Let's make up some nonsense about PC with the Sun

I've gone and done it again. Every time I go and look at the Sun's website it narks me off and I knew I shouldn't do it today, but I bloody did.

Back in the 80s, the Sun produced a game about PC councils that included a whole bunch of made up PC Gone Mad articles that were supposedly the 'sort of thing' that was really happening. There's a new equivalent today, in 'Why kids need to learn APCs' with the letters PC handily marked out in red because the Sun thinks its readers are too dense to get the joke otherwise. Could be right actually.

Anyway, letter by letter:
A is for APPLE. Earlier this year a pupil in Somerset got detention for eating one outside of a designated area, breaching “health and safety” policy.
Since when is it PC to stop kids eating in school? I went over 20 years ago and you'd have got a detention then for eating anywhere other than the dining hall or the playground.
B is for BLACKBOARDS. Frowned upon because of alleged racial overtones. Replaced by whiteboards and projectors.
Lie. A common one, but still a lie. Whiteboards are easier to read, cleaner and most importantly, cheaper to maintain.
C is for CORPORAL PUNISHMENT — the cane. An unthinkable abuse of human rights.
Well, yes. I wouldn't send my kids (if I had any) anywhere near a school that allowed teachers to beat them with sticks. I remember some of my own teachers too well.
D is for DEFERRED SUCCESS. A suggested term to replace the word “failure” which the PC brigade want to ban.
Eh? When. Evidence please. Here's the beauty of the whole 'PC Brigade' construct. One person might have suggested this and been ignored. But by using the PC Brigade label, you can make it look like loads of people support it and they're the same people who ban blackboards for being racist.
E is for EGG AND SPOON RACE. Often banished, along with the three-legged race and sack race, because they are too competitive and “dangerous”.
Again, when and by who? See the 'dangerous' in scare quotes, as if it isn't dangerous for kids to have to stumble along a race track with one leg tied to someone else's. But if this is often banished, let's see a list.
F is for FIRST AID. Plasters not to be given to pupils without parents’ consent for fear of the teacher being sued.
Where and when. Unfortunately, there'll be a lot of this since I don't believe half of this article.
G is for GOGGLES. To be worn to play conkers at the few schools where the game is still allowed. Must also not be worn for swimming in one council area where the straps were deemed a danger.
Another common myth.
H is for HISTORY. Censored for fear of causing offence. Teachers are dropping controversial subjects including the Holocaust and the Crusades.
Half truth. One school chose not to include them in their GCSE syllabus for that reason, and the holocaust at least is compulsory for pre-GCSE history.
I is for INCLUSION. Buzzword used to justify the banning ideas such as success, failure and competition and the teaching of all faiths to make pupils feel equal.
Just bollocks.
J is for JESUS. Not always included in Inclusion. Christian celebration of Christmas and the Nativity might alienate minority ethnic groups.
Just bollocks again. I covered a few of these nonsense stories at Christmas. They all involved something other than a ban on Jesus.
K is for KNIVES. Schools now have the power to introduce metal detectors to search pupils for hidden weapons.
Since when does this have anything to do with Political Correctness? Seriously. I don't get it.
L s for LOSING — also banned. In Scotland they introduced a rule to make football “fairer” by allowing any school team losing by more than five goals at half-time to alter the score to 0-0.
Who is 'they'? Can't be arsed to check, but this is probably another case of something happening in one school. And even so, one side can still lose even if the scores are equalised at half time. It seems more likely that the reason for this is to stop kids just giving up halfway through the game . Whe I was a kid, we used to do something similar ourselcves when a match was boring and had gone on too long. It was called 'next goal wins'. Were we all members of the PC brigade? If this is the best the paper can do to demonstrate losing has been banned we can safely assume it hasn't.
M is for MARBLES. Banned from playgrounds, along with British Bulldog, French skipping, hide-and-seek, hand-stands, daisy-chains, ball games and conkers on health and safety grounds.'
What's wrong with this picture? Kids playig conkers have to wear goggles don't they? How can they do that if conkers is banned altogether? And British Bulldog was banned when I was at school, since it always turns into a game where two groups of kids kick the shit out of each other. I smell poo.
N is for NURSERY RHYMES and other traditional stories. A school in West Yorkshire re-named the Three Little Pigs fairytale the Three Little Puppies for fear of offending Muslim pupils.
Bizarrely, true. Although this is one school, remember.
O is for OBESITY. On the rise because children rarely walk to school these days. Instead they are driven by parents worried about traffic, paedophiles and bullies.
And who stokes up these fears? Couldn't be the Sun, surely. And again, what has this got to do with Political Correctness?
P is for PHOTOS. The taking of them is often banned in a move which brands every proud parent who wants a picture of their child performing in the school play a potential paedophile.
If it's true, whose fault is that? Couldn't be the Sun again could it?
Q is for QUALIFIED JOBSWORTHS. An “area fruit co-ordinator” sent instructions to junior schools in Stockport on how kids should eat carrots.
I doubt this is true. Carrots aren't fruit, you see.
R is for RED INK. Banned at one West Midlands school in case it upset pupils who found their homework marked with corrections.
If this is true, it's one school. Again.
S is for SUN TAN CREAM. Should not be applied to pupils without parental consent. See F for First Aid.
It really is funny how the Sun stokes up fear of paedophiles and then criticises people for falling for it. Remember that when you see another Sun Paedo scare story. The paper would actually support allowing teachers to beat kids with sticks and rub them all over with cream.
T is for TREES. Not to be climbed for health and safety reasons.
Since when have kids ever been allowed to climb trees in any school ever?
U is for URINATING. One Lincs school tried to order boys to sit down to take a wee in a bid to stop them “missing the target” when using cubicles.
Probably exaggerated nonsense. If that school was anything like mine, the kids probably did the thing where they stood at one end of the toilets and tried to piss into the urinals at the other end to see who could wee the furthest. Might have been a reaction to that sort of ting.
V is for VOCATION. Discouraged. Male teachers are driven away from the teaching profession for fear of being branded paedophiles.
Again, who is responsible for this paedo hysteria? I think we should be told.
W is for WATER. Surveys have shown 45 per cent of pupils are banned from playing with water.
Depends on what level the kids are here. Secondary school kids should really have grown out of having to do that. In any case, what's that got to do with Political Correctness.
X is for X-RAY. See K is for Knives.
See the answer to K is for Knives.
Y is for YO-YOS. Banned too. See M for Marbles.
See the answer to M is for Marbles. We weren't allowed toys at all at my school. I was at primary school in the late seventies and early eighties. When the tories were in power and Maggie Thatcher was just changing her post from Education Minister.
Z is for ZERO TOLERANCE of any risk or competition which might prepare kids for the real world.
No, Z is for 'we've run out of anything specific to talk about so we'll round off with a glittering generality that doesn't even fit the letter Z'.

Very poor. See me.


septicisle said...

I nearly posted on this on Saturday. I got through about the first 6, then lost the will to live. Glad someone else did instead.

I looked up the Apple one, and found a 15-year-old had been given a detention for eating an apple outside somewhere. If anything it reminded me of how authoritarian and ridiculously harsh some schools are on discipline, which is rather anathema to the political correctness argument. The deferred success one is also real, and it was a ex-teacher who submitted it to a trade union general meeting for it to be discussed, and she was, in her own words, being deliberately provocative in order to start a debate. It was also based on the fact that with the new modular exams that a child can still pass 75% of the papers and a fail just one of them and still be a "failure". The nursery rhymes one is also fishy, as they've been stories about the changing of "baa baa black sheep" because it's racist going back decades, and they've all been bollocks.

James said...

Wonder what the Sun would've made of Pogs being banned from my junior school and yo-yos (the trick ones that went through a brief fad) being banned from my secondary school? Good sound reasons for both as I recall; kids ended up kicking the shit out of each other over losing a particularly rare Pog in a match, not to mention the fact you saw the occasional 'slammer' made of metal that could actually blind someone if it ricocheted. As for yo-yos, the ban was imposed shortly after they started being used as weapons. I wonder what Der Sturmer and the Scum would have said?

Not Saussure said...

Actually, the plasters one does have some basis in reality. As it was explained to me some years ago by someone who trained NNEB nursery nurses, you're not supposed to use plasters because they can set off skin allergies in some children (some adults, too -- my late wife had problems with them, for example), so you're apparently supposed to use sterile gauze dressings instead.

Don't ask me why schools can't use hypoallergenic plasters, which is what my wife used to use in preference to the conventional sort. Too expensive, possibly.