A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Schools as germ sinks
Previous entry: Woodhead on GCSEs and on centralisation
Wednesday December 05 2007

imageJeremy Clarkson recently ventured into the land of the badly behaved children, and didn’t like what he found:

There’s an equally big problem at school. Children, as far as I can see, are at liberty to do just about anything to one another at school because there is absolutely nothing the teacher can do. Not without being hauled out of the classroom by some frizzy-haired human rights lawyer, sacked and sent to prison.

The police are snowed under, the parents are beyond redemption, the public couldn’t beat up these hoodla even if they were allowed to, because the hoodla are too heavily armed.  That leaves the teachers:

The only place where this issue can be tackled, then, is at school. So you fit airport-style metal detectors at the doors to ensure no pupil is packing heat, you put all the troublemakers in one class and you give the teacher in charge immunity from criminal charges. And a sub-machinegun.

In other words, if schools are prisons, they have to be run like prisons.

Clarkson starts his piece by noting that in the posh parts of England (he lives in Chipping Norton), children behave nicely.  Instead of asking why lower class children behave badly, I ask why upper class children still behave relatively well.  Personally I think it’s partly to do with economics.  Posh kids see money in their nearish future, which they will lose if they muck about too much.  Unposh kids, on the other hand, will get crap money whether they behave nicely or badly.  Guess which a lot of them find more amusing.