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TV shows blamed as kids are excluded for 'sexual' pranks at Lincolnshire schools

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: March 22, 2012

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Teenagers copying TV shows are among dozens of kids excluded from Lincolnshire's schools for "sexual misconduct".

Education bosses say a number of secondary school boys have been exposing themselves in a test of strength and manliness.

Lincolnshire County Council told the Echo that the pupils involved would expose themselves and inflict physical pain on one another to see who could withstand the most punishment. In some cases, drawing pins have also been involved. They are among 25 secondary school pupils hit with fixed period exclusions for sexual misconduct in the academic year 2010-11.

A further 12 were excluded from academies and seven from primary schools.

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information Request from the Echo.

Phil Whitworth, education out of school team manager for the county council, said the young pupils had copied a television show.

"It comes from those silly TV things where men see how much pain they can put each other through. We class it as sexual misconduct and we deal with it with fixed-term exclusions," he said.

Mr Whitworth said the list of criteria for sexual misconduct exclusion was "a mile long".

He said: "Some of the exclusions are down to pranks but some issues can be quite serious – especially in secondary schools where things can carry over from the weekends."

TV watchdog Ofcom said it had received complaints from Lincolnshire people about extreme, punishment-based TV shows, but said they did not break any rules as warning messages were screened before each episode.

Other examples of sexual misconduct given by the county council include harassment, bullying and graffiti.

Jule Holmes, a 47-year-old mother of two from West Parade, Lincoln, said she believed the schools were taking the right course of action.

She said: "As much as we try, we can't always stop our kids from picking things up, whether it's from the television, the internet or even their friends.

"Whatever these teenagers are up to sounds juvenile and outright disgraceful and maybe being sent home from school for a few days is the only way to show them that.

"If kids are getting their bits out at school and are hitting

them, then it's going to be disruptive for everyone around them. I think I speak for all parents when I say I wouldn't expect my kids to put up with an environment where that kind of behaviour is going on.

"Sometimes something as severe as an exclusion is the only way they learn."

The Echo's Freedom of Information request also revealed that more than 840 pupils were excluded from school in 2010-11 for verbal abuse or threatening behaviour towards an adult – the most common reason for an exclusion.

Around 780 were excluded for physical assault against another pupil and a further 379 were excluded for persistent disruptive behaviour.

There were also more than 140 exclusions relating to drugs and alcohol – including possession and pupils arriving at school under the influence of substances.

Nigel Appleton, dean of teacher development at Bishop Grosseteste University College, said: "Our experience is that schools in Lincolnshire do use exclusions in an appropriate way and if a pupil gets to that point, it's because they've come to the end of a very long road."

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  • AnnNom  |  March 26 2012, 7:39PM

    I entirely disagree with that last remark- "Teachers and parents are becoming more and more powerless and kids know this." Any teacher or parent who has become 'powerless' should not have become a teacher or a parent.

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  • Seph90  |  March 26 2012, 1:08PM

    completely agree with your vpire, its not a matter of banning children from watching all things bad, its a matter of laying down some rules, so when they see these bad things, they know its not something they should imitate. Thats how i was brought up. And again with the "no one can touch you" your completely right,there are too many kids nowadays that feel as though they are untouchable, and to be honest you only have to look at the school environment to see why. Teachers and parents are becoming more and more powerless and kids know this.

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  • mummy91  |  March 24 2012, 10:30PM

    How exactly did you get the idea that I don't think it's my responsibility? I have two children, and I monitor everything they watch, hear and see. In my eyes, it is every bit my responsibility, in the same way a parent is expected to teach them right from wrong, to teach them to talk, walk and every other responsibility that comes with being a parent.

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  March 24 2012, 10:21PM

    Sounds like your parents did a good job. Shame you don't think it's your responsibility.

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  • mummy91  |  March 24 2012, 2:05PM

    No, I personally didn't attempt to copy any of the "stunts". Watching things like that and finding them funny is a big difference to copying them. It may not be a "new thing" as you suggest, but either my parents kept me away from it all better when I was younger (in which case, well done to them, because it's worked!) or everything sexual wasn't as obvious when I was growing up in the 90's! And if it was down to my parents being successful at keeping things like this away from me, then maybe other parents could also do the same. Either way, it's down to adults. And by the way, congratulations on dates, but all my point was, was that EITHER things are more available, or parents aren't doing as good a job of keeping it hidden! And for the record, my mother attended private school during the '70s, and she is shocked by the amount of explicit material around. And I'm not sure that anyone has blamed "disadvantaged" children at any point. Your points only continue to back up the comments that have been made so far, by suggesting that the behaviour is not addressed previously, in that Children are now growing up well aware of the fact that they "cannot be touched".

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  March 22 2012, 11:19PM

    mummy91 - So you watched Jackass etc., in common with your peers, but never attempted to copy? So kids today can walk into shops and see 'adult' magazines, TV soaps, ... Adult magazines were there in the 1970s. The first lesbian kiss on Brookside was in 1994, when I'm guessing you weren't watching. Channel 4 has had 'warning triangle' film series and a current 'Extreme' season. Child's Play (possibly 2) was quoted as a reason for James Bulger's killing, despite the fact there was no evidence the children had seen it, and some evidence they hadn't. Boarding school children in the 1950s (before my time, by the way) would not be shocked by these 'revelations'. Children have always done things that would have shocked their parents. Of course, they were 'posh' children. We now try to blame disadvantaged children for all the ills in the world, but permitticism spread from the top down, not vice versa. Teenagers on the whole are rampantly sexual and notoriously difficult to manage, but not dangerous. If children are stapling their bits to desks, this is more likely due to previous bad behaviour not being addressed, leading to new anti-social machismo challenges, than to some new wave of sexual deviancy corrupting them. Unfortunately, Government policy is moving away from early intervention and into punishment. I would consider voting for Mr Clarke, a thinking Tory, but not for either Mr Cameron or Mr Osborne, who I think are causing huge damage to this country and hiding behind lies.

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  • mummy91  |  March 22 2012, 9:10PM

    Jackass & Dirty Sanchez were extremely popular when I was in secondary school. People tried to copy some of the 'stunts' but they would have never dared attempt stuff like this, it's just ridiculous! It is down to children trying to impress each other... They are being brought up in a world where anything to do with sexual behaviour is exposed EVERYWHERE... All they have to do is walk into shops to find "Adult Magazines", TV Channels, although they have a PIN, they still show pictures when they are "locked", internet, adverts for perfumes, TV Soaps... It is everywhere, that is caused by adults... So who is to blame for bringing Children up in an environment like this? Because they certainly haven't asked for it. I have a cousin who is 11 years of age, who daren't even talk about Puberty! What happened to children being children at his age!? When I was at school (not so long ago, may I add) we all got embarrassed during "Sex Talks", Teenagers now use it as a "kiss & tell" of experiences! I totally agree, as a young mum, who has been a teenager and disgusted with the behaviour of others, that children shouldn't be mothered so much! I was brought up to sit at the table until you finished the food you were given, elbows off the table, wait until you were told to speak, use manners, never ever swear, bed when you were told. And I was terrified to do anything wrong. It hasn't done me any harm... Yet I see people my age, wandering along the street, after failing their GCSE's, struggling to get a job (or not bothering to try), drinking at all hours of the day, smoking god only knows what... There is not enough pressure on children to behave and get through school. I for one, will certainly be pushing my children to work hard at school, ignore the mass parade of idiots and succeed... After all, you only get one chance at life!

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  • vpire  |  March 22 2012, 1:53PM

    Oh for gods sake, yet more of the "pass the buck" culture. If kids are taught morals and discipline rather than "no one can touch you" then we wouldn't have these problems.

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  • Bicksy  |  March 22 2012, 1:23PM

    I am taking it a bit to the extreme to be fair and if I ever found out my son was poking drawing pins in his Johnny Thomas for a laugh or to show he was in the Rufty Tufty Club, he'd be in a lot more trouble with me than he would be with the school. For me there's an acceptable age when children become young adults and need to start making their own decisions and way in life; unfortunately for some, they done have parents who give a damn about their welfare and help them make those choices and decisions the right way that unfortunately spawn the Jeremy Kyle wannabes of the future.

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  • AliceDay  |  March 22 2012, 12:09PM

    @Bicksy You're right, you can't shelter your kids from everything but I think you're taking my idea of parenting to the extreme. I know parents who happily let their primary school-age children play violent computer games or watch gory horror films and I cannot for the life of me see when that can ever be appropriate. What I mean is that some teenagers mature earlier than others. Some understand the 'comedy' when watching 'pain-based' TV shows, such as Jackass, whereas the more immature ones try to copy them in order to impress their mates. It's down to parents to educate their kids so that they understand the difference between what is acceptable at school and what isn't. I'm not saying teenagers can't do something silly once in a while - it's good for them - and the examples you give of hedge-hopping and streaking across the school field are fine once in a while, but taking drawing pins to your private bits in the classroom is, in my mind, never appropriate!

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