Christmas is a special time especially for children. It should be a happy time where they experience fun not only at home during the holiday season, but at school in the run up to the holidays.

I was absolutely horrified to be informed by my ex wife that our daughter who is aged 7 was excluded from her school Christmas party on the grounds that she didn’t finish a particular piece of school work during the day.

My daughter is a great listener, she loves to learn new things and is not prone to bouts of misbehaviour. She likes to read and is advanced for someone of her age at her reading and oratory skills, but she tends to be quite slow at writing.

For her teacher to punish her in this way has me angry for a number of reasons. I don’t feel as if the ends justify the means, especially at this time of year, and I don’t feel that the punishment fits the crime, not that there was any crime being committed to begin with, other than the fact my daughter is slow at writing. What saddens me more than anything else is the longer term implications of an unjustifiable action by the teacher and what could happen if a child’s confidence is knocked.

My ex wife has written a rather good letter to the school in question, and I would hope this teacher is punished for not following the schools mission statement.

When I was my daughter’s age I got punished and humiliated by the head of the school I attended for a ‘crime’ I didn’t commit. Back then in the UK we had corporeal punishment and children were allowed to be beaten physically, I know from first hand experience what that felt like and the impact it had on me, not just as a child but as I grew into a young man. Granted we don’t have such draconian measures in place in schools anymore, and I agree with warranted punishment even in our modern schools especially if the behaviour warrants it, just not in this case.

An unjust punishment even if its non physical is equally barbaric in my mind.