I think that part of the problem is that many of us grew up never imagining treating other people like they do, and are shocked into hurt disbelief when it happens to us - mainly, kind, well-intentioned teachers who'd be disciplined if we shouted "SHUt UP!" at a non-compliant class. Over the years, you learn that there are many children who can give but not take, and our liberal sensibilities tell us - rightly - that the child is not to blame for the sins of its parents.Nevertheless, we do the 'tough love' thing and tlak to the parents, etc. In all my years of teaching, I can still remember the odd, truly vicious, child who delighted in making my life a misery. I shudder at the memories. 'Damaged' and difficult kids I know well enough. But occasionally you get one who is, basically, sadistic and evil. Why should we be surprised? Presumably there are many teachers out there who have seen these dead-eyed creatures on mug shots in the newspapers and recogniized among them their ex-pupils.