Interactive: What happened to smart teachers from yesteryear?

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Do you think teachers are role models for pupils and should dress accordingly, or is that old hat now?

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I FOUND the pictures of the kids starting at school utterly charming (News, 24 September) – they all look fresh-faced, excited and dressed for the occasion. Families will no doubt hold on to these supplements for years as the keepsake it is intended to be.

It is a shame the same cannot be said for a significant number of the teachers in the photographs.

We live in a world where the jeans waistline has slipped far down the derriere and where the hem on tops has crept further up, resulting in a generally scruffy society.

Sunday best has long been forgotten, but should we not lead by example when we remind the children that they will be having their school photo taken the next day and to polish their shoes, and so on?

I completely understand the practicalities of being a school teacher to such a young age group, but surely it is not too much to ask for people to make an effort for a photograph?

There are many bigger issues in the world than this but it would be nice to see the smart teachers from years ago – not wearing baggy T-shirts or leggings, but just smart-casual attire.

Clothes don't make the man, but clothes have got many a man a good job.

Roz Colthart, Blackhall, Edinburgh

Bad driving barely noticed nowadays

ONCE again people are complaining about bad cycling. As a driver, cyclist and pedestrian I wonder why these people aren't writing in to complain about the bad drivers since on my many travels around the city it is painfully obvious where the real problem lies.

There is not a single time I take to the roads or pavements that I don't see examples of bad drivers. Whether it be lack of indicating, speeding, jumping red lights, dangerous parking, tailgating, using mobile phones, pulling out in front of others, swinging doors open without looking – it goes on and on every single time.

Whilst there are indeed bad cyclists, it is a minuscule problem compared to bad drivers.

Does it need to be pointed out that these bad drivers are also responsible for the many deaths and serious injuries we see every year?

Why don't the letter-writers complain about this? I wonder if it's because bad driving is so ubiquitous they barely even notice it?

Mick Geggus, Dundas Street, Edinburgh

Taleban winning war in Afghanistan

THE resignation of Major General Andrew Mackay, Officer Commanding Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England, last week in protest at military equipment and personnel shortages in Afghanistan surely puts into sharp focus the Taleban's most powerful weapon, its support from the native population.

The insurgents haven't a fraction of the equipment Major General Mackay had at his disposal and yet they have kept the most powerful armies in the world at bay for eight years now. How can that be?

The US and British military high command are fully aware that the overwhelming majority of Afghans deeply resent the presence of an alien army from the other side of the world and have done so for the best part of a decade. It is therefore delusional to suggest that pouring in ever more soldiers and military hardware will alter that basic fact or lead to victory for this unwarranted aggression.

That's why the Taleban are winning the war in Afghanistan and why both US General McChrystal and British General Sir David Richards are now openly contemplating defeat.

Colin Fox, Scottish Socialist Party, Alloway Loan, Edinburgh

Walk on pavement like assault course

IT WAS just a simple ten-minute walk down to our local park with my guide dog for his daily run.

On my way I had to negotiate both brown and green buckets, numerous overhanging hedges and branches, and cars and vans parked half across the pavements.

If I am fortunate enough to navigate round these hazards, the pavements themselves are liable to have a very steep camber, or be rough and full of holes.

So what should be a pleasant walk becomes a nightmare which can often include having to go on to the road if there isn't enough pavement space.

E Brown, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh