Your front page article on April 4, under the headline 'Teachers told to call cops,' gave a window into a sad - and growing- reality in modern society manifesting even at a tender age as young as five.
Pat Newman went on to speak about out-of-control children in our schools: "Children threatening teachers with weapons, throwing chairs around the classroom and attacking other kids ... These are five-to-10 year-olds I'm talking about." True, a minority, but have we ever known the like before? And it's growing.
I was, and am, truly riled. This is the product of decades of the undermining of the pillars of society by trendy academics, educators and the entertainment industry (aided by a laissez faire general public), plus politicians eager to jump on the bandwagon and insist they know best.
Take marriage for starters. I recently listened to a young husband and father make the observation that New Zealand is becoming a society of broken relationships. Some of the causes are not hard to figure out.
I am 83 years old, have been involved in education for much of my life, and have watched the trends with much sadness. The foundations that my wife and I were blessed with - and have clung to since childhood - have helped us enjoy over 61 years of happy marriage and family life, and are now a blessing to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And yet they are lampooned by the popular culture of the day as reflected in the media.
This scorning of the wisdom of the ages and of Christian teachings is now coming home to roost. Many in my generation are sad beyond words.
Further, who removed from parents the recourse to smacking a child when needed as a part of healthy discipline, turning good parents into criminals?
We grew up in Britain in the Second World War during which many children were displaced, lost their fathers or were in other ways traumatised by the terrors of war. Did that spawn a violent generation? Most children of our age were subject to discipline that included physical punishment. And there was poverty. Yet crime, violent or otherwise, was nowhere near as prevalent as today.
We respected our elders. We rode to town and never locked our bicycles and we were surprisingly happy.
Our hearts bleed for so many of the kids of today.
JOHN AND SHIRLEY HADDOW