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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Rooney effect

I am sorry but this does not wash. A Teacher's union is claiming that because Wayne Rooney gets away with bad language on the football pitch then he is setting a poor example to children and undermining the authority of teachers.

In my limited experience of young people, they will use any excuse to justify bad behaviour but no adult will accept that youngsters can abrogate responsibility in this way and nor should they. There have always been sports people who are considered to act in a manner that may be believed to be inappropriate, whether it is Ille Nastase, John McEnroe or Stan Collymore. No doubt young people have used them as an excuse for bad behaviour too.

Teachers and parents either have authority or they do not. It is not easy I know, but they must be able to counter these so-called role models by instilling appropriate values in their charges. Just as children should not be able to cite Wayne Rooney to justify misbehaving, so teachers and parents should not use poor refereeing as a reason for the greater ills of society, it goes much deeper than that.
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