Monday, February 21, 2011

From the Pink Floyd files, AKA How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

Without preamble: A teacher in England has been accused of spraying young children with air freshener when they ‘smelled of curry or onions’ and making them wash their hands in Pine-sol if they tooted.

We’re talking about nursery school/kindergarten aged kids, and apparently in an area with a large Bangladeshi population. The teacher also reportedly made kids stay in their pee-soaked clothes standing on newspaper if they had an accident, until their parents could come get them.

Aside from the obvious cultural implications, maybe she just never learned to accept the fact that little kids often smell bad and produce stinky things. She had also reportedly been dismissed from other teaching gigs for, um, I guess not playing well with others.

What is an appropriate punishment for this? Not knowing the applicable law and what is socially acceptable for teachers in another country, it’s hard for me to say, but in addition to the fact that it can’t be good for your health to get sprayed directly with Lysol or Glade type products, imagine how embarrassing it would have been for those kids, and the message it was sending them about their hygiene, standing in the world, etc. I would think she wouldn’t be allowed to continue teaching, but I think a decision is still pending on that.

BTW, is torture still popular/acceptable in British schools? Perhaps I shouldn’t base all my inferences on Dickens, Dahl and Floyd.

Read “Boy” by Roald Dahl if you want to do some research on beastly authoritarian figures and the caning of children in mid-century England. I’m amazed that this book is marketed toward children, I read it as an adult and was upset by it. Although the story of how he and his buddies get revenge on the mean candy store owner is a great tale of childhood revenge.

I look forward to hearing from teachers and those who have lived and/or gone to school in the U.K. on this subject. Or anyone who has been spritzed with Febreze for being too ripe.

No comments:

Post a Comment