Makes me wish there was a goddamn Permanent Record.
Also, can we talk about how this pretty obviously isn’t a note about the kids? This is a ‘Heads up, parents are racist as shit’ note being put on the kids’ records to warn their future teachers.
Note at the top of the pic: the issue is obviously serious enough that it is a requirement that all children take part in this program. This is not a field trip. Not sending your child to anti-discrimination class is like not sending them to math class, only your child isn’t likely to be a danger to other kids if they can’t add or subtract. Children from homes racist enough to refuse an educational trip are a danger to other children.
Given the racism issues in certain areas, that this kind of experience is likely designed to mitigate by early teaching of tolerance and understanding, I think this is a reasonable move. Administrators are doing everything they can in some places in order to stem anti-Islamic and anti-POC violence and parents are actively working against them.
Here in Canada, parents whose children attend a daycare run by women who wear hijab and niqab are having to worry about their children because of people shouting slurs at the caregivers when the children are taken to the park, as well as spreading photographs of them around the internet. (x) This kind of intervention is necessary to save lives and to keep kids from growing into shitty, horrible people. Sorry, bigots.
No. This is not good. This is not even remotely good.
can we talk about how this pretty obviously isn’t a note about the kids
It is about the kids though. The headteacher said as much. She was planning to attach a note to the records of eight-year-olds as punishment for the actions of their parents. No matter your opinion on the rest of this, that is clearly not right.
Here’s the full letter:
the issue is obviously serious enough that it is a requirement that all children take part in this program
Sort of. The reason for this trip is that in Britain, primary schools are required to teach school children about one (and only one, that’s the requirement) religion other than their own in order to comply with the National Curriculum. Obviously, this requirement is a good thing, especially as more and more faiths become integrated into British society. It is important to understand other religions, and workshops like the one the children have been signed up for are useful in promoting social harmony and understanding.
But surely it’s obvious that forcing children to attend this trip is going to do more harm than good; especially when we consider that this is the first letter about the trip - nobody had said they weren’t going to allow their child to attend, Mrs Small decided to be aggressive from the start. This is not an issue about parents not wanting their children to learn, it’s about the threats being held over their head by the headmistress of a failing school.
Parents* and guardians should have the ultimate say over what trips and workshops their children attend, especially when they are also being made to pay for them. By writing this letter and wording it in the way she did, Mrs Small attempted to take that choice away from them, and she did it by threatening the children in her care.
To be clear, I am not suggesting that the trip in itself is anything but good. But the issue, for those of us in Britain at least, is about the way in which certain sectors of society are so keen to threaten people with labels for daring to disagree with politics. Instead of pointing out all the good and legitimate reasons why parents ought to send their children on this trip, she attempted to impose her will by force and threatened to severely punish any dissent.
Fortunately, Staffordshire County Council were quick to react and asked Mrs Small to withdraw her threats, so the trip can now go ahead without further drama.
*I don’t actually believe that all parents should have ultimate authority, but that’s a ten page essay in itself.
I think Tumblr can be a very useful platform for discussion on these issues. I know I’ve learnt an awful lot. But I also think it promotes the use of scare quotes without context. I was a soldier. I don’t voice my opinions because they don’t really matter. But this is too much like an echo chamber, and while I fervently believe that everyone has the right to voice whatever opinions they please, I would urge people to do some more research on matters that come from a country other than your own.
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