Greedy, rude adults 'fuelling teen violence'
Our papers are full of stories about how bad teenagers are. The truth is most of them don't do drugs, don't get pregnant, are not habitually drunk or binge drinking, don't smoke cigarettes never mind weed, yet still we demonise them. The truth is many adults set a poor example.
A culture of greed and rudeness among adults is contributing to the epidemic of knife and gun violence among teenagers, according to the government's behaviour adviser.
Sir Alan Steer, a headteacher and the head of a major government review of school behaviour policies due to report on Monday, said parents must take more responsibility for tackling violence among their teenage children. He defended comprehensive schools, which he said were regularly blamed for children's poor behaviour when they are often the only place where young people from violent communities feel safe.
On Monday, Steer will set out a series of proposals designed to put new pressure on parents to tackle their children's unruly behaviour in school, while giving them more direct contact with teachers via email and online reporting systems.
In an interview with the Guardian ahead of his report, he said that the recent killings of teenagers on London's streets was "heartbreaking".
"It's connected to a violent sub-culture. But we bear some responsibility. Sometimes as adults we don't model the behaviour we would want youngsters to follow. We live in a greedy culture, we are rude to each other in the street. Children follow that. You wonder what has gone wrong in these children's lives. Of course the kids have a responsibility, but there are questions about what's going on at home. Parents have a huge responsibility. Government doesn't bring up children, parents do."