In the week between Christmas and New Year - I wrote a piece I called 'Blackboard Jungle' - making fun of claims that some of Scotland's schools are places of fear and alarm.
The essential point being made was that instead of making wild, unsubstantiated allegations - the teaching trade unions should produce hard evidence - in support of their arguments.
So I laughed today when I heard the teaching unions are aghast at the Commission on School Reform (CSR) - which is urging Scottish schools to abandon what they refer to as the 'bog standard' model of comprehensive education.
The CSR highlights what it refers to as a culture of complacency in many schools - and is keen that Scottish education generally should become much more innovative - which sounds like a good idea.
But the teaching trade unions are up in arms apparently at the perceived insult - that any Scottish schools or Scottish teachers could be possibly 'bog standard'.
'Where's the evidence for making such a claim?' - is their implied criticism.
So it's good to see that some in the trade unions are coming round to my way of thinking - I just wished they would follow the same maxim themselves.
Instead of - 'Do as I say, not as I do!'
Blackboard Jungle (December 29th 2011)
News is normally slow in the week between Christmas and New Year.
So it's a favourite time of year for trade unions to put out press releases - full of empty words - which make meaningless demands.
My favourite so far is the one today from some of Scotland's teaching trade unions - which claims that children's education is being affected - and staff safety compromised - by the failure of some schools to exclude badly behaved pupils.
One union spokesperson claims that in the schools concerned this indiscipline is 'spreading fear and alarm throughout the school community' before going on to add that:
"Fortunately, these cases are relatively rare but this is of no comfort to pupils and staff terrorised in the workplace."
Strong words I thought to myself - apparently people are being terrorised in a place of learning - this can't go on, something has to be done - call out the riot police.
Which schools are involved?
How many schools are involved?
What kind of incidents have taken place?
What do the school's parents think of the situation?
But of course none of this information is available - no hard information or examples are provided to back up these wildly exaggerated claims - it's blown up out of all proportion and for that reason doesn't deserve to be taken remotely seriously.
In fact official figures confirm that school exclusions showed an 11% reduction in 2010/11 - and a whopping 40% reduction since 2006/07.
In other words many fewer young people are now being suspended or expelled - which is a good news story for Scottish education - and all the schools that work hard to tackle disruptive and anti-social behaviour.
Yet the trade unions use the language of propaganda - claiming that in parts of Scotland people are being terrorised and live in a state of 'fear and alarm'.
Which is hardly thoughtful or constructive - especially when there are no facts or figures to back up their claims.
To my mind it's shameful that the trade unions behave in this over-the-top way - as if it's 'hell out there' - that some of our schools are little more than battlegrounds.
Because they're the ones trying to spread fear and alarm - with their ill-judged, half-baked propagandist claims.