Is it political correctness gone mad or urban myth as education policy?
A report on Bristol Indymedia catches the eye. The story itself is a fairly unremarkable tale about a couple of stupid coppers doing what comes naturally – something completely bloody stupid. In this case overreacting to a school fight outside the gates and spraying a couple of kids with CS spray. So far, so dumb cops.
However the bit of the story that caught our eye was this:
Teachers, apparently, are not allowed to wade in and break [a fight] up
Is this really the case? Or is this one of those myths that moves effortlessly from the pages of the Daily Mail to the staff room without ever troubling reality?
Other urban myths that have mysteriously reappeared as serious policy in schools in recent years include the belief that teachers are unable to administer sticking plasters to children; that the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep is somehow racist and that playing conkers in the playground represents a health and safety risk and is therefore banned.
Can we now add stopping kids’ fights to this list?
When I was at school (I did leave 10 years ago) our teachers never stopped fights straight away, they knew the people who would be fighting would knacker themselves out after 30 seconds then they would step in and split them up, sensible stuff if you ask me.
The Conkers and Baa Baa Black Sheep if true is utter bollocks and thought up by worrying of offending anyone jobsworths!! cotton wall society here we come.
I work in a college, and we’re not allowed to break up fights, as it involves ‘touching’ the precious little darling spotty stinky adolescent dweebs, who I’d rather not touch anyway, thanks. We’re supposed to reason with them instead (!). The point being, it could be described as ‘physical abuse’ and don’t the little baggers know it. I touched a swivel chair some little snotnose was trying to use as a mode of transport across the library, and he sent his dad down to the college to complain about how I’d ‘assaulted’ him and’felt him up.’ Tragic.
35 years ago I went to a very old fashioned school (now closed) in rural Derbyshire. If two lads were caught fighting, they would be grabbed and separated by the teacher, and then told to report to the boxing ring on Saturday morning where they would knock seven shades out of each other under supervision from one of the games teachers. Can’t imagine anything like that happening now! I can honestly say that bullying really didn’t seem to exist in that school – unlike in the many other schools I attended.
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