WEAPONS in schools at one time were confined to the odd catapult, a flexible ruler that carried a mighty sting and a length of leather in the top drawer of the teacher’s desk that left an even mightier sting.
However, things have changed. The teacher no longer has the sanction of the belt and the ruler and the cattie have given way to knives and guns.
Sadly the country is now no stranger to knife and gun crime in and around our schools. But confirmation this week that pupils in the Borders have been carrying knives and ball-bearing guns should send a shiver down the spines of parents and guardians.
Teachers, of course, have known of this worrying trend for some time because they are at the sharp end of it.
The haul of weapons from schools in the Borders may not be an arsenal of mass destruction, but they could have inflected injury and death. And if they have been found in the classroom one must seriously wonder what’s being carried in the schoolbag away from the playground.
Details of the weapons recovered were revealed as the result of Freedom of Information request to Scottish Borders Council. If that question had not been asked would we ever have known? The answer is mostly likely, no.
There is a tendency in government now to hide behind various pieces of legislation that which those in command do not wish those who are commanded, to know.
What is equally scary is the bland response from the council. They have said they take the issue seriously. They will note the figures and continue to monitor the situation closely.
That’s not good enough.
Firm action much be taken to ensure that nothing sharper than a pencil sharpener is found in our classrooms. And, of course, parents too must play their part.