Dear Parents and Students,

I write to you in anticipation of the coming festive season, a time — and this applies to all in our multi-faith community — when it benefits us to consider the Christian message of love and understanding. A message I fear has become lost in the modern world.

This sad fact was rammed home to me recently when I found myself quite by accident in a place of adult entertainment which I had mistaken for a confectionery outlet. Peppermint Rhino indeed! What appalled me was not the entertainment on offer but the behaviour of the young people in attendance.

I can only agree with the estimation of our Premier that social values are sadly lacking. I propose therefore a draft code of conduct for students, teachers and parents.

Students:

  1. The shock value words f-ck and c-nt tends to diminish with repeated use. There are about 200,000 words in the language. Explore.
  2. Your choice of music is your own business. Except, of course, when your iPods are cranked up to ear-bleed. Please consider the possibility that your fellow human beings are not necessarily fans of Slipknot.
  3. Lying is actually wrong. As is plagiarism. Your insistence that the doctoral thesis you have cut and pasted from the Internet is your own work is a sorry indicator of character.
  4. Bullying is not entertainment fit for posting on YouTube. I am sick to death of finding students cowering in the school wheelie bins.

Teachers:

  1. Relationships with students are illegal. Why do you want to have s-x with someone who has Paris Hilton as a role model? Do you really want to share a cell with a 130kg Samoan?
  2. Sarcasm can be thrillingly effective but should really be resisted. (See bullying above.)
  3. As a rule, if the students consider you a serial slacker, they will follow your example. Please try to prepare beyond making the choice between the DVD of Shrek and Men in Tights.
  4. Dress appropriately. A-se-crack in young people is regrettable. In adults it is pathological.

Parents:

  1. Let’s get this quite clear. You parent, we teach.
  2. Oddly enough, foul language and physical threats are not good spurs to pedagogical excellence. Besides, the removal of a parent in handcuffs does nothing for the school’s reputation.
  3. While it is lovely that you take such an active interest in your child’s education, long phone discussions about Sharon’s use of the semi-colon in her recent essay are probably counterproductive. See point 1 above.
  4. If you must buy your children expensive accessories which they proceed to flaunt to the student population at large, please do not blame the school for being soft on theft. Whatever happened to paper rounds and pocket money?

I hope these things may be food for thought as you tuck into your Christmas turkey.

Imre Kevorkian

Peter Fray

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