Posts Tagged ‘Political Correctness in schools’

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.”


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The PC Police and its Implications for Male Teachers

May 13, 2013


This is a classic example why male teachers must be extremely careful to act above and beyond the professional standards adhered to by their female colleagues.

Do you honestly think that if a female crossing guard was ‘high-fiving’ children anyone would even blink an eye?

A LOLLIPOP man has been banned from giving high-fives to children as they cross the road because it’s “too dangerous”, according to the health and safety police.

Bernie Robertson – who has stopped traffic to keep young pupils safe outside Mount Annan Public School in Sydney’s southwest for 13 years – has been cautioned after a review of guidelines by Roads and Maritime Services.

Parents with children at the school have launched a furious revolt, starting a Facebook page “Support for Bernie our crossing man”, which has received more than 870 likes and an online petition with 250 signatures.

Mr Robertson said he was overwhelmed by the response from the community. “Of course I’m very pleased with the support, with what the parents have done,” he said.

Rachael Sowden, from the Parents and Citizens Association of NSW, said the issue was an example of political correctness “gone mad”.

 “We don’t believe high-fiving little children is an inappropriate thing,” she said.

“Sometimes people take things a little bit too far and this sounds like one of those incidents. While there’s no concern for their wellbeing it does seem a little bit like PC gone mad.”


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Teachers Told Not To Correct Student Work With Red Pen

April 22, 2013

A school in Harrow in north west London has angered teachers and MPs by telling staff not to use red ink when marking homework

A ruling to prevent teachers from marking in red pen sounds extreme, but since when is protecting the emotional state of ones students extreme?

Whilst I mark in red, I also realise that splashing red across the page can be harmful to a child’s confidence. After all, the point of corrections is to help the student become aware of a mistake and help them to overcome the skill error, not to reinforce weakness or make them feel inferior.

That is why I believe in marking work in front of the child. If something they have written doesn’t make sense, get them to read it over to you and work with them in correcting the error. If there is a spelling mistake, sound out the word together and assist in respelling the word correctly. This cooperative approach to correcting work demonstrates to the student that the mistakes are easily corrected and have no bearing on the student’s ability. Instead of seeing red and feeling despondent, the student should feel empowered and become more aware with the processes for troubleshooting and self-correcting.

I don’t see the banning of the red correction pen sufficient in itself, but I certainly wouldn’t rubbish it as political correctness gone wrong:

Teachers have been told not to use red link to mark homework to avoid upsetting pupils.

The edict has been condemned as ‘absolutely political correctness gone wild’ which risks leaving students in the dark about where they have gone wrong.

Ministers have been forced to distance themselves from the bizarre policy, insisting no government rules exist on what colour pens teachers use.

The policy would appear to be at odds with the back to basics approach of Education Secretary Michael Gove who has insisted teachers must mark pupils down for poor spelling and grammar.

He has warned that in the past too little has been done to focus on core skills to ensure young people are confident in key writing skills.

Tory MP Bob Blackman revealed his anger after being told a secondary school in his Harrow East constituency had banned teachers from using red ink.

He told MailOnline: ‘A teacher contacted me and said I cannot believe I have been instructed by my head to mark children’s homework in particular colours and not to use certain colours.

‘It is all about not wanting to discourage youngsters if their work is marked wrong.

‘It sounds to me like some petty edict which is nonsense. It is absolutely political correctness gone wild.

‘My take on all this is to say children need to understand the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong.’

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