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Showing posts from October, 2012

Shaming Kids

It's been a running theme in society since the time of Plato that the current generation of kids are spoiled, decadent, out of control. Well, maybe, but there's one thing that hasn't changed; that some adults think it's okay to shame kids.

Getting the bus to work this week, a kid of around ten, dressed in a primary school uniform, boarded the bus without his bus pass. Okay, he probably should have mentioned this to the driver, but he was probably too shy to do so. Anyway, after the kid sat down, the driver pulled the bus over and roared "Get down here!" No one moved. The driver got out of his seat and stood in the aisle. "You - with the skateboard. Get down here!" The poor kid walked up to the driver, who shouted "Where does it say that this bus is free?!"
"I forgot my pass" stammered the poor boy.
"That's no excuse! You ask for permission to board or pay! You don't just get on! Now SIT DOWN".

And the poor kid did s…

The Real Story Behind the Jones Backlash

The public reaction to the cruel, stupid comments made by Alan Jones at the Sydney University Liberal party fundraiser has been astonishing; the most successful social media campaign in Australian history; over 100,000 signatures (more than Jones's audience figures some morning), over 60 major companies pulling their advertising from Jones's program and his station 2GB, constant discussion on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere.

The right, scrambling to find meaning in all this, have decided it is all part of some left wing plot to destroy Jones, and have rushed to defend him. The comments were made in jest, at a private function. He's said he was sorry. What more do we want from him? Paul Sheehan, the most coherent of the right wing columnists, ties it all together nicely in today's SMH. He describes Change.org, host of the largest petition to dump Jones, as "orchestrating a campaign" to destroy Jones (neglecting to mention there is also a petition on Change.org …

Selective Schools The Magic Button?

I was recently moved to read a twitter friend's account of her experiences with her ten year old son, a sensitive, intelligent boy who was being bullied at school. They worried what to do, met with the principal, eventually made the difficult decision to move their son to a new school. One point that struck a dark note with me is their prior hope that they and their son would be able to wait it out until he got to high school, or specifically a selective high school, where he would be amongst children like himself and the bullying would stop. The reason this caught in my throat was I experienced the worst bullying of my life at a selective high school. I'm dismayed at the perception that bullying doesn't go on at selective schools, and that they're the answer for intelligent, bullied kids.

In my case it made festering problems worse. I arrived at selective high school age 11, young for my cohort, and with the manifestations of Asperger's Syndrome that would not be i…