With a Year 9 class of not the highest intellect today, we read the word "debate" and they wanted to know what it meant, probably because it sounds a bit like "masturbate". I tried to explain that we might have a debate about fox hunting, for example. Some people might be for it, and some might be against. Perhaps it was a mistake to choose something so contentious. A large and lovely girl was nearly in tears as boys taunted her with graphic descriptions of foxes being ripped to shreds. I changed the topic, inspired by their behaviour.
Me: "Another debate would be about whether teachers should be allowed to hit pupils with canes."
Brat 1: "We would just hit you back if you hit us."
Brat 2: "That wouldn't work these days 'cos we'd just bring a knife in and stab you."
And what do you say to that?