Friday 22 November 2013

Staffordshire School Threatens Parents

This is, as the tabloids say, an outrage. The letter was sent by one Lynn Small, headmistress of a Staffordshire primary school to the parents of her charges. The letter informs the parents that their offspring are expected to attend an Islamic awareness event run by academics at Staffordshire University, that centre of academic excellence formerly known as North Staffordshire Polytechnic.

The letter also contains the threat that if a parent does not allow his child to attend, said child will have a "Racial Discrimination note" placed on his file. Note the capital letters there folks, and reflect that this bloody woman seems to think that capital letters are used to show that something is very, very important. The letter goes on to add that only a doctor's sick note will be accepted as valid for absence. In texts that were then sent out, the school demanded a fiver from all the parents to pay for this jaunt. That must have seemed like the piss in the shit sarnie to all recipients.

What was going on here? Probably the parents had been complaining about this proposed trip, so the school decided to show them who was boss. We need to remember that teachers, like social workers, are recruited from the crappier end of the lower middle class, and they often think that they are in some way superior to the parents of their pupils. The school may have felt that the parents were racist to the core and only a bit of stick would get them into a nice liberal line.  However, the parents went to the press and gave Lynn Small a nice dose of utter humiliation, with the local education authority then forcing her to back down.

The parents have won a battle, but must not think that they have won the war. While they are toasting their victory down the pub, the people involved in this nonsense will be doing what middle class types always do at times like this: having meetings to plan their comeback and then some weeks down the road, starting the whole thing all over again.

The parents should get involved in running the school, by becoming governors of it and by acting through their local councillors to ensure that stupidity like this never happens again. Alas, that is not how working class people behave, with the result that this insult to both them and their children will be repeated sooner rather than later.

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