HEADTEACHERS could be asked to help in the fight against anti-social behaviour.
Mossley Hollins High School’s Stuart Marshall has been mentioned as a case study after joining police officers on patrols on a Friday night.
Mr Marshall’s intervention was mentioned at a recent meeting of Stalybridge Town Council when anti-social behaviour by youths in the town was discussed.
It was suggested headteachers in Stalybridge be approached to also join police on patrols to help identify the youths who have been causing mayhem.
Mr Marshall, who has been a teacher for 31 years, went out with police last year after hearing of problems and he says he would be happy to do so again.
It was back in the autumn term of 2016 that Mr Marshall’s attention was drawn to youngsters causing problems in Mossley.
He said: “I have always been very keen for the school to pursue more involvement in the community and have regular meetings with PCSO Karl Lisic and community officer Martin Dench who are great guys.
“They pay regular visits to school and tell me about incidents, and when I heard about the problems last year I told Karl if it would be helpful, I would be happy to go out with them on a Friday night so students saw my presence.
“I wanted children to see Mr Marshall out and about on a Friday night. It caused a stir, especially when a police van turned up at my home in Grasscroft to collect me!”
Mr Marshall had a hands-on role after some of his pupils were spotted coming out of a store having bought alcohol. He made them take it back and they were given refunds.
He added a group of pupils wearing hoodies had assembled on the market ground and he explained to them why he was there.
Mr Marshall continued: “I told them how sinister they looked to an elderly person or mum with a child, something they understood. I added my children had been the same.
“I followed it up at assemblies and explained why I had gone out.
“I also wanted to congratulate them on their behaviour and reassure them the police had only told me of bad things.”
He also said a small group of girls were encountered on Stamford Road, but they ran off when they saw the police.
“It was another intervention and we explained to them how it was perceived they were up to no good when they ran off, but that wasn’t a big deal,” he said.
Mr Marshall added he only had one problem on the night when a year 11 pupil continued to smoke when approached and was rude when confronted.
“The police went to see his parents and I also dealt with him on Monday morning,” he said.
Mr Marshall says he has asked to go out with police again to show his pupils he is still active outside school.
He explained: “I only live one mile from school and it is my community and children will bump into me in Mossley going for a takeaway and talking to people.
“I was sick of hearing Mossley Hollins children having let the school down. Most are well behaved and I wanted to reassure myself, and it worked for me.”
Mr Marshall also informed parents in the school’s Newsflash bulletin and says it was a “positive experience”.