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Bus Lane mentality: we all gain from enforcing rules!


In our drive for impeccable behaviour, we sometimes have that rare conversation with students about why a particular rule is enforced and why are there rules anyway?!

‘Firm, fair and consistent’ is our motto regarding managing student behaviour but I have noticed, that, unfortunately, rules still need explaining to a few. In an attempt to clarify this, I thought I would recount a story of a friend of mine…

John received a Bus Lane Violation- it cost him £60! He was furious, he thought it just wasn’t fair. He thought because there were no buses in the bus lane, it would be OK for him to use it. He didn’t think anyone would notice. He appealed the fine and lost. The fine stood and ever since he has never driven in a bus lane. He sees Bus Lane cameras everywhere; the enforcement worked, he’s become a Bus Lane saint!

When I think about this story it reminds me that ‘integrity means doing the right thing when nobody is looking’. Rightly or wrongly, there is something in human nature that leads people to seek advantage for themselves: cut corners or bend the rules- but at the same time expecting the rules to be there for us when we need them. As a community we are stronger when we support each other to stick to our rules-it’s fair for everyone. The fact is that without enforcement, even rules that we all agree on would soon fall apart. The enforcement is part of the process of a community working out the rules that we agree to live by. We can’t look for exceptions or excuses without putting pressure on the system, with negative consequences for everyone.

So, as teachers and parents, let’s embrace this- the rules are there for all of us. It’s about making our school community better for the maximum benefit of everyone in it. A great school community functions best when the rules are clear and enforcement is consistent- we all have our part to play.

We encourage all our students to make the correct choices, if they break a rule or act thoughtlessly, we encourage them to take a good look at themselves before they get angry with the system. Only this way will our students learn how to conduct themselves in our society and make the positive contribution we require them all to do.

Dr Kathy Janzan
Head of School

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