A storm of outrage has blown up after two Alderley Edge schoolboys were filmed sorting out their classroom differences by restorative justice techniques. Egged on by a watching adult audience, the video clearly shows the boys engaging in an open discussion of the disagreement, leading eventually to the 9 year olds shaking hands and agreeing to share the ruler more equally in future.
"It’s a disgrace," fumed Lancashire cage-fighting Welterweight Champion Mark Vaughan, aka The Bolton Bonecrusher. "This is the sort of namby-pamby claptrap that turns our kids into Southern Softies. Life is about Winners and Losers, Gain and Pain, Survival of the Fittest. Why can’t they just threaten each other and then have a fight?"
A spokesman for YouScrap, an agency which broadcasts on-line videos of children fighting, agrees. "We need to protect these vulnerable children from exploitation and the dangers of restorative justice. It causes mental distress, leading to anger management issues. These kids could end up psychologically damaged whereas on our website, only physical harm is inflicted."
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that restorative justice "feels over-civilised" and that it raises many questions. "While I would encourage healthy, open debates as a principle," he said, "having a fight and behaving boorishly is much more relevant to today’s society, especially in the House of Commons."