Thursday, February 19, 2009

Prejudice is IGNORANCE.

Oh honestly. The Beeb supposedly has remit to educate the population, not to propagate ignorant prejudices, or offer up complete reversals of the truth of the matter. And yet this is precisely what they have done with their most recent episode of Waterloo Road in which we are sold the story of a home educating teen being kept at home against her will.

Look, dear public and ignorant script writers, it is worth trying to find out what the real world is actually like. I suggest the script writers go find some home educators and talk to them about what really happens.

OK, so I might save you some time. I'll tell you now. At last count, I know over 100 home educating children pretty well, and many, many more less well. NONE OF THESE HEKs ARE HOME EDUCATED AGAINST THEIR WILL.

I admit that as it happens I know fewer school children, but even so, I still KNOW SHED-LOADS OF SCHOOLED CHILDREN WHO ARE SCHOOLED AGAINST THEIR WILL.

If you doubt that Waterloo Road could possibly reverse the truth of the matter so completely, here's another clue: just look at the truancy rates from schools. That should tell you the real story. Truancy rates are still rising and this despite the threat of fines and jail for parents, and yet nothing is done to really remedy this situation.

On the other hand, I don't know a SINGLE home educated child who has expressed anything even vaguely resembling a serious desire to go to school who has not rapidly been allowed to go to school.

A further point: amongst our home educating bunch here, it is exceedingly rare to find them closeted in oppressed, highly controlled fashion round a computer in a front room. Yes, sure they use a computer, but most of the time, it is doing what they want to do, and therefore they are enjoying it. There is usually a considerable spark of energy emanating from rooms with children using PCs as they would like to use them.

The public also needs to know that home educated children DO play football - if they want to, that is. They get out and about all the time, they see their friends, they PLAY FOOTBALL, RUGBY, ROUNDERS, NETBALL, BASKETBALL, WATERPOLO, GYM and ATHLETICS. They go horse-riding and climbing together, they do judo and dance classes, they study Mandarin in entirely optional classes, which they love or else they would drop out of them, and OK, today my son is going PAINTBALLING with quite a number of his home educating mates. Yep, he has a fricking MISERABLE time...NOT!

Sorry to keep shouting but I don't know what else to do. Prejudice is ignorance and the schooling public and script writers need to listen and should do their research.

Complaints to the BBC may be sent here:


Anonymous said...



Tom said...

I complained. Thanks for the link.

Ruth said...

I complained last night. Gits!

Ruth said...

Check this BBC press release

A rabid anti-HE slant is all we can expect from Ann McManus.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the anti-HE bit. It sounded like the typical things teachers say who teach in tough schools.


Ruth said...

I wasn't saying the interview was anti-HE, it didn't mention it, but it did show an ex-teacher who very clearly has a major emotional investment in the subject.

Some teachers and ex-teachers are pro-HE or at least understand why it can be a good thing. They see the weaknesses of the school system. Heck a fair number of HEing parents ARE ex-teachers.

However others see HE only as a rejection of teachers, an undermining of their professional status, a personal insult. How DARE parents think that they can teach their children without years of training! That view is what we typically get from the teaching unions and I suspect what was behind this storyline.

Simple ignorance of the subject is no excuse, it wouldn't have been hard for her to have done some research and include HE in a realist way. She didn't.

Anonymous said...

I agree that it would be far more reasonable to have presented different perspectives and happy HE families plus a family representing how HE succeeds when school fails for some children. Different view points would have made it a better script too, imo!