Thursday, 5 September 2013

Play nicely, children

Yesterday's staff training was, as I said last time, on bullying. It particularly focused on the way that 'gay' has become a word, especially when used by some school aged children, that means something that's no good. We had a bit of a problem with this last year, as it was frequently used by the Horrible Boys - as in 'He likes maths, he's so gay,' etc. We were told that homosexuality isn't a choice, that words used in this way make people feel bad and all the things that we already knew, but had to go on a course to be officially told. How much money do these pointless, obvious courses cost the tax-payer? Do the course providers really think we don't already reprimand children who call each other gay, retards, f*cktards and all the other delightful phrases they come out with? Do we seriously have to go on courses to learn that picking on black people, disabled people, homosexuals and other individuals is wrong? How the heck do they think we live? Isn't it making a gigantic issue of picking little bits out of 'Be nice to everyone'

It's good to be a hippy

I sometimes feel these course providers look down on people like me: I'm a white, straight, happily married mother of three well-adjusted children. They seem to think that I can't possibly empathise with people in other situations unless I'm taught how. But am I actually in denial? Am I sure I'm not being beaten-up by my husband, or being intimidated by sexist male colleagues (you can try, matey, but you won't get any more wall displays done...)? Perhaps I should introduce my children to drugs and get The Daughter to pay her college fees through prostitution. 

When we got back from the course, one teacher told me how she disagreed with a lot of what we'd been told. 'Of course they have a choice,' she said, of gay people, 'it's just fashionable nowadays.' I must tell Ms Fab. She's very into fashion, but she's not tried that one (well, not that she's told me, anyway...). Apparently, this teacher knew someone who was gay, a paedophile, a Mormon, and he had ginger hair. So that proves it, then, obviously. I was just waiting for her to say, 'They only do it for attention, you know.' (The course did provoke a lot of discussion amongst the staff, I suppose. Ms Fab and I focused on how some transvestites choose the most appalling shoes. Lola, in the film Kinky Boots had the right idea...) 

The aforementioned teacher is not the most open-minded person in our school. I feel she should come with a disclaimer: 'The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the management (or anyone with a shred of decency).' I was told by a colleague that when this teacher started at our school, she didn't know whether to like me or not. On the plus side, I was well-spoken and liked books, but I was a Pagan with tattoos and 'too many earrings'. 

Oh the dilemma! The anguish of having to judge people rather than simply getting to know them. 


  1. this made me chuckle, I sometimes think the courses I have to go on for my job is just all about job creation x

    1. So true. It's unusual to come away from a course having learnt anything new, I think. The comment we most often make is, 'Oh well, at least we know we're doing what we should be...' :)

  2. I went on a course like that. What I hate is how the course leader asks "What one thing are you taking away from this course?" I also have a colleague like that - while I share her faith, I do not share her attitudes (generally), but I fear that I occasionally get tarred with the same brush.

    1. I wonder what we'd have said if we'd been honest? 'You taught me very little, and your coffee is vile.' Actually, I DID write important things during the course - the make of Ms Fab's notebook.

      And NOBODY thinks you're ANYTHING like the person mentioned.