Thursday 13 May 2010

You Cannot Enforce ‘Community Cohesion’ With Threats…

A Catholic schoolgirl has been branded a 'truant' by her teachers after she refused to dress as a Muslim for a school field trip to a mosque.
OK, the ‘dressing like a Muslim’ description is a bit of hyperbole by the ‘Fail’; what she was required to do was cover her head and legs.

No different to what would be required if you visited a mosque or old Catholic church while on holiday. The difference comes when you don’t have a choice about the visit…
Staff had ordered 14-year-old Amy Owen and her classmates to dress in headscarf, wear trousers or leggings and keep her arms covered for the compulsory visit to the mosque after it was arranged to promote 'community cohesion.'
Oh, and when you are also expected to pay for it:
Parents at the 1,100 pupil Ellesmere Port Catholic High School in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire were also told they were each required to make a £3 contribution towards the trip for all Year Nine students.
OK, two things here – one, if it’s some mandatory trip, don’t stick your hand out for extra money; it should come out of school funding.

And two, when people make objections to the dress code, don’t go overboard. Not if your aim really is to ‘promote community cohesion’.

Because you’re really, really doin’ it wrong:
In a stern letter to her family with words in block capitals and underlined, the school's headmaster Peter Lee said the visit was 'as compulsory as a geography field trip.'

Tell me, Mr Lee, how exactly do you plan to promote community cohesion by bullying and threatening and sarcastic letters the very first time you are challenged? I mean, I have to assume you’re a sane, intelligent person.

Did you not think, in this day and age, that this would escalate?
He added: 'There are two reasons for these visits. One is that the scheme of work in religious studies REQUIRES children to have knowledge and understanding of other world religions.

'The second is that the school is REQUIRED to promote tolerance respect and understanding. This is known as community cohesion. A failure to do this could result in an unwelcome inspection judgement. None of us would relish that.

'Whilst I may not require you to pay for this I must require your child to participate.'
Ahhhh. It’s all to do with obeying OFSTED rules in order to get that magic tick in the box, I see. Community cohesion isn’t the goal at all…

And if Mr Lee had bothered to do some research, he wouldn’t have been out-argued by a parent on the subject of the dress code either:
"'I even did some research on the internet about non-Muslims attending mosques and it says you don't have to adhere to the dress code. '
Needless to say, the school isn’t backing down:
A spokesman for the school said: 'In keeping with accepted good practice we are pleased to provide students with an experience of a visit to a Mosque and the chance to talk and question a representative of the community which it serves.

'This is an exciting and for many, a unique opportunity to learn at first hand how Islamic practices and beliefs map against their own.

'We hope to provide other experiences to further our students' appreciation and tolerance for faiths and culture as opportunities present themselves, as all good schools will do in the name of education.'
That, it seems, is pure progressive boilerplate straight from the Big Book of MultiCulti Nonsense. They aren't 'ordering' or 'requiring', they are 'providing'....

In other words: We will ‘further our students' appreciation and tolerance for faiths and culture’ if it kills them….


Ross said...

If she was supposed to have been wearing a burqa then presumably they wouldn't know whether she had gone or not.

Dr Evil said...

Mr. Lee wouldn't make much of a Crusader, would he? But he is certainly a bully though.

TDK said...

My brother in law was a teacher in Bradford. Interfaith visits are common there too. He reports that when white kids visit a mosque the attendance is virtually 100%. In contrast when Muslim kids visit a church or even a Sikh temple the attendance is minuscule.

TDK said...

Incidentally, he also tells me that he cannot recall a dress code being specified for visits.

[This is approx 10-20 years ago and before anyone asks, he has average teacher views - poverty, more funding, wicked tories etc]

NickM said...

"REQUIRED to promote tolerance respect and understanding"

Epic Fail. I almost don't believe it.

I mean fundamentally in order for tolerance and understanding to flourish it is absolutely required to understand what those words mean.

More whateverly... I think we are looking at an education fail. I do not believe religion has a place on the curriculum of state schools. This is not me revealing my inner Dawkins here but it is a simple matter of fact that if a kid has an interest in religion then they can talk to a priest, imam, rabbi, whatever who will undoubtedly be more than happy to explain at length. This point BTW has little to do with religion but a lot to do with education and my profound belief that the best education is "self-started".

My fundamental objection to all this is that it ain't "proper" education unless it's state-run and formal. Bollocks. I learned to put up shelves helping my Dad and I learned about religion not from compulsory RE lessons (given by atheists) but by talking to religious people.

WV: Ouching

PS. Peter Lee. Peterlee is a new town in my native NE which is an epic shit-hole. It is named after a Peter Lee who was a shop-steward. Coincidence?

RantinRab said...

But what about the snokey bacon crisps in her packed lunch?

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Teachers don't want to enforce community cohesion. They want to enforce 'community cohesion'.

The first means everyone getting along together. The second means doing as you're damn told.

Trevor said...

Recommended viewing: 'The Death Camp of Tolerance' from South Park (series 6).

I've just watched it again and it brought my blood pressure down a notch or two.

cornyborny said...

What's this? A ham-fisted attempt at 'Community Cohesion' by a school blinded by the need to tick a box in the PC section of their industry quango's assessment has achieved the exact opposite?

Well, bugger me. That must be the very first time any part of the public sector has fucked up in pursuit of worthless dogma and meaningless targets imposed from above (and ridden roughshod over individuals' rights and wellbeing whilst doing so).

Ahh. That's better.

P.S. Golf clap for that headmaster.

English Viking said...

In what way does encouraging children to dress like a rag-head promote community cohesion?

I had this nonsense with my children's school. It escalated to point where I withdrew them from the school entirely, until such time that the school would give an assurance that all attempts at religious indoctrination would cease.

The Headmaster reported me to social services, for 'child abuse', as he considered that my protecting of my own children from a cult that revolves around the witterings of a paedophile warlord was abuse.

Numerous meetings with lesbian social workers, threats of legal action, lies and attempts at intimidation then followed, for over 2 months. They eventually concluded what I knew all along; I was perfectly within my rights to remove my children from religious instruction, and the school was completely wrong.

The Headmaster has since been dismissed. Not for this debacle, though. Apparently, he was back-scuttling the Deputy-Head during working hours.

staybryte said...

Second Trevor on "The Death Camp of Tolerance"

Google is your friend for those who'd like to view.

JuliaM said...

@Ross: Indeed! Though I can't quite see anyone insisting on that. Not yet, anyway...

@TDK: that really doesn't surprise me...

@NickM: Agreed! Especially since if they impart religious wisdom as well as they do the readin', writin' & 'rythmatic bits, god alone knows what the kids will end up thinking...

JuliaM said...

@Trevor: Oh, yes! Good old 'South Park'! :D

@English Viking: If only other parents were assertive enough, we could back down a lot more of this trendy nonsense.

Joe Public said...

The next stage of the school's attempt to promote Community Cohesion is to seek a volunteer for a Clitoridectomy

English Viking said...


I'm afraid that we have got to the point where this garbage is becoming self-censoring; many parents (exclusively white and nominally Christian only) were literally horrified that I would 'deprive' my children of the 'joys' of experiencing the wonders of this dreadful cult. They are actively teaching their own children to submit to this shite, and to hate all those who won't.

England is finished. A dim and distant memory. All that remains is to put it out of its misery, which will probably be done with a blunt bread-knife, a hastily arranged home video shoot, a balaclava clad Arab and the footage posed on Youtube.

I say in all seriousness; I will never kneel to this shite.

JuliaM said...

@English Viking: I despair. We've apparently allowed the progressives to breed a cowed, defeatist nation, scared of being judged by those in control, forgetting that they are our servants, NOT our masters...

banned said...

I wonder if more staff and parents will stand up against this type of nonsense now that the Torylibs are in power?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lee wouldn't make much of a Crusader, would he? But he is certainly a bully though.

I would like to think that if we were to arrange the reincarnation of a crusader the first thing he would do wpuld be to strike off the head of this insolent dog.