Thursday, 11 June 2015

Another Life Ruined By Violence

The sad news today is that a lad of 14 stabbed a teacher in Bradford. It was witnessed by a classroom full of pupils. I feel sorry for all involved but, as always, I wonder if astrology could have helped this young chap. Astrology can't really predict behaviour (no matter what anyone tells you) but it can open up a dialogue to help identify problems and work towards solutions. But now it doesn't matter. The crime must be punished.

We don't know too much about this lad other than his age so he would have had to have been born between 10 June 2000-10 June 2001. The likely Jupiter sign is Gemini (unless he was born in late June 2000). Jupiter in Gemini pupils are terrified they will be asked to write that big book review one day and not deliver. They fall into two distinct camps: the clever buggers who can do everything and the 'numpties' who live in fear of being found out (from their perspective) that they've just been pretending to be clever all along. He could be a year 9 pupil who is faced with entering Year 10 with a team of teachers warning him of impending GCSE failure or he could be a year 10 pupil who has been told that he had better knuckle down and get ready for year 11. 

I am in no way blaming the teacher or any other member of staff: I don't even know the whole story of what happened in that classroom today. I DO know from criminal profiles of child killers that kids don't 'just snap' one day and start stabbing or shooting. There is a long prelude of warning behaviour and child protection issues raised by staff and fellow pupils long before the crime takes place. What do we expect when we treat our children like battery hens with one harried, over-worked, stressed adult in a classroom of 30+ children while simultaneously trying to achieve what has been put on his/her performance management record this academic year?

I have to say I go about my job without worrying about being stabbed. But it could happen. We teachers put a lot of pressure on kids, often telling them they won't survive in the big, wide world if they don't get the right grades. A Jupiter in Gemini pupil is good at wearing masks and under examination could fear being exposed as an intellectual fraud. Major freak out alert!

What if this child could have been taught that versatility is a virtue? That you don't have to make up your mind about what you want to do with the rest of your life right this second?

What will become of this child? This learner will be shoved into an institution with other 'bad boys' and he'll learn to imitate everything he sees. He'll stand before a judge and just come out with all the 'innit 'dos' and 'bruvs' and 'blads' like the rest of his peers and get shoved in a cage for the rest of his life.

And today, that's why today I will go to bed with a rather large glass of wine and a prayer that one day we will stop shrugging our shoulders and telling ourselves that troubled adolescents will 'just get over it.' We can't stand by and hope that this stage of life will pass by without incident.

These are some cases of other 14 year olds who have killed.

Some of the views expressed in this blog post are in my book "Growing Pains".

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