It’s enough to make strong men weep! I refer to reports on the topic of knife crime, now filling almost every page of the tabloids, and if nothing else, we’re not short of advice.

But what makes me weep is the response to the tentative suggestion that airport style metal detectors might be installed in schools to catch pupils carrying knives or other offensive weapons. The response is that this might be in breach of their human rights!!!!!!!!!! Even as I write, lawyers of indeterminate provenance are waiting in the wings, and might well be retained, on legal aid of course, by the loving and caring single parents of these pupils, no doubt to accompany them to the school gates and serve a writ on the unsuspecting headmaster [or should that be headteacher?]

Presumably, these are the same pupils who score extra marks in the SAT exams for spelling “f**k off!” correctly, and can, if the mood takes them, stab to death the headteacher at the school gates. How short are the memories of these misguided fools!

But what about the human rights of the teaching staff, or the law abiding pupils who risk injury, and worse still, death, if they “give the wrong look” in the playground? More like a war zone!

The sad truth is that we’ve lost a whole generation through the breakdown of the family unit, the irrelevance of the Anglican Church as a force for good, and the obdurate refusal of this and previous governments to tackle the appalling state of comprehensive education, where pupils can barely spell their own name [they get extra marks in their SATs if they can], let alone read and write fluently. So until the New Jerusalem, we have no option but to use the “sticking plaster” approach. But a sticking plaster is better than nothing, so my advice to these schools is to hold fast and tell the lawyers what they can do with their writs. Better still, invite them to spend a day at school. It’s a very sharp learning curve, but if it helps common sense to prevail, it’s a day well spent.

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David is an English barrister, writer, public performer and keynote speaker. His full profile can be found on his website.

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