Parents’ shame

PUBLISHED: 12:12 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:31 06 May 2010

I write in regard to your item on Page 3 of last week s Comet concerning anti-social parents outside Hillshott School and Nursery in Letchworth Garden City. It has astounded me that these parents felt it necessary to contact you in this way, when a little

I write in regard to your item on Page 3 of last week's Comet concerning anti-social parents outside Hillshott School and Nursery in Letchworth Garden City.

It has astounded me that these parents felt it necessary to contact you in this way, when a little commonsense would have gone a long way. I would have expected Mrs Gough and the other mothers concerned to have realised that merely sitting on the wall outside the school is in fact not the issue here. The problem started when several parents complained to the school about the foul language that was being used within earshot of children and passers by.

Also, these parents were deliberately blocking the pathway with buggies and prams, causing pedestrians and children alike to step onto the grass verge. As you can imagine, this verge becomes wet and slippery in rainy weather. Why should parents picking up their children from school have to wait in mud, when thoughtful parents could turn their buggies sideways to let them pass?

The school has sent out numerous newsletters to parents asking that this behaviour must stop. As quoted by the Head Teacher, Mrs Wilson, the problem has been ignored. It seems that the attitude of the parents concerned is no one is telling me where to stand. The pupils and parents of Hillshott do not really mind where you stand, so long as you are thoughtful to others around you. My child is not subjected to bad language at home and I do not expect her to have to hear it on the way to school or back home again.

It also stated in the article that Mrs Gough thought the involvement of the police was too extreme and had annoyed many parents. I expect the majority of parents, staff and pupils at Hillshott would prefer to have a police officer on the grounds of the school, instead of a lot of swearing coming from the parents. I, for one, am more annoyed by the language of these mothers than the presence of a police officer. While they stand outside the school each day, maybe they would like to read the sign name of the school carefully, it says Hillshott Infant School and Nursery, this obviously makes you realise that very young children attend this school and should therefore be able to have fun and learn at this wonderful school without feeling intimidated.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

* I am writing to you with regard to the article about Hillshott School in The Comet. I currently have a child at Hillshott.

This situation of parents swearing outside the school has been ongoing for some time. The parents, who choose to sit outside the school, not only swear, but also abuse parents on their way to collect their children in the form of laughing at what we choose to wear. As you can imagine, this is not only upsetting for the parents, but also for their children. Society dictates enough on what we look like, without it being forced down our children's throats on their way to school.

I also understand that when the police have spoken with other parents that those involved have targeted them as a result and they fear for their safety. The parents in your article said that there is no need to involve the police, I have to disagree. Their behaviour is despicable and it is reassuring for other parents to see that Mrs Wilson is taking the matter seriously.

As parents we are responsible for our children. It is evident in the playground that the children of these parents swear at their peers, many of whom become upset as a result. I believe that the only way that these parents will be stopped is to exclude their children. The police say that these parents behave in an antisocial manner, why then have they not given them ASBO's? Surely this would be appropriate punishment in the eyes of the law?

Mrs Wilson, Head Teacher has been dealing with the situation discretely and appropriately so as not to upset the ambience of the school and the pupils. She has kept parents informed of her actions through newsletters. I know that Mrs Wilson has the full support of parents in this matter. I would like to finish by saying that Hillshott is an excellent school. It is always the minority which spoils it for the majority and it needs to stop.

A PARENT

* As a resident of Ridge Avenue for 28 years and a former pupil of Hillshott Infant and Nursery school and now parent of a child at the school I feel I have to respond to the article that you printed in last week's Comet.

The parents in that article have a valid point, they should be allowed to sit on the wall outside the school, it has happened for years. This is correct and no one is disputing that, but I am disgusted that these parents feel that it is necessary to make fun of people, use foul language, make threats (direct or indirect) and smoke cigarettes directly outside of the school gates while sitting on this wall.

On occasions when I have been returning from work, around 2pm, they are already congregating outside the gates, a full hour before their children are due out of school, all of which they failed to mention to the paper when reporting their story.

The head, Mrs Wilson, has politely requested since 2005 that all this stop, yet her requests are ignored, even a police presence is not enough to stop these parents. The only way that these parents went quiet and stopped was in the days leading up to the newspaper taking their picture and reporting their article, when they tried to justify their actions.

We as parents have a duty to our children, to set good examples, teach them respect.

TONY JACKSON


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