When Idiots Clash

In the clash between Muslim parents and school authorities in the UK over the teaching about homosexuality to small kids, everybody is being a damn idiot.

The parents are idiots because they think kids are harmed more by anything any teacher says at school than by this upheaval. They are also idiots because they think that you can be taught to be gay at school and that school indoctrination works. I grew up in the USSR. It doesn’t work.

The teacher is an idiot because he has no understanding of basic child psychology and doesn’t know that 5-year-olds haven’t reached even the first major stage of separation from parents, and a perception of an antagonism between parents and teachers is very damaging to the learning process.

I wouldn’t want my kid to be taught absolutely anything whatsoever about gender and sexuality at school because I believe that this isn’t what schools are for. But I wouldn’t join any protests because that does a lot more harm than good. At five, a child needs a happy mommy and a happy daddy who are at peace with the school a lot more than… pretty much anything else.

As a teacher, I wouldn’t enter into a clash with parents because, with such young kids, the most helpful thing in my work is an open channel of peaceful and friendly communication with the parents.


10 thoughts on “When Idiots Clash”

  1. Not disagreeing with you about all the adults involved in this being idiots (because they’re all picking the path least likely to accomplish their stated goals and most likely to cause unneeded drama), but I thought the first stage of separation happens in early toddlerhood? Or am I vastly misunderstanding child psychology?

    If I absolutely had to choose between two sets of morons, though, I’m kind of on the teachers’ side. My primary school teachers also taught us stuff that conflicted with my parents’ view of the world (human rights/legal personhood, as opposed to my father’s physical violence, and my mother’s inactive disapproval of it), and it caused a major conflict with my father, that was at the root of our talk-to-each-other-four-times-a-year relationship. I’m glad it happened, though – it was the first time I asserted my existence against his will, and I took far less psychological damage from him in the years after than in the years before. I can imagine LGBT rights working in a similar manner for 13-year-old pupils (which British year 6 is, I think)


    1. By the age of about 9, parents stop being the most important people and the peer group takes that place.

      Abusive families, yes, it’s a fucked up situation, the worst there can be. Most families, though, are not abusive.

      My husband grew up in the situation of severe domestic violence. What would have helped him was to hear that this is not normal, most people don’t live like this. Other than that or a complete removal from the family, I don’t know what the school could have done to help.


  2. “I wouldn’t want my kid to be taught absolutely anything whatsoever about gender and sexuality at school because I believe that this isn’t what schools are for”
    I’m of mixed minds about that. On the one hand, schools can be a good… correcting information for weird, incorrect information that kids get at home (though there’s no guarantee a school curriculum will be delivered any better).
    And now, with the internet… any info is pretty easy to find (absent control freak parents who do not allow their children any privacy whatsoever).
    I do tend to think that 5 is way too young though I’m not sure what age is most appropriate, waiting for puberty just seems to add a lot of noise into the message….


    1. Everybody’s got TV, everybody’s got Instagram. Everybody knows about gay people. I wish the schools concentrated on teaching reading skills because they send us kids who are complete ignoramuses.

      Besides, I train local teachers. I know them. I don’t want them expressing their opinions in class because I know the quality and the provenance of those opinions. I believe that sex Ed should be removed from schools asap.


      1. \ Besides, I train local teachers. I know them. I don’t want them expressing their opinions in class because I know the quality and the provenance of those opinions.

        Are they ultra-conservative and/or religious people?

        If teachers are supposed to teach sex Ed, it should not about expressing individual views, let alone directly. There could be approved lesson plans and activities. I did have a few lessons in high school during классный час с классной руководительницей (unsure how this express in English) in which we discussed whether certain situations in relationships between teens were healthy or (borderline) abusive. Sex ed is not only about sex; it’s one of the last opportunities for students to hear about personal boundaries, self-respect and respect for the other, and so on. You’ve complained that quite a few university students still lack personal skills.

        In addition, the information about the sex ed may be on Internet, but judging by rates of teen pregnancies, it’s not sufficient. May be, hearing about condoms and the Pill a few times before first sexual contact would help some teens of both sexes to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

        On another topic, I was forced to change the topic to the development of American capitalism from the first Industrial Revolution (“House of 7 Gables”) t0 corporate capitalism (?) (“Martin Eden”) and to the present day (“Tortilla Curtain”). I’ve been trying to find relevant parts in Bauman’s books since he does mention it sometimes and I love him, but it is not his focus exactly. Could you recommend a good source / book analyzing Capitalism in America, please? “The shield of Achilles” was a bird’s-eye view of the development of state forms. If I could find a similar bird’s-eye view (academic, of course) regarding capitalism, it would be great. I am also searching for a good source regarding the role of Mexican illegal workers in the current US economy since “Tortilla Curtain” is all about this. The articles I found are not very good, and there are so many books about capitalism, neoliberalism and etc that I am at a loss.


          1. \ Nobody is ultraconservative or religious any more. That’s all gone.

            Many people in Israel are, especially among Haredi Jews and in the Arab sector.
            May be, it’s different in America where religion is weaker than in the Middle East, but saying that “nobody is” seems hard to believe.


        1. Do these students not have internet access? These issues are discussed to death on every website in existence. Students spend 12 years talking about relationships, values, diversity, inclusivity and all the rest of this inane crap, and when they come to us, they are blank slates. I wish instead of all this useless blabber somebody taught them at least where the continents are or what the president does or parts of speech or the multiplication table.

          The teen pregnancy rate, by the way, has dropped off a cliff, together with teenage sex rates. Because teens now have phones, so who needs sex.


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