Rector defends high school litter stance

I was genuinely upset to read the letter from Mark Kettrick in last week’s Hawick News.

What concerned me was that Mr Kettrick accused me of not responding to letters or emails. I can assure the public of Hawick that I have never received a letter or email from this gentleman. The one thing I always do is respond to letters and emails – whether they are positive or critical. As a school we welcome all forms of feedback, and constructive criticism is useful in terms of school and community improvement. Mr Kettrick is calling my integrity into question which is unacceptable.

I would be delighted to meet up with Mr Kettrick and would be happy that he joins me on one of my frequent walks around the streets of Hawick during the lunch hour. He is obviously unaware that I regularly patrol the areas he highlights with local councillors and police officers.

Recently, when patrolling with PC Liddle, our locality police officer, we saw more adults dropping litter and more birds lifting litter out of bins than high school students causing problems.

I am in no way denying that Hawick has a problem with litter but I feel that it is unfair to only target high school students or to imply that Hawick has a problem worse than any other town.

We are committed to improving the situation caused by a very small minority of our pupils.

I believe the young people of Hawick, their parents and the local community, will take offence at Mr Kettrick’s comments. On the day the letter was published, Hawick High’s Eco Schools Group won the Volunteer Award in Galashiels for the ‘Bin it to win it’ anti-litter campaign and the school was recognised at regional level for our commitment to environmental awareness and local community.

This award, which is part of our pursuit for a Green Flag, is in complete contrast to the situation portrayed by Mr Kettrick’s suggestion of “no real progress”.

ALAN WILLIAMSON

High school rector