A lurker says…
I’ve been following the postings on home schooling on Blogdial with great interest and today I saw the topic linked to below on the BBC “Have your say” website regarding new powers for teachers. If ever there was a need to justify home schooling, this might prove to be another good reason.
What struck me most is this sentence in the BBC’s invitation to comment:
“Previously, teachers had been allowed to restrain pupils under common law with the same authority as parents.”
the next thing that struck me was how many people agreed that it was a good thing (discipline may well be, but it seems to me that we used to have that without needing a law to enforce it).
From the BBC’s Have Your Say Forums:
Have Your Say
Will new powers for teachers make a difference? How far should teachers be allowed to go? New legal powers for teachers and schools in England to restrain and discipline unruly pupils have come into effect. The new law allows teachers to physically restrain and remove unruly pupils and impose detentions outside school hours and on Saturdays.
Previously, teachers had been allowed to restrain pupils under common law with the same authority as parents. This new measure is the first major change in guidelines on discipline in a decade.
What is your reaction to this new law? Do you think teachers should be allowed to physically restrain their -students? Send us your views.
I had not heard anything about such a law anywhere until I saw this as all news coverage seems to be focused on the Iran hostages (I wonder what other laws are being sent through at the moment that I’ve missed).
You guys are probably much more up to date on this kind of thing than I am, but it strikes me that as things stand now, if this law actually exists and has been passed, the Gov’t gives teachers more powers in disciplining a child than it gives parents.
If this is the case, then it would appear that we are well on our way to having children removed from their parents and put into the hands of the state. Not physically removing removing them – if they did that parents may actually realise what is going on and might protest and also the state would have to house and feed them – but by shifting the disciplinary control from parents to teachers in schools they are weakening traditional family bonds.
Children tend to develop respect for those who can stand up to them (real authority figures) – be they teachers, parents, uncles aunts, the next door neighbour etc. If teachers are given more power than parents, then those are the people that children will develop a relationship with, respect and let themselves by guided by. Home will be a place that they go to watch, eat, sleep and eventually report on to the appropriate authorities should the parents not be behaving in the manner the children have been taught is good and proper by their teachers.
In a more alarmist interpretation, this might also give teachers the power to “adjust” students’ behaviour for questioning them, knowing more than they do or simply not towing the line that the teacher wants them to. By being able to restrain them and bring them in at all hours, particularly hard cases (as smart, literate kids with independent views might be regarded) could be worked on extra hard to see the error of their ways and bring back them into the fold.
If such a law actually has gone through, it smacks (no pun intended) of socialisation pure and simple. Get them young, get them impressionable and soon you will have your New Labour Youth. Who knows, in time they might even start wearing uniforms and help inspire or guide others to follow in their righteousness footsteps.
Have you heard anything about this? Am I getting overly worried?
Bye for now,
No, I do not think you are being overly worried…just thinking…and thats always good.
The problem with this goes right back to the relationship between the citizen and the state. Teachers in the state school system are servants of the citizen. Their relationship is one of a servant, obeying the commands of the parent, who is the citizen and the person who is paying for the school service through her taxes.
What has happened is that these and other public servants have forgotten who and what they are, and they have ideas above their station. They need to have their attention brought sharply into focus. They need to be reminded that they must at all times adopt the position and attitude of a servant and never as a dictator, director or owner.
Teachers have a special place in society as most trusted and valued servants; the profession of teacher is one of the most honorable and important occupations in the world, but the high regard in which we hold them does not grant them power over us or the children that are entrusted to them. They remain servants whose job it is to carry out the will of parents.
Here is an example of a teacher forgetting this. I know of a school in the USA, a private school, where one of the tutors took it upon himself to pronounce to his class of 8 year olds, just before Christmas that,
“there is no Santa Claus; your parents buy all the presents and put them under the tree while you are asleep”.
The children came home with this knowledge, and of course the parents went ballistic. This teacher betrayed the trust of the parents that sent their children into that class, and, because it is a private school, that teacher was FIRED immediately for breaching that trust. The facts of Santa Claus are irrelevant; no teacher has the right to divulge sensitive cultural information without the consent of the parent. The true nature of the Santa Claus fable was not part of the curriculum, and by going outside it, in this heartless, senseless and stupid way, that teacher did harm, even though he was telling the truth.
Because he was teaching in a private school, the parents had a remedy. Children in the state schools are taught all sorts of things without the parents consent or approval or choice, and there is nothing that they can do about it. This is absolutely wrong, and it is one of the factors that is pushing parents to remove their children from environments that are out of their control.
If you cannot give control over the agenda to parents with children in the state schools, fine; leave the parents who want to go private (wether this be private school or home schooling) alone. They can find their own ways of educating their children, and this is their absolute right.
This new law is fascinating. What they are trying to do is put humpty dumpty back together again. Instead of doing it the intelligent way, by removing the legislation that caused the problem in the first place they are adding more legislation to fix the problems caoused by ever zealous legislation.
The laws that stopped corporal punishment, and which shackled teachers are the cause of all the discipline problems with the feral youths running wild in the cities. Everyone knows it. This patching exercise is absurd and is actually an admission of the failure of the child centered ‘philosophy’ brought in by nincompoops and tinkering social engineers who are now not able to clean up the mess they have created, let alone admit that they were wrong in engineering the environment that caused it all.
Once again, what needs to be done is to roll back the law and the school systems, including the examinations, to a 1950s state, when things actually worked. This is not a new idea, and there have been informal experiments to see how the wild children of today would fare in a 1950s school. Everyone knows that the situation has been in steady decline. Now we are almost at the bottom of the cuve, with teachers being assulted as well as the students, and everyone not knowing what do do about it except run for the hills.
The depths to which this insanity has sunk could not be made up by Brian Aldiss:
Police send four police officers to tackle boy, 11, who called schoolmate ‘gay’
When two policemen turned up unannounced at Alan Rawlinson’s home asking to speak to his young son, the company director feared something serious had happened.
So he was astounded when the officers detailed 11-year-old George’s apparent crime – calling one of his schoolfriends ‘gay’.
They said primary school pupil, George, was being investigated for a ‘very serious’ homophobic crime after using the comment in an e-mail to a 10-year-old classmate.
‘Terrified’: George Rawlinson with his mother Gaynor, who is a magistrate
But now his parents have hit out at the police, who they accused of being heavy-handed and pandering to political correctness.
“It is completely ridiculous,” Mr Rawlinson said.
“I thought the officers were joking at first, but they told me they considered it a very serious offence.
“The politically correct brigade are taking over. This seemed like a huge waste of resources for something so trivial as a playground spat.”
Cheshire police launched the investigation last month after a complaint from the parents of the 10-year-old younger boy who received George’s e-mail.
They said their son had been called a ‘gay boy’ and were concerned that there was more to the comment than playground banter and that their child was being bullied.
As a consequence, two officers were sent to the boys’ school, Farnworth Primary, in Widnes, Cheshire, to speak to the headteacher who directed them to the Rawlinsons’ home in nearby St Helens, Merseyside.
George told his parents that the comment was in no way meant to be homophobic and that he had simply been using the word gay instead of ‘stupid’.
Mr Rawlinson, 41, who runs his own business, and whose wife, Gaynor, also 41, is a magistrate, said his son was terrified when the police arrived at their home.
He feared he was going to be arrested and locked up in a cell because of it, he added. “I feel very aggrieved about this,” Mr Rawlinson, who has lodged a formal complaint against the police, said.
“We are law-abiding citizens who have paid taxes all our lives.
“I’ve constantly contacted police about break-ins at my business and never get a suitable response.
“George was really upset, he thought he was going to be locked up. This just seemed like a huge waste of resources for something so trivial.”
Inspector Nick Bailey, of Cheshire police, said no further action would be taken against George. However, he said the force had been obliged to record the incident as a crime and that they had dealt with it in a ‘proportionate’ manner.
“The parents of the boy believed it was more sinister that just a schoolyard prank,” Inspector Bailey said.
“We were obliged to record the matter as a crime and took a proportionate and maybe old fashioned view.
“Going to the boy’s house was a reasonable course of action to take. This e-mail message was part of some behaviour which had been on going.
“The use of the word ‘gay’ would imply that it was homophobic, but we would be hard pushed to say it was a homophobic crime.
“This boy has not been treated as an offender.”
This is a latest in a series of incidents where police have been accused of heavy handedness for interviewing or threatening children with prosecution for seemingly trivial crimes.
Last October the Daily Mail revealed how 14-year-old Codie Scott was arrested and thrown in a police cell for almost four hours after she was accused of racism for refusing to sit next to a group of Asian pupils in her class.
Teachers reported the youngster, from Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, after she claimed it was impossible for her to get involved in the class ‘discussion’ because only one of the Asian pupils spoke English.
She had her fingerprints and DNA taken but was eventually released without charge.
The incident followed that of a 15-year-old boy from Burnley, Lancashire, who was arrested, thrown in a police cell, hauled before the courts and landed with a criminal record simply for throwing a snowball at a car.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was prosecuted under a little used 160-year-old law last March, and fined £100 in a case which provoked a public outcry.
My emphasis, and that is from today’s Evening Standard. Like I keep saying, you cant make stuff like this up.
These people’s priorities are completely inside out and upside down. They cannot be trusted to run anything, let alone a school, and what’s worse, they will not admit it, and they now want to bring this insanity right into every home. Only a mad dog would allow them to do this, and of course, ten years down the line, when Americans have 50% home schooling, the imbeciles here will say, “Me Too®” and then Home Schooling will suddenly be their idea.
But I digress.
There needs to be a roll back, no question about it. New legislation means more trouble. Legislation does not solve problems, structure solves problem, the type of structure that used to exist in the UK, and which was a natural excrescence of the citizen, the family and their central position in society.
Once again, beer guides us. Its foam is lofted above the beer because each bubble does its own thing cooperatively an automagically. You cannot make a head on a glass of beer by setting up complex rules that have to be monitored and obeyed by the bubbles.
Let the bubbles be bubbles and the foam will be frothy and the beer will be beer.