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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Painting by numbers with Darth George 

How does today's installment stack up in terms of the Darth George formula? Did Darth really put all his writing skills to work?

The subeditor gets full points for the title, "Slavish PC attitudes robbing teachers of classroom tools" - political correctness + education system + someone being robbed is a sure-fire winner.

But what of the text itself? Here's the standard elements for a contribution from everyone's favourite Rotoruan:

1. Old man pissed off with world in Abe Simpson like manner? Check - today he is "despondent" but also "faintly amused", which hopefully lowers his blood pressure a bit.

2. "I blame the parents!"? Check - "Surely it stands to reason that if children are impudent, disobedient and/or violent in the classroom, then that behaviour has been tolerated, even learned, in the home..."

3. "Political correctness gone mad!"? Check - "Slavish adherence to political correctness has robbed teachers of the tools they once had to ensure discipline in their classes..."

4. "Bring back the cane!" Bare pass - "I'm not talking about corporal punishment, although the banning of that marked the beginning of the situation our schools face today."

6. Extended Biblical quotation? Fail - Darth - this one was crying out for, at minimum, "spare the rod and spoil the child." What were you thinking, man?

7. "The trouble with young people nowadays..." Check - "children know their 'rights' and can quote chapter and verse of young persons' legislation and threaten to call the police." As an aside, the average kiwi child can't quote chapter and verse of any text, let alone legislation. I'd wager one out of every two 16 year olds doesn't even know what the word "legislation" means.

8. "This country is going to hell in a handbasket!" - Check, "The increasing violence in our society is not confined to schools. It permeates our nation like a plague."

9. Rights culture to blame? Check - see point 7, above.

10. Anecdote presented as general fact? Check - "male teachers are scared to go within six feet of female pupils and vice versa." Note to Darth - classrooms aren't that big.

11. Light sprinkling of common sense that almost makes column forgiveable? - Check - "the simple answer to the epidemic of classroom misbehaviour is for the school authorities to return offending children to their parents on the understanding that they will be readmitted to school when their behaviour has been modified."

12. Implicit or explicit criticism of feminism? Bare pass - "families in which both parents work and in which recalcitrant children have been allowed to thrive because parents don't have the time, the talents or the inclination to bring them up properly."

Fuck me dead if blogger just didn't go and eat my comment.

The abbreviated version.

You can't blame any one thing for a childs behaviour. Most kids are lovely and they grew up in the same or similar environments.

Some kids aren't wired right. Some dont get the support they need or the right things for them. But its not easy when everybody responds to different pressures.

The rod might work for a few but to assume it will work for all is silly.

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