While walking past my old secondary school (Matthew Arnold) a few days ago I noticed two police officers standing outside, I thought to myself “What’s happened?” maybe a car was speeding or somebody had stolen something from the school.
Over the next few weeks I realised that nothing had actually happened, the cops where just hanging around while students left at 3:00pm, despite the bad reputation that Matthew Arnold had when I went, there is never any need to have police keeping watch over children as they leave school as if they were criminals.
I was angrier when I saw that even my old primary school (Laleham C of E) had a ‘police community support officer’ stationed outside when children left. Why? Has there been a sudden spate of kidnappings outside of these schools? Are they being protected from a hidden menace? No, just being watched by our friendly neighbourhood coppers. With Tasers and handcuffs just in case.
Both of these schools are on busy roads and of course children’s safety is always a key priority when students have to cross the road to get home or to get to their parent/carers’ car but that’s what lollipop people do. Why not have parents, teachers and older siblings making sure students are safe as they leave school? Better community involvement is the answer when it comes to protecting children and teenagers not police intimidation.