Scapegoats and cages

John Richardson writes: Re. “Why media was right to publish pictures and information about the Canberra cage” (Friday). So, a parent at the school involved in the “cage” furore questions our “values” on the basis that the school’s P&C and some teachers and parents apparently knew about the situation and allegedly said or did nothing about it. While “transparency” around this issue is crucial if it is to be effectively addressed, it certainly won’t be based on the self-serving and offensive approach adopted thus far by ACT Education Minister, Joy Burch, who has callously scapegoated the school principal, while showing more concern about the emotive impact of images of the cage, than she has in effectively acknowledging and addressing the root cause of the situation.

While none question the need for properly resourced educational support for students with euphemistically described “special needs”, I am disgusted at the absence of concern for teachers who daily have to confront the challenges of dealing with the behaviour of some of those children, in order to protect the physical safety of other children and themselves whilst, at the same time, struggling to provide a real learning experience for the entire student cohort, without such critical support. At the end of the day, a dedicated principal’s career has been ruined as a result of her having tried to keep the children in her care safe from harm.

The tragic irony is that had the unfortunate child who had been put into the “cage” for having previously attacked classmates and his teacher not been restrained and another child had been seriously injured, the responsible teacher and principal would have wound-up being blamed for that situation. Everyone knows where the buck stops and it certainly isn’t with our bureaucrats or politicians.

Time for kindness, not scaremongering

Cameron Bray writes: Re. “Borders and state lines” (Friday). Ken might be interested in the recent study that concluded that the biggest threat to life from terrorism in the US comes from right wing — often religiously motivated lone wolves. So come on Ken, be fair — by all means close the borders to the hordes of swarthy Islamic ‘others’ who carry the bacillus of jihad within them, but also be consistent and refuses entry to white Christians. Sure its massively unfair to the vast majority who are not Sikh-shooting, clinic bombing, gay lynchers , but after all as you persuasively argue, you can never be too safe.

What’s on TV?

Felix Dance writes: Re. “Stephen Colbert is the end of the late night talk show” (Friday). Classic Rundle irony in today’s piece, with Rundle de-constructing late-night American TV the day after telling Jeff Sparrow to get out more for doing the same to daytime Australian TV in The Guardian.