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Trouble for Danny: Making SENse of the Law

Author: Julie Gibbings

Cover  of 'The trouble with Danny', SEN resource.


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A downloadable resource for students with special education needs

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Citizenship Challenge

Date Published


Target age

KS3 - KS4


Format: PDF Download
Pages: 51



Citizenship Foundation


Trouble for Danny is designed to support the teaching of citizenship education, specifically the law related aspect of the curriculum, to pupils at key stages 3 and 4 with special educational needs. It can be used in both special and mainstream schools, and is aimed at students with moderate learning difficulties, especially problems with literacy.

Its aim is to enable young people with special educational needs to understand and critically engage with the criminal legal system, specifically the workings of youth courts. The resources centre around the story of Danny, a 15 year old boy who is charged with a crime. Students complete activities based around the events that take place during this story, which culminates in a classroom based mock trial and sentencing activity.

Trouble for Danny is divided into four sections: Introduction; Teacher's Notes; The Story; Activities.


From Alison Philpott - Southampton
Rating:(Not rated)
From Sharon Fox - Burton-on Trent
Why is this portraying black youth in a negative stereotypical way?As a person of colour I am appalled!This poor youth even gets charged for a crime he didnt commit!Do black kids need to see this?
Rating:(Not rated)
From Julie Gibbings - Citizenship Foundation
Thank you for your comments. At no point in the resource is Danny portrayed in a negative way: indeed it is implied that if Danny did break the glass this was by accident and he was provoked into doing so by the actions of another character. This is reflected in the discussion points with the activities, which also ask students to question whether it was right to charge Danny or whether the police should have done more to find the other boy. In legal terms, criminal damage is when someone damages something either intentionally or through recklessness. By picking up the brick, Danny could be seen to be being 'reckless' regardless of whether he intended to smash the glass. The resource is specifically written so that whether Danny committed the crime or not is ambiguous; if a group of students did decide that it was him that smashed the glass, he would probably be found guilty due to recklessness rather than intent. The most negatively portrayed character is Vincent in terms of his attitude and behaviour towards others. The point is that Danny is probably scared of Vincent, but the police interpret this as him being able to identify Danny as the person who broke the glass. I hope this addresses the concerns about negative stereotyping.
Rating:(Not rated)
From Gillian Howard - London SE18
I taught this unit to a class of year 11 kids. They definetely got a lot out of it and I like the way you can dip in and out of it as a resource or follow it closely.By the end of the unit they were able to demonstrate their rights and responsibilities regarding the law and recall key concepts such as 'victim and 'witness' that they hadn't known previously. My class is ethnically mixed and I thought that Danny was mixed race? (although the drawings were ambiguous )and was someone they could relate to without necessarily being a negative representation.This is a very useful resource.
From Shirley Pettersen - Liverpool
An excellent resource which my group liked. They retained lots of knowledge from the activites. Highly recommend using.
From J Hollins - Stoke
Has Sharon Taylor not heard of institutional racism? There are more black youths jailed each year than white kids as 15-24 year olds commit a disproportionately higher number of crimes. My boyfriend is mixed race so the race card is not one to play as far as I am concerned.
Rating:(Not rated)

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