Thursday, 16 September 2010

Fools and Schools


After I wrote this post the other day, I thought I'd ask the mums on mumsnet.com - the website favoured by politicians - what they thought of girls as young as 13 being given the Pill. With the exception of a couple of replies, my opinion was ridiculed; the only explanation being that most would prefer their daughters to be protected from pregnancy if they were having sex. Few mentioned why 13-year-olds feel the need to have sex or STIs, although one responder say when they had had a chat with three under 16s, they said they wanted some hugs. I've not put a link to the Mumsnet forum as it requires registration to access it.

A report on the impact of a £5m government campaign to improve the sexual health of young people across the Lothians area, concluded that it has had 'limited beneficial impact' and had failed to reach vulnerable teenagers. After reading some of the replies on Mumsnet, I'm not surprised by the report's findings.

Elaine, one of my readers commented on another post:

You cannot teach parenting but it can be learnt.
Basically is it not a series of responses?
Responses that if children were given the opportunity to play in groups that were not age selective, nor heavy on adult intervention, would develop naturally.
We no longer have large sibling groups so we cannot return to the days of older siblings mentoring younger ones but somehow we have to have a system where 7yr olds no longer feel that it is 'uncool' to play with 3yr olds.

Now I read this (the article can be read here). Will parents be up in arms about their children being told to call teachers by their Christian names to 'enhance the relationship' between teachers and pupils?

'We think it makes learning a more personal experience and allows teachers to come down to the pupils level.' (- Headmaster)

Another mother of a six-year-old boy at the school said: 'I think it’s a fantastic idea.

'The informality has really helped kids to relax in the classroom and focus on learning.

'My son has been coming home speaking about his teacher called Tom.

'He found it quite imposing calling her teacher Mr or Mrs so this is much better.'


Imposing calling a teacher by their title? Why are these fools to running state schools? Surely this mother's response shows that there is another young child who will never learn the meaning of respect; either with his peer group or adults.

I despair at times.

16 comments:

Joe Public said...

"Few mentioned why 13-year-olds feel the need to have sex "

I suspect it's the (older) boys who pressurise the (younger) girls into it.

Macheath said...

Well done for trying with Mumsnet - although perhaps there's something self-selecting about a group of mothers who choose to communicate via computers. It's sad to think of 13-year-olds girls trading sex for hugs - it makes you wonder what they are missing elsewhere.

The names business really had me choking on my breakfast. I've got most of it off my chest elsewhere, but I didn't have room to fume at the mother who was in favour; presumably it's symptomatic of his generation (and a particular sort of parent) that the child finds it 'imposing' to addresss an adult in a formal polite manner.

She reminds me of the mother of a child I once rebulked for failing to say 'thank you'; "He's not used to it", she protested, "It's not as if we make him say it at home!"

Incidentally, my children have been taught by friends of ours who are 'Gordon' and 'Christine' when they visit our house but, quite definitely, 'Mr X' and 'Mrs Y' in the classroom.

subrosa said...

Then Joe, fathers, or a male member of the family, has to take some responsibility for their behaviour. Talking would help.

subrosa said...

Mine were taught to always address older folk by their titles Macheath. They still call my, now elderly neighbours, Mr and Mrs although both have repeatedly said to use their Christian names. 'Just wouldn't be right' I was told.

Quiet_Man said...

Mumsnet I'm afraid is just a nest of the righteous socio/liberal idiocy responsible for todays society.

You'd have been better off banging your head off a brick wall than attempting to debate with mumsnet, you'd have at least felt better when you stopped.

Hamish said...

Tut tut, subrosa, what do you mean 'Christian' name?

"Please sir, Mr Al Fayed ...".
"No no, you must call me Mohamed - or Pharaoh if you wish".

"Please sir, Mr Rushdie ...".
"No no, you must call me Salman - or Sir Ahmed if you wish".

All teachers should be addressed as Mr something or Miss something (irrespective of marital status).
They should choose a simple surname (not their real one of course).

subrosa said...

I did feel better when I stopped QM. It was the general lack of courtesy which irritated more than anything.

subrosa said...

What's the harm in them being called by their name Hamish - Mr, Mrs, Miss whatever? As FE says in his post it was Sir and Miss in my day but then I'm speaking about the dark ages. ;)

Surreptitious Evil said...

Harm? At a basic level, none. Certainly not in the earliest years. It was "Mr X" and "Miss" or "Mrs Y" for me, the slow but inexorable entropic decay ...

But, kids need to learn hierarchy somewhere. By the time they come out into the world of work (or, let's be honest for some of them, benefits), they need to be able to realise that there are people who get to tell them what to do. A lot of them don't seem to get that from their parents.

Frankly, we choose to take a lot more questioning from young Master S-E in private than we accept in public - but this freedom has slowly increased as he has got older - and he is made aware of the varying limits.

Macheath said...

Been thinking this one over - 'Gordon' and 'Christine' are parents of friends of my children; other (childless) adult friends are 'Mr' or 'Mrs' to them, as you described.

And Gordon and Christine's children address their parents as 'Sir' and 'Miss' in the classroom - what else could they do? (And how will teachers' children cope in the school in question?)

It's all complicated, but it works and everybody knows exactly where they stand - until, of course, some idiot head teacher upsets the applecart.

subrosa said...

That's the way it should be SE. Mind you, I think the teachers at this particular school have some explaining to do. I should think they encouraged this and if they didn't they should be the ones protecting themselves.

subrosa said...

Upsets the applecart and confuses a school full of children Macheath, because it will be difficult to reverse this decision don't you think.

Rightwinggit said...

"Christian name" doesn't appear on forms any more.

subrosa said...

Rightwinggit, of course you're right. Apologies. They're called name or forename aren't they? Some things my brain just doesn't accept. :)

Delphius1 said...

At work today we had the radio on. It was tuned to Radio One for the young 'uns.

Their non-news programme, Newsbeat, really annoyed me with the crap they spout that suspposed to be news. Top of the list is the report that girls are being pressured into pregnancy by older men. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/11329651

Casting the man as predator and the woman as victim, a regular leftist trait. No matter that the father could be only a matter of months older. No matter that their own statistics say a very small percentage of fathers were 7 tears older or over.

Its certainly glossed over the the girls might actually have a brain and arrange their own contraception.

No, no-ones responsible for anything any more.

Thats why we get so many young pregnancies: there are no consequences, there's no stigma, no hardship, no need for responsibility. No respect for themselves nor their offspring. In fact quite the opposite. Hang the consequences because the state will come to the rescue.

subrosa said...

Absolutely right Del. Someone said earlier this week that if a girl younger than 16 contracts an STI the girl isn't responsible because she's under age. Yet some think a 13-15 year old is old enough to decided upon contraception.

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