Schools: a safe haven, not a death trap

Dear Editor,
My heart is broken! A child, brimming with life and potential has died as a result of the action of a “school bully”!
In recent times, there have been many incidents in which students have been seriously injured as a result of vicious attacks by their peers. Something has to be fundamentally wrong! A school is supposed to be a haven, not a death trap!
In our days at school, occasional fighting among peers was not uncommon, but it was always a fistic encounter; there was never the use of any instrument or weapon! If we are to find solutions – and that urgently – we must delve deeply!
Rooted in this dilemma is the absence or dearth of family values! Children live what they learn, and this learning should begin at home; but in cases where parenting proves to be difficult or inadequate, there were/are organizations that prove to be beneficial.
There was a time when joining clubs – athletics/sports, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Sunday School, was a given! There, children learn to share, cooperate, understand the importance of camaraderie, respect for each other, and the fear of God; so, even when there was a deficit of certain values in the home, these activities helped to provide moral moorings.
As a society, we may have become so ‘sophisticated’ that basic human standards and values are traded for gain (sometimes ill-gotten) and temporary pleasure.
I join with the parents of Mark Harripaul in “…pleading that other parents instill values in their children to do the right thing…”
“Boys will be boys”, some say, but boys will be men someday! May we, in our homes, villages, clubs, and churches, “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Claudia Heywood