't attack people.
    I've been long-term unemployed - but didn't attack people.
    I've been & slept 'on the road' - but didn't attack people.

    Take my word - the knife-problem is a particular 'mind-set' problem...Tez.

    = = = = = = = =

    Tez - you must have missed the point I made that many children grow up as socially responsible.

    The knife problem IS a particular 'mind-set' problem - but it is exacerbated particularly by - parental attitudes - place you are born - and future prospects. It is the total overall conditions that form the mind set.

  • Comment number 57.

    "
    Should schools teach pupils about the dangers of weapons?
    "

    Very much so and the parent should also be teaching this as well; any parent who goes not, is not fit to be a parent. Children should also be told that using such weapons will result in a life sentence. The teaching should be as scary as possible, enough to give them nightmares.

    Now to solve the problem. First really tough sentences which keep the persistent criminals off the street for good. Second, ensure the young know there is a better way and that crime and violence is not some sort of "honourable" way of life. We can start by breaking up these council run hell holes which lead to a life of despair, in other words regenerate the hell hole area's so that jobs can be created and wealth introduced. Smaller communities which are not segregated along ethnic lines would also reduce social tensions, so long as the main perpetrators are of the streets for every.

  • Comment number 58.

    I have no problem with targetted lessons, to try and combat this problem, in places where they are needed.
    However, this is not a country wide problem and therefore does not need to be a national policy.

  • Comment number 59.

    "
    40. At 11:49am on 31 Oct 2010, yellowsandydog wrote:

    It all depends on what the content of the lessons is. If it teaches the children how to take care of themselves, and get help if need be, without using violence or carrying weapons, that will be good. If it is simply telling them that guns and knives are dangerous, or giving them vague lectures about self-esteem, that would be unhelpful and could glamorise the use of weapons even more.
    "

    Very good point.

  • Comment number 60.

    "
    41. At 11:50am on 31 Oct 2010, john33 wrote:

    So who exactly is supposed to teach this?
    "

    I would say the Police, Victims and those related to the Victims, reformed criminals. Absolutely no politicians though, it's because of their totally lack of understanding of real world matters we're in this mess.

  • Comment number 61.

    51. At 12:08pm on 31 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:

    42. At 11:52am on 31 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    Definitely.

    And I would go one further and use shock tactics, and have a video showing the horrifying consequences of knife and gun crime.

    Shock tactics worked well when I was in school, I remember being shown a video educating people on safety on public transport.

    = = = = = = ==

    Sorry - many main stream videos or games are highly realistic and very graphic.

    Shock tactics only work if they can shock - nowadays there is far too much realism on TV and it has reduced the shock tactics effectiveness.

    ...........................

    I'm not talking about main stream video images; no matter how realistically graphic a film image can be, it still doesn't come anywhere close to the real thing.

    This may be controversial, but the mind reacts differently to a real image compared to fabricated representation.

    The method has proven to be affective in many other countries, the same can be applied to schools in the UK, no more wrapping kids up in cotton wool.

  • Comment number 62.


    It is not schools that promote and re-enactment of all sorts of social misfits It is more to do with the Soaps and viewing figures ..

    How many people have died violently in soaps . then take that figure as a percentage then apply it to the UK population and you would think we were having a civil war !

    TV violence does dumb down violence and tends to make it acceptable

    Maybe just maybe the television writer should stop writing such violence on to our screens AND leave Schools out of it

  • Comment number 63.

    "
    58. At 12:19pm on 31 Oct 2010, saxacat wrote:

    I have no problem with targetted lessons, to try and combat this problem, in places where they are needed.
    However, this is not a country wide problem and therefore does not need to be a national policy.
    "

    You'd be surprised how widespread this is. A Headmaster friend of mine retired 5 years ago from a school which was by all accounts was doing very well. It was not some inner school, it was in a semi-rural area, yet they had problems with kids with knives and even a crossbow or two.

  • Comment number 64.

    What Brook and others interested in this area of society being included as part of the National Curriculum need to be aware of is that in April 2010 the Conservatives REFUSED to support the then Labour government in making statutory the very area of the curriculum where this would be covered namely PSHEe. Cameron and his then MPs refused to support this aspect of the Act and insisted that this area be removed from the preposed lgislation if it was to become part of the statute book.
    As a teacher of PSHEe for 15 years my personal views on this aspct of the curriculum are clear. Brook needs to be challenging this government around their record on educational legislation rather than getting into bed with the very people that have ALREADY prevented this becoming part of the statutory curriculum.

  • Comment number 65.

    57. At 12:19pm on 31 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "Very much so and the parent should also be teaching this as well; any parent who goes not, is not fit to be a parent."



    That is a very hollow and ridiculous argument really; how can a parent who has had no experiences with dangerous weapons educate their child on those matters? I mean sure, a parent will obviously not let their kids play with sharp knives, just as they would tell their kids to 'look both ways before crossing the road'.

    But to suggest that a parent must teach their child the consequences of using a knife or a gun, otherwise they are classed as 'bad parents' is simply ludicrous.

    The dangers of knife and gun crime should be taught by people who have had similar experiences, there are some things even parents can't teach, unless they have been in that situation.


  • Comment number 66.

    Should schools teach pupils about the dangers of weapons?

    You show a picture of a kitchen knife when asking this question. This says a lot. To me this is a tool! It only becomes a weapon in the hands of people who have no respect for their own life nor that of others.

    The same thing happens to hammers, srewdrivers, axes, you name it. That tools can be dangerous and need to be handled with care is something that children can and should learn at a very early stage in life. As far as I remember it wasn't very difficult to understand nor that weapons (such as guns) designed to kill are even more dangerous.

    But the main lesson, the really big one, is not that knifes are sharp. The lesson is that every human life is valuable and we must respect it. It is parent's and societies failure not to teach that lesson properly. This is what kills!

  • Comment number 67.

    54. At 12:14pm on 31 Oct 2010, its_dave_here wrote:

    No, they should be allowed to teach discipline the way they used to before the pc thugs took over and let misbehaving kids off with everything.
    That's when the rot REALLY started to set in!

    == = = = = = ==

    Actually not really true - Just check the 20s and 30s crime (especially knife) rates - You'll be amazed how similar these crimes are to today.

    The school discipline was hash - as was parental discipline generally - but still high knife crime especially in London.

    What is similar was the high rate of unemployment especially low skill jobs destroying prospects.

    If there is a high knife crime rate in society - then some children will follow these examples.

    Finally as a 'clincher' I used to be able to cane children or expel them in my slum school - well.... my classes were quiet - there were no fights on the school premises.

    BUT a number of our children made the front page of the National Dailies for murder over the years - a good number went to prison annually - My fourth year forms contained around 50% of the boys with criminal records.

    "teach discipline the way they used to" only works if all factors are working together. Nowadays few factors even talk to each other - let alone work together.

  • Comment number 68.

    There is an elephant in the room !
    To quote official government stats (albeit from 2006), over 90% of the violent crime in the London area are committed by people from one racial minority. Apparently its the same for all the other major cities in England. This seems to be common knowledge, but nobody dares to raise the issue in case they are deemed to be racist.
    If over 90% of all car accidents were involving one brand of car, that brand would be taken off the streets pending an investigation. Why are we not considering such drastic action, until we get to the bottom of this issue?

  • Comment number 69.


    An acress from Eastenders

    'told the BBC that teenagers appeared to carry weapons for two main reasons - "fear and fashion" and that real people on the streets would be able to provide the solutions.'

    Well, actresses and celebrities would know about real people on the streets. Although I don't see many unreal people there.

    Looks like a plea for another quango.

  • Comment number 70.

    I think you'd need to be a bit of a half-wit not to realise the dangers of weapons.
    Wouldn't it be much more productive in the long term to teach kids the dangers of becoming a pc thug! They've done more damage (possibly irreversible) to this country than any Americanisation of our culture!

  • Comment number 71.

    64, as a teacher surely you should ensure that the young lady's name is at least spelt correctly and also that you check your own spelling, 'Preposed'? A few punctuation marks would be a good idea as well.

    On the subject in question, what about making the parents take responsibility for their offspring, that is where the problem lies. You don't have to have experience of this type of crime to ensure that your children know what the dangers are.

  • Comment number 72.

    Perhaps Eastenders and similar programmes should take a much more positive and optimistic line on personal relations and behaviour? For many years such dramas have implied, on a daily basis, that deception, marital infidelity, fraud, theft, violence and even murder are normal ways of dealing with other people. Schools should not have to mop up the bad influences of television.

  • Comment number 73.

    It is parents who are ultimately responsible for the behaviour of their offspring and it is as simple as that. We seem to have a system in place within this country that not only allows certain parents to discharge all responsibility for their children's behaviour but actively seeks to provide them with ready made excuses for doing so and it has to stop. If it means we have to start dragging parents into court and fining them or even ultimately imprisoning them for their children's misdemeanour's then so be it. So much of the problems we have in the UK today related to anti-social behaviour and violent youth crime stem from the fact that there is a substantial amount of lazy feckless parents who don't have a clue (or care) where their kids are and what they're up to, well I personally believe that they need to be made to take responsibility or pay the consequences personally.

  • Comment number 74.

    I'm afraid Brooke Kinsella is deluded if she thinks teaching children about knives and guns in school will have any useful effect. Children already know what knives and guns are for - that's why they carry them. This will have as much effect as sex education has had on teenage pregnancy or drug education has had on drug use. This is just more socialist claptrap - not surprising from one of the EastEnders cast. It's always amusing to see how the socilaists think that one can teach a person how not be an evil, degenerate human being. Let's face it, we've tried it and it doesn't work. We need a new approach - the problems go much deeper than Brooke Kinsella's trite comments suggest. Of course I feel very sorry for her, having lost her brother in such a violent way.

  • Comment number 75.

    Surely things haven't got so bad that children need to be taught in school that weapons are dangerous.

  • Comment number 76.

    All it will achieve will be to plant ideas in pupils heads......they'll be shown lots of examples of the "cool" kids carrying knives.

    Research showed that in the areas the government carried out anti-knife crime initiatives knife crime actually went up.

    This is obvious....its the same sort of idea that when you plaster the news with coverage of the latest mass shooting another will happen as a consequence.

    So yeah, may as well carry on because it only serves the government to encourage this sort of behaviour in the populace.

  • Comment number 77.

    61. At 12:23pm on 31 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    51. At 12:08pm on 31 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:

    42. At 11:52am on 31 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    Definitely.

    And I would go one further and use shock tactics, and have a video showing the horrifying consequences of knife and gun crime.

    Shock tactics worked well when I was in school, I remember being shown a video educating people on safety on public transport.

    = = = = = = ==

    Sorry - many main stream videos or games are highly realistic and very graphic.

    Shock tactics only work if they can shock - nowadays there is far too much realism on TV and it has reduced the shock tactics effectiveness.

    ...........................

    I'm not talking about main stream video images; no matter how realistically graphic a film image can be, it still doesn't come anywhere close to the real thing.

    This may be controversial, but the mind reacts differently to a real image compared to fabricated representation.

    The method has proven to be affective in many other countries, the same can be applied to schools in the UK, no more wrapping kids up in cotton wool.

    = = = = = =

    Sorry Joe - I have witnessed the real thing in the forces - and many videos from snuff movies downwards mirror exactly the blood splatter of a bullet hitting - or body parts blown apart - or the slicing of a wound with a knife. I certainly don't think such exposures are useful - either on film or in a classroom.

    The only way to make it more realistic would be to commit the actual acts in the classroom

    I'm sure they use such things when they are ABLE to shock. If it worked the level of homicide in the US would be far smaller than it is.. Our society is more like the US sadly than any other.

  • Comment number 78.

    4. At 10:15am on 31 Oct 2010, Megan wrote:



    Only the weak-minded cowardly people join gangs, the ones who have no respect for anyone, especially themselves. Drum that home.


    __________________________________________

    Yeah.....except that you're wrong. Its the children most adept at fitting in and the most socially aware that join gangs (i think you mean have friends)

    Funny how we demonise an essential and unavoidable part of youth which is forming "families" outside of your home and parents.

    Gangs are everywhere. We have problems with anti-social gangs in areas of high-crime and low-aspiration areas. You cant target gangs, you must target the reasons people resort to crime.

  • Comment number 79.

    Young people who carry weapons because they are fearful and scared. They know they are not hard enough to fight like men, so have to carry weapons. They cannot fight like men with fists. Also people generally attack when they are afraid of something.

    Today thanks to the rubbish Labour Party we have a culture of people who are neither educated, respectful or confident. When you add the fact that gangsta rappers, rapist footballers and fellow louts and yobs are the only role models to many young people, why are you surprised.

    Come on what self respecting person behaves like that?

    Losers the lot em!

  • Comment number 80.

    "
    76. At 12:53pm on 31 Oct 2010, Matt wrote:

    All it will achieve will be to plant ideas in pupils heads......they'll be shown lots of examples of the "cool" kids carrying knives.
    "

    Not if they are shown the consequences of being in jail. Er actually, no that won't work in this country because the jails are more akin to holiday camps.

  • Comment number 81.

    "
    65. At 12:33pm on 31 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    That is a very hollow and ridiculous argument really; how can a parent who has had no experiences with dangerous weapons educate their child on those matters?
    "

    My parents had no experiences with paedophiles, but even in the 60's they tough me not to talk to strangers.

    I find your statement simply barking mad and really sums it up quite well.

  • Comment number 82.

    "
    75. At 12:52pm on 31 Oct 2010, deanarabin wrote:

    Surely things haven't got so bad that children need to be taught in school that weapons are dangerous.
    "

    Wakey! Wakey!

  • Comment number 83.

    66. At 12:38pm on 31 Oct 2010, markus_uk wrote:

    Should schools teach pupils about the dangers of weapons?

    You show a picture of a kitchen knife when asking this question. This says a lot. To me this is a tool! It only becomes a weapon in the hands of people who have no respect for their own life nor that of others.

    The same thing happens to hammers, srewdrivers, axes, you name it. That tools can be dangerous and need to be handled with care is something that children can and should learn at a very early stage in life. As far as I remember it wasn't very difficult to understand nor that weapons (such as guns) designed to kill are even more dangerous.

    But the main lesson, the really big one, is not that knifes are sharp. The lesson is that every human life is valuable and we must respect it. It is parent's and societies failure not to teach that lesson properly. This is what kills!

    = = = = = = =

    I totally agree - Sadly this Government doesn't value all human life = only the rich ones. It is also rather difficult to value other people's lives - if no one values yours - which is happening increasingly today.

    That is why jobs for all are so important - then there is value.

  • Comment number 84.

    "
    48. At 12:07pm on 31 Oct 2010, citizen42 wrote:

    Naar! leave it to bruce lee he's a lot better at it..
    "

    He's dead Jim.

  • Comment number 85.

    2. At 10:07am on 31 Oct 2010, smilingparrotfan wrote:

    "I agree with Brooke. In order to survive in our ever busy galloping world, pupils need life skills. We need to discuss self-esteem with them, relationships, morals and coping mechanisms for our often frenetic life. There are too many disaffected youth, too many dysfunctional families ( who certainly won't help their young ones .) If schools can help to generate a less violent society then I'm all for it."

    Thank you for taking the broader view of the situation. Teaching children/students that knives are dangerous would be teaching them the bleeding obvious. That is why they carry knives!! Giving them the skills and insights to deal with the stresses and fickleness of the modern world would be a good thing. Helping them see beyond the need to get strength from being in a gang or from carrying a knife would be valuable. Schools have a role in that.

  • Comment number 86.

    "Should schools teach pupils about the stupidity of guns, knives and drugs"?

    Schools are a captive audience for fully qualified demostrations/audio visual information and Q & A for pupils.

    Schools, should also be a safe place for pupils. No teacher or pupil should feel vulnerable or under fear of attack of any kind of weapon, at any time under any circumstances.

    Ultimately, it is the LEGAL DUTY, under ALL UK and EU Law that our GOVERNMENT, not teachers, ARE fully responsible for the safety of our children and teachers in school from ANY crime at all when attending education establishments.

    Those pupils found with any weapon and/or drugs must be referred to the police and their parents and linked 'extended' on benefit and family 'undeclared' 'business' investigated.

    What does my last para' mean? Children of drug dealers going to your child's school. Think it through! Just because you don't take drugs, doesn't mean your children; or your children's friends or parents don't.

    Trust no-one - all schools are the soft under-belly of drug gangs and drug distribution. Grow up parents!!

  • Comment number 87.

    80. At 1:00pm on 31 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    Not if they are shown the consequences of being in jail. Er actually, no that won't work in this country because the jails are more akin to holiday camps.

    _________________________________________

    Yeah thats the reason we have problems its because our prisons are too "easy". *sarcasm off*

    Might want to focus on the poverty angle because it has more credibility

  • Comment number 88.

    #52 Tez

    Who is upset?

    I checked your #26 again – you do not mention criminals, immigrants or race…. Not once…. And neither did I. So who is jumping to what conclusions? Or do you have voices in your head?

    We are talking of people for whom carrying a weapon is an option (the legality or otherwise is irrelevant; people drink, drive and kill people). That means all of us. And, if you want it put explicitly, yes criminals, immigrants, and racists are included.

    Carry on arguing with yourself if it pleases you.

  • Comment number 89.

    81. At 1:03pm on 31 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    "
    65. At 12:33pm on 31 Oct 2010, Joe wrote:

    That is a very hollow and ridiculous argument really; how can a parent who has had no experiences with dangerous weapons educate their child on those matters?
    "

    My parents had no experiences with paedophiles, but even in the 60's they tough me not to talk to strangers.

    I find your statement simply barking mad and really sums it up quite well.

    ................................

    Your comment shows that you clearly didn't read the rest of that post... read a little further down if you may...

  • Comment number 90.

  • Comment number 91.

    Yes! Education is the answer. Why has nobody thought of this before? Actually all the real answers are unacceptable and too late.

  • Comment number 92.

    78. At 12:58pm on 31 Oct 2010, Matt wrote:

    4. At 10:15am on 31 Oct 2010, Megan wrote:



    Only the weak-minded cowardly people join gangs, the ones who have no respect for anyone, especially themselves. Drum that home.


    __________________________________________

    Yeah.....except that you're wrong. Its the children most adept at fitting in and the most socially aware that join gangs (i think you mean have friends)

    Funny how we demonise an essential and unavoidable part of youth which is forming "families" outside of your home and parents.

    Gangs are everywhere. We have problems with anti-social gangs in areas of high-crime and low-aspiration areas. You cant target gangs, you must target the reasons people resort to crime.

    = = = = = = =

    Totally agree Matt

    I used to be a member of a gang - I eventually became leader. We went around together and only caused 'trouble' by "scrumping" apples. But we had supportive parents - a useful education to gain - and a worthwhile job to go to eventually. Not one has more than a speeding ticket.

    This no longer happens for some children it has nothing to do with weak-minded cowardly people joining gangs,

    Having a useful job for all would go a long way towards solving the problem.

  • Comment number 93.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 94.

    People who break the law and don't abide by society should be excluded from society. They should be named and shamed. Not thinking they are cool or hard.

    We need a proper system of punishment to criminal scum.

    We also need the cane back in school to beat these losers.

  • Comment number 95.

    Please. Not the poverty / jobless reasons again. Because all the unemployed and poor go out stabbing and kicking everyone in the head? What an insult to them.

  • Comment number 96.

    92. At 1:20pm on 31 Oct 2010, RichardGrey wrote:


    Having a useful job for all would go a long way towards solving the problem.

    _____________________________

    A long, long way. To my mind feeling divorced from society is probably the largest contributing factor to crime.

  • Comment number 97.

    Quoting JezzaSW: "they should be named and shamed".
    NO!

    The scum from the estate that I know are PROUD to be arrested and recognised for their crimes. They have no shame. Naming and shaming will make them heroes to their hopelessly stupid gang members.

  • Comment number 98.

    94. At 1:23pm on 31 Oct 2010, JezzaSW wrote:

    People who break the law and don't abide by society should be excluded from society.

    ____________________________

    Ideas like this will never stop crime. This is why we need to let prisoners vote. People need to feel like they have a stake in society not feel like its working against them.

  • Comment number 99.

    I feel the root cause of all these problems lay with the lack of parenting skills. Proverbs 13:24 He/She who spares the rod hates his/her son/daughter, but he/she who loves him/her is careful to discipline him/her.

  • Comment number 100.

    94. At 1:23pm on 31 Oct 2010, JezzaSW wrote:

    People who break the law and don't abide by society should be excluded from society. They should be named and shamed. Not thinking they are cool or hard.

    We need a proper system of punishment to criminal scum.

    We also need the cane back in school to beat these losers.

    = = = = = = = =

    Crime has always existed - because some people lack ability - or lack opportunity - or lack encouragement.

    The punishments ranged from hanging - hands removing - lifetimes in prison colonies - caning - prison - probation - rehabilitation.

    Not one works as a deterrent.

    Or are you a troll?

 

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