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WEEK 18 - Friday 28 January 2022

A lot of hurt and upset is caused in school by students who can’t imagine that they have any power to hurt anyone with their words.It’s their sense that nothing is at stake in their behaviour towards others that leads them to ignore the rules of respect, kindness and integrity, and instead to insult others as if they were plated in armour. I ask myself where does this behaviour start? Think of the situation of a young child, who has fun mocking a parent’s bald head or pot belly. To every child, their parents will always be the greatest humans to walk this planet. How could someone of such stature be hurt by a comment about their less than perfect physique by a tiny person who can’t spell properly? But the child is missing the point. Their words do hurt. They can make their parents very aware and conscious about their imperfections. A child never lies, right? The child simply can’t grasp how desperate and anxious their parents might be, how every morning they might stare in dismay into the bathroom mirror at the visible signs of ageing that speak to them relentlessly of a bad diet and lack of exercise (I could be talking from experience right now!). 

The parent, out of misguided protection and support, has shielded their child from their own fragility and misgiving. But we have now modelled behaviour that makes the child believe that the parents are so amazingly strong that these words have no impact on them whatsoever. How can this be related to school matters? 

Something related may happen when children get together in the playground to chat about another student in their peer groups. It is their misguided belief that their words couldn't possibly hurt or worry the other students as it is after all “only words”. It’s only when they themselves are on the receiving end of some hurtful or misinterpreted words that they start to realise how vulnerable the person on the receiving end of these words might feel. This idea casts a useful light on the activity of particularly dangerous people online. Their hurtful words are often sent with absolutely no idea of the hurt and damage they may cause because of this misguided lesson they were taught from a very early age by their heroes...mum and dad!. After all, how could their words hurt somebody who may be popular, academic, good at sport, attractive, confident? … words surely won't hurt these successful students! But we know they do. And we continue to educate our young people on the power of words and the impact they have on others

True kindness may require us to take on board a very unfamiliar idea: however young we are, however ignored we feel we might be, we all have the power to cause other people serious damage through the misguided use of words. We become better citizens, better students, better people when we truly understand that we can ruin somebody's day, somebody's week and, in some circumstances, somebody's school life through the use of a few misplaced words. We will always promote our school values to ALL Hessle High School students. I strongly believe that, through the support of you as parents, alongside the commitment and integrity of the staff at Hessle High,  we will ensure we continue to provide our learners with a safe and healthy environment to be successful. 

If you have any concerns or questions please contact me at hoyyear9@hessleacademy.com 

Mr Leckenby

Head of Year 9

Mrs Newman

Assistant Head of Year 9