Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Lesson in Citizenship

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

A Lesson in Citizenship

Article excerpt


THE strong arm of the law paid youngsters a visit to teach them the value of becoming a responsible citizen.

The youngsters at Nunthorpe School were warned about becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, knife crime, drugs and bullying, by two police officers.

The Year 7 pupils were made to think twice when they discovered they could be arrested for misbehaving in school.

And a hard-hitting DVD showed them how they could ruin their own lives, and those of others, by getting involved in anti-social behaviour out of school.

The citizenship class was taken Sergeant Stephen MacFarlane and PC Lynda Sibley from Redcar and

Cleveland's Behaviour, Attendance and Truancy Team.

The team is a combination of education welfare officers, from Redcar and Cleveland Council, and Cleveland Police officers.

Their work involves enforcement and outreach. Enforcement is done through truancy patrols and referrals for bad behaviour.

So far this year, the team has had 230 referrals from schools for attendance and behaviour issues which are mainly to do with bullying, with cyber bullying becoming more common.

Its outreach work includes running citizenship classes for Year 7 pupils in every secondary school in Redcar and Cleveland.

At the end of the session the pupils can see police equipment including handcuffs and CS Sprays, filled with water for the lesson..

Sgt MacFarlane said: "Citizenship classes are delivered to Year 7s in secondary schools to explain to them what is acceptable behaviour and also attendance and truancy issues.

"The pupils can take part in and answer questions.

"The response is normally very positive and they like to see what equipment we use.

"If we can let them know at the start of secondary school what is acceptable behaviour, it will lay good foundations for later years. …

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