Psst, do it, you said you would. Go on we dare you,’ came the whisper from behind.
It was 1966, just before my 11th birthday, and I was sat at my wooden desk at primary school, hiding behind the lid with a pea-shooter in my hand.
Motormouth me had bragged she would shoot a pea at our teacher in class, and now I had to deliver or lose face.
So I did.
Ping! the pea hit the teacher’s cheek, who jumped up and shouted: ‘Who did that?’.
So perhaps foolishly I put my hand up. Well, I was never cut out to be a real baddie.
There was too much ‘Mr God won’t want you for a sunbeam if you’re a naughty girl’ drummed into me by my RC fire-and-brimstone Scots gran, dear.
So I was reprimanded and punished (100 lines of ‘I will not shoot peas at my teacher’), by the headmistress, and my parents were contacted.
Then I was grounded after school and at weekends.
And that was all over one little pea.
How times have changed.
So when reading the headline Rise of Violent Primary Pupils and a story revealing that 40 primary school pupils are expelled every day for attacks on staff, my reaction was the same as in last week’s column on teenage girls – ‘what about the parents?’.
And I’m not the only one asking that question.
The Tory MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, on being made aware that violence in primary schools is up 15 per cent over the past four years to 8,030 pupils aged five to 11 being expelled, commented: ‘These figures are extraordinary. It shows an utter lack of discipline for children at a very young age.
‘It’s a sad indictment on the state of our society, the lack of discipline, the lack of respect for authority, and some pretty bad parenting.’
How many times, folks, have you been in our city’s shopping centres and seen numerous disinterested mums, gossiping and giggling on their mobile phones while their kids run riot?
Parents should be accountable for their children, otherwise our teachers will be going to school in SWAT outfits.