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Archive for the ‘Political Correctness’ Category

Are School Uniforms Sexist?

January 11, 2017

sexist_uniforms

 

My female students tell me that they would much prefer wearing pants to skirts and dresses. They say that pants are far more comfortable and more suitable for P.E. and playing on the monkey bars during recess.

Are uniforms sexist? I don’t think so.

That argument is going too far and it causes girls to think of themselves as victims when they aren’t.

Having said that, I hope that girls are given the option of wearing school sanctioned trouser options so that they can feel comfortable at school. They may not be victims, but there is still an opportunity there to address their comfort needs.

The debate about whether or not it’s sexist has heated up in recent weeks:

 

Cultural learning senior lecturer and psychologist Amanda Mergler pointed out in her piece on The Conversation that some parents felt requiring their daughters to wear dresses and skirts was outdated and amounted to gender disadvantage.

To this, I say piffle.

Dresses are not passe. Skirts are not discriminatory or symbols of sexism. They do not limit female power or confidence.

And having our boys and girls dressed the same — as boys, effectively — does not make them the same.

They are not, never should be, and clothes do not make the man (or woman). Celebrate difference, because difference between genders does not mean better or worse and schoolchildren should not be encouraged to see themselves as a homogenous, genderless blob.

Dresses are not by their nature sexualising creations.

Dresses and skirts are cooler in the heat of summer, have more wriggle room for wearers and are more easily kept looking neat.

But there are naysayers. A Journal of Gender Studies paper published in 2013 said dresses and skirts as school uniforms “ritualised girling” and affected the performance of the wearer.

Proponents of homogeny say dresses require girls to be more demure, and to walk, run and sit differently.

Dresses have a habit of ballooning in a breeze and girls are always at risk of showing their underwear.

The anti-dress brigade also argues dresses make girls more quickly available sexually. Yes, they seriously say that.

It is not sexist to wear a dress, just as it is not sexist to call someone a woman, as if by saying that, it is all she is. It is discriminatory to act as if wearing a skirt delegates that person to a lesser station, which is effectively what is contended by Mergler.

This is political correctness gone loopy, a distraction from the core issues around school uniforms. Surely, they are about practicality, appropriateness and, because this is a world where we seem to require it in every facet, choice that are subjects of discussion, not whether girls should wear dresses.

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The School Where Clapping is Banned

July 21, 2016
The Elanora public school’s newsletter banned clapping out of ‘respect’ for noise-sensitive students who may now ‘punch the air’ or do ‘silent cheers’. Picture: Elanora Heights Public School

 

If we keep fashioning school rules to look after the 1% at the expense of the 99%, it will have a dramatic effect on the kids’ general enjoyment of school.

I love to clap. I clap my students all the time. One of my students wrote a recount today that was so funny and perceptive I found myself laughing and clapping throughout the whole thing. The rest of the class were doing the same.

Yes, I am aware that there are students who find loud noises quite difficult, and I obviously care about their needs too. But the reality is, that if you put 25 kids in a room you are going to get noise. Schools are not libraries and shouldn’t have to adopt library etiquette just because some have sound sensitivities.

Schools that look after their 1% need to ensure that their rules don’t inhibit the enjoyment of the 99%, because then you don’t have a school the wider student community can enjoy:

 

CLAPPING has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”.

The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.

Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.

The latest example of a political correctness outbreak in Australian schools, which have banned hugging, singing Christmas carols, celebrating Australia Day and singing the word “black” in the nursery rhyme “baa baa black sheep”.

The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).

“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.

“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.

“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.

“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”

 

Click on the link to read Don’t Blame Teachers for National Anthem Furor

Click on the link to read Stay Away From You Students’ Facebook Pages

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Click on the link to read The Classroom Incident that Isn’t Seen as Child Abuse but Actually Is

Talk About “Stealing” a Teacher’s Livelihood!

March 2, 2016

 

 

A teacher is forced to resign because of private photos on her phone which was stolen from her by a student who then shared its content.

What on earth is going on with society?

Since when is the victim the culprit and the thief inconsequential?

 

A South Carolina teacher was forced to resign after a student stole her phone and shared her nude pictures.

Leigh Anne Arthur, 33, a former mechatronics (a blend of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer control and information technology) teacher at the Union County Career and Technology Center, doesn’t think she should be held responsible for the theft, which occurred while she was patrolling the halls.

Arthur, who took the partially nude pictures for her husband on Valentine’s Day, told WYFF that she knows who the student is because he is one of her 16-year-old students that she taught in her mechatronics class. 

The student, who had also warned her that something bad was coming, sent the images to other students through text messages and social media, according to WSPA

Arthur said the student told her that ‘your day of reckoning is coming’.  

When school officials got wind of the situation, they took action against Arthur. They gave her two choices, resign or the district will terminate her, according to Union County schools superintendent David Eubanks. 

He told The State that there is a ‘right to privacy, but when we take inappropriate information or pictures, we had best make sure it remains private’.

‘Students had access to very inappropriate pictures of a teacher,’ he said. 

Arthur resigned last week. 

School officials are unsure how many students viewed the teacher’s picture, but Eubanks said Arthur’s phone was unlocked when it was swiped. 

Click on the link to read Raise Your Hand if You Find Christmas Offensive

Click on the link to read Don’t Blame Teachers for National Anthem Furor

Click on the link to read Stay Away From You Students’ Facebook Pages

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Raise Your Hand if You Find Christmas Offensive

December 23, 2015

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I am not a Christian and have never celebrated Christmas in any form, but I respect the tradition of the holiday and I acknowledge that public schools have embraced it for hundreds of years.

But the times they are changing.

What was acceptable for centuries is now deemed offensive. Christmas favours Christians and public schools have other denominations. These other denominations coped fine until now. Not any more:

 

Catherine Gordon had decorated her classroom with a festive tree for 30 years before the building principal demanded she take it down.

Gordon said she was saddened by the school’s decision to remove the pink Hello Kitty tree.

She added: “The tree had no religious symbols on it whatsoever. No crosses or angels – just pink Hello Kitties and my students really enjoyed it and it cheered me up during the day.”

The events at Bangor High School in Maine, USA, led local politician Bruce Poliquin to call the decision “baseless”.

He added “We should be able to wish our fellow citizens Merry Christmas. 

“We should be able to wish people Happy Hanukkah or to offer a holiday greeting. 

“Eliminating safe decorations from classrooms, something we all grew up with, is going too far.”

 

Click on the link to read Don’t Blame Teachers for National Anthem Furor

Click on the link to read Stay Away From You Students’ Facebook Pages

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Click on the link to read The Classroom Incident that Isn’t Seen as Child Abuse but Actually Is

Don’t Blame Teachers for National Anthem Furor

October 26, 2015

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The outrage based on a school’s decision to let Muslim children leave the room during a rendition of the national anthem is grossly unfair.

Teachers have a very difficult job and the last thing we need is to to get ourselves embroiled in a cultural episode where we get accused of being racist or insensitive.

If my school Principal allowed students to leave the room during the national anthem, I wouldn’t even think about questioning the ruling. There are far bigger fish to fry:

 

A Victorian school that invited Muslim children to walk out of assembly before the national anthem was played has been criticised by parents and maverick Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School said Shia Muslim students were allowed to skip the anthem because during the month of Muharram taking part in joyous events such as singing and listening to music is frowned upon as it is a time of mourning, the Herald Sun reports.

Lorraine McCurdy, who has two grandchildren at Cranbourne, told radio station 3AW she “saw red” when children were invited to leave before singing ‘Advance Australia Fair’.

“Two children got up and said ‘welcome to our assembly’ with that a teacher came forward and said all those who feel it’s against their culture may leave the room,” Ms McCurdy said.

“With that about 30 or 40 children got up and left the room.

“We sang the national anthem and they all came back in.

“I saw red, I’m Australian and I felt ‘you don’t walk out on my national anthem, that’s showing respect to my country.”

Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie said she found the whole situation “disgusting”.

“I find that absolutely devastating, we should all be singing the Australian national anthem and we should be doing that with pride,” the senator said.

“I find these schools that are allowing this to happen disgusting.

“I don’t think religion needs to be brought into the national anthem. We should all be proud to be Australians and proud to sing the national anthem.”

Cranbourne principal Cheryl Irving said the school, whose motto is “Many Cultures, one community”, allowed students to opt out of the anthem for religious reasons.

“Muharram is a Shia cultural observation marking the death of Imam Hussein. This year it falls between Tuesday October 13 and Thursday November 12,” Ms Irving said.

“Prior to last week’s Years 2-6 assembly, in respect of this religious observance, students were given the opportunity to leave the hall before music was played.

“The students then re-joined the assembly at the conclusion of the music.”

The Department of Education has backed the decision saying it supports schools “to be inclusive for all students”.

 

Click on the link to read Stay Away From You Students’ Facebook Pages

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Click on the link to read The Classroom Incident that Isn’t Seen as Child Abuse but Actually Is

Click on the link to read A Cautionary Tale for Frustrated Teacher

Stay Away From You Students’ Facebook Pages

July 13, 2014

jones

I know there is a strong argument that Twitter and Facebook are potentially wonderful tools for education, where the teacher can drive education, using the social media outlet that their students are so attached to.

But like with so many different areas, the worst individuals spoil it for everyone else.

In today’s day and age teachers should steer clear from communicating with their students on social media. It is just not appropriate. The fact that some teachers use it for good, is not a convincing argument. It is the few teachers that use for the evil that makes it imperative for teachers to give such contact a wide berth.

It’s stories like this that make it impossible for fair-minded teachers to friend a student on Facebook:

A teacher has been banned from the classroom after a disciplinary body found that he swore in front of pupils and made sexually suggestive and inappropriate remarks to them.

William Richard Jones, who was head of art at Ysgol Friars, a high school at Bangor, Gwynedd, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct following a hearing by the General Teaching Council for Wales.

Jones, who was friends with some of his pupils on Facebook, had inappropriate social contact with them and 10 of 11 allegations against him were proven.

Jones admitted that he commented on a photograph of a pupil on Facebook, writing: ‘Beautiful! I wish I was 34 years younger :-)xxxxx.’

And a second pupil said Mr Jones told her she looked ‘gorgeous’ in a photo she had on her mobile phone.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Click on the link to read The Classroom Incident that Isn’t Seen as Child Abuse but Actually Is

Click on the link to read A Cautionary Tale for Frustrated Teachers

Click on the link to read Teacher Sought Dating Advice from Her Fourth Graders

Click on the link to read Teacher Suspended for 10 Days for Grabbing a 6-Year-Old By the Neck (Video)

Click on the link to read Middle School Teacher Gives Student a Lap Dance

The Plight to Ban Books Marketed for a Specific Gender

March 17, 2014

 

Malorie Blackman

As if book publishers and sellers don’t have enough to worry about. There used to be plenty of bookshops in my area, now there is one (which has changed management 3 times in 3 years!).

I do not like gender stereotyping and I detest sexism, but let our children read the books they want to read. If boys centered books attract a new market of male readers – isn’t that a good thing? If girl centered books features ideas and insights that are almost exclusively meaningful to girls, is that really objectionable?

Why can’t we allow our children the right to decide for themselves whether they want to read a book pitched at their gender without having others ban them from making such a choice? Why can’t we support our writers, publishers and sellers, who are already facing challenges within the ailing industry:

A national campaign to stop children’s books being labelled as “for boys” or “for girls” has won the support of Britain’s largest specialist bookseller Waterstones, as well as children’s laureate Malorie Blackman, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Philip Pullman and a handful of publishers.

The Let Books Be Books campaign seeks to put pressure on retailers and publishers not to market children’s books that promote “limiting gender stereotypes”.

A petition calling on children’s publishers to “stop labelling books, in the title or on the packaging, as for girls or for boys” because “telling children which stories and activities are ‘for them’ based on their gender closes down whole worlds of interest,” has passed 3,000 signatures.

 

Click on the link to read This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools

Click on the link to read Political Correctness at School

Click on the link to read What Are We Doing to Our Kids?

Click on the link to read Stop Banning Our Kids From Being Kids

Click on the link to read Banning Home-Made Lunches is a Dreadful Policy

Jeremy Forrest Dumped by Schoolgirl: Anyone Surprised?

October 27, 2013

 

cuffs

This is the ultimate morality tale for any teacher stupid enough to go down the unprofessional and highly unethical path of starting a relationship with a student:

 

The schoolgirl who ran away with married teacher Jeremy Forrest last year when she was just 15-years-old has dumped him for a boyfriend her own age, it has been reported.

The girl, now 16, sparked an international hunt last year when she fled to France with 31-year-old Jeremy Forrest.

Forrest was arrested by French police when he turned up for a job at a bar owned by a British woman who had recognised him from television appeals and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had vowed to wait for him ‘for ever’ for him and also said she wanted to have his baby.

She had been in regular contact with his parents and had reportedly made several attempts to contact him in prison.

But Social workers stepped in and banned him from having any contact with him until she is at least 18.

According to a report in the Sunday Mirror, the girl now has a new boyfriend who is a sixth-form student her own age.

She reportedly phoned Forrest’s parents in tears to explain and his father Jim broke the news to his son in prison yesterday.

A family source told the Sunday Mirror: ‘Jeremy is naturally devastated. He’s really upset, but at the same time he’s a realist.

‘He half expected this to happen while he was in prison, I think.’

She is now said to be back living with her mother.

The pair had fallen out over her relationship with Forrest but they have now made peace.

The schoolgirl first kissed Forrest in his classroom when she was 14. He took her virginity one week after her 15th birthday in the marital home while his wife was away.

They fled to Bordeaux when their affair was uncovered by her mother after someone reported seeing text messages on her phone.

Police had failed to find the messages when they examined the phone the day before the girl and Jeremy fled.

She claimed that the pair were only caught because she had been jealous of a ‘flirty barmaid’ who lured him to an interview with offers of work.

In front of his weeping teenage girlfriend, Forrest was arrested and returned to the UK to stand trial.

At Forrest’s trial, the court heard that the schoolgirl turned to her teacher during a tumultuous period in her life. She was upset over the break-up of her parents’ marriage. Both had gone on to meet new partners.

Her mother was pregnant with a new baby by her fiance, and her father had fallen in love and was busy planning a wedding.

Jeremy Forrest was all ears, but crucially failed to stop her growing infatuation in its tracks.

He posted tortured blogs about the moral dilemma he was facing, exchanged explicit photos with the girl via mobile phone and told bare-faced lies when warned over his behaviour by suspicious colleagues.

He even had the cheek to complain to the girl’s mother about the rumours threatening his reputation.

The former maths teacher is currently incarcerated in Ashfield Prison, near Bristol, one of five controversial new jails designed to house only sex offenders.

Built to cope with the dramatic increase in the number of people being convicted of sexual abuse, they have faced a barrage of criticism, with many people fearing that keeping abusers together could reinforce their behaviour.

Please click on the links to read two related posts on the same story:

This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools

September 14, 2013

 

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It is becoming all the rage to ban children from hugging each other at recess. This is what I think of the rule:

 

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Click on the link to read Political Correctness at School

Click on the link to read What Are We Doing to Our Kids?

Click on the link to read Stop Banning Our Kids From Being Kids

Click on the link to read Banning Home-Made Lunches is a Dreadful Policy

Click on the link to read School Using Bomb As Bell

The Classic Children’s Books they Tried to Ban

July 1, 2013

 

wild

It’s hard to imagine anyone would feel the need to ban any of these classic stories:

Most adults will have fond memories of reading of the adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood as a child, but few will realize that it was banned because the animals spoke.

The much-loved book by A.A. Milne is among several popular children’s books and a dictionary that have been banned in the U.S. over the years for being anti-Christian, too sexual or damaging to industry.

Important works of literature such as The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, praised for its insight into the impact of the Second World War on children, was banned by a Virginia school over the ‘sexual content and homosexual themes’ when the definitive edition was released in 2010.

Other schools tried to ban it from reading lists because it was too depressing and last month a Michigan mother complained about its ‘pornographic tendencies’ over passages where Anne describes going through puberty.

Alice in Wonderland came in for similar criticism, with it being shelved in New Hampshire in 1900 for alleged references to sexual fantasies and masturbation. It has also been seen as promoting drug use.

Two books – Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and Dr Seuss’s The Lorax – were both criticized for damaging the foresting industry.

A Colorado library barred the Giving Tree for being sexist in 1988 and in 1989 a Californian school district banned The Lorax incase it put children off a career in the logging industry.

One of the most popular Dr Seuss books, Green Eggs and Ham, was not allowed in parts of California because of suggestions of ‘homosexual seduction’, according to Buzzfeed.

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