What needs to happen in Australian schools? Children coming to class should be tested for fever.
We have to reinforce teachers' authority, in all kinds of ways.
We must keep schools at a manageable size, and stop selling off school land.
Society must get used to the idea that schools have authority over children. Children who are sick must be sent home and stay there.
At present, many schools are limping along from day to day. Teachers' health and mental well-being are at risk of breaking down. Governments must act swiftly, or there will be drastic consequences. Then schools will have to close down, indeed. And desperate parents will have to look elsewhere for someone to mind and educate their kids.
Note: Names of interviewees have been changed, in accordance with common research practice.
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About the Author
Dr Peter West is a well-known social commentator and an expert on men's and boys' issues. He is the author of Fathers, Sons and Lovers: Men Talk about Their Lives from the 1930s to Today (Finch,1996). He works part-time in the Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney.