Saturday, October 07, 2006

'Behind the Times'

Several readers have sent in news items recently, so I'll try to do a regular News post. 'Behind the Times' seemed an apt title as they are often a week old. Please keep on emailing them to me.

First of all Olive Rack (who gets a mention in my book) has been found not guilty. Her case is a tremendous example of modern madness and should put anybody off running a nursery.

Thanks to Mick J for this story about a teacher who probably won't be giving up any more of his time to take kids out on Duke of Edinburgh trips. I had to read it a couple of times before I could work out what he'd actually done.


Dave T said...

Maybe the parent is upset that her daughter didn't get any beer?

kev said...

the olive rack story was an utter disgrace and one of the 100 greatest waste of public money on PC rubbish.
sometimes i think it's all a giant conspiracy to turn us all against each other.
the booze teacher - not much harm done there, really, but he was daft. not something i'd do personally.

Drum said...

The booze story is an absolute classic. Yes, the teacher involved may not have helped himself by letting the kids have a beer, but I reckon those kids are no stranger to alcohol.
I know people younger than them who binge drink regularly. I wonder if the mum (who OBVIOUSLY knows best) realises this? MAybe her daughter has omitted told her about her friends habits...Well, I don't suppose you can sue the friends for damages, can you?

Anonymous said...


fiona said...

crumbs frank
anon is right... edinborough?!
mind you, you are a maths teacher...

Anonymous said...

The most incredible thing about the booze story is that there's not one word of criticism for the landlord!

Almost American said...

I remember going to a pub on a 6th form geography field trip. Only one of us was of drinking age (other than the teacher of course.) The teacher went in for a drink and we sent the only 18 year old in to buy for the rest of us. The landlord came outside eventually and I cut him off by reassuring him that we would bring all the glasses back inside. He muttered "That wasn't really what I was worried about" but he left us alone. We only had one drink and it was no big deal.

Another time I was on a county organised summer residential course and one of the teachers asked the director if she could buy wine for us all to have at dinner (15-18 year olds) because she was so impressed by what a good job we were all doing. On the same course the most senior group of students (some 17, some 18 years old) were always invited once or twice during the 3 week course to have sherry with the teachers before dinner.

I don't think either of those experiences corrupted me. They were examples of how you can have one civilised drink with friends and have an enjoyable time. I think that's a far better model of drinking than the binge drinking I hear of here in the US and that I sadly hear has become more typical in the UK over the years since I left.

However, in today's world I think any teacher who accompanies underage kids somewhere and lets them drink is MAD! I wouldn't, even though I'd be happy to let my own kids have a drink at home.

To be quite honest I'd be wary of having a drink myself when out with school kids now! Unlike when I took kids on a field trip to the Yorkshire Dales in the mid 80's and we let the kids wander around Rosedale making a map of the village and told them if they needed us we'd be in the pub. At one point there were several kids jumping up and down outside the window trying to see us - not cos they needed us but because they wanted to see what we were drinking! A big 'treat' for them on that field trip was that when we went on our all-day hike we stopped at a pub for lunch and if they wanted to they could buy their lunch there. Given that it was snowing, I had coffee with my lunch rather than a beer and the kids definitely had nothing other than Coke or coffee.

Anonymous said...

The two early learning advisers from the Olive Rack story, Gillian Whall and Julie Medhurst, will no doubt be the worlds softest parents. I pity their children, brought up with no idea of right and wrong.

Anonymous said...

The two early learning advisers from the Olive Rack story, Gillian Whall and Julie Medhurst, will no doubt be the worlds softest parents. I pity their children, brought up with no idea of right and wrong.

Pepperpot said...

I would never drink when in sole charge of students, because you never know when you might have to rush someone to hospital or similar. However, on long trips with more than one member of staff we routinely rotate 'sobriety' duty!

As for letting kids drink I'd just not go there. Sure they're no strangers to alcohol, but they're probably into casual sex and cannabis too and they're not doing that on my watch either...

However, the bitter vitriol and anger spewed at the teacher by the parent is out of all proportion.

Bill Sticker said...

One of the early learning advisers should be discliplined as she actually went over and touched the child. People I know in primary education have told me that 'cuddling' a child which is not theirs is definitely a minefield of legal opportunities for the litigious parent.



Anonymous said...

Well thank God (can I still say that these days) that I finished school in the early 80's.

Back then teachers didn't have all this PC malarkey, nor did they have much fear of litigation for failing to mention that a school trip came within 5 miles of a reservoir or other body of water.

Back then we had teachers who 'escorted' us to the pub on field trips, teachers who made sure nobody got drunk whilst at the same time allowing us enough freedom so that we wouldn't (didn't have to) sneak off on our own to the pubs. I guess those days are well and truly gone now and that's a great shame for those going through schools at the moment, how or why any teachers still feel like taking a group of students away is beyond me, at best they might get some small thanks but at worst they get sued or jail (not to mention all the slagging off by people who were not actually there and have an amazing amount of hindsight).

Did been taken to the pub by a teacher damage me or turn me into an alcoholic? - No

Did been taken to the pub by a teacher mean that we didn't get drunk and all got home safely - Yes

I still don't see what the harm was

Anonymous said...

Surely every secondary school that organises a formal dinner for its Year 11 pupils as a Leaving Prom is in trouble then? Many schools organise a dinner WITH WINE - although they do have the security of telling parents beforehand and getting them to sign a consent form.
I must admit, it is a great pleasure to see pupils you've taught for five years dressed in evening wear, behaving like civilised and responsible people - or have I totally misunderstood what we're about?
As for the D of E trip - isn't it another example of parents abandoning their responsibilities to another? Whatever happened to 'don't accept gifts from strangers'? The landlord shouldn't have offered, the kids shouldn't have accepted.....let's face it - teachers are just an easy scapegoat.
I still remember some guy on TV blaming teachers for the Heysel Stadium disaster.

James said...

I wish that whining Sloane Ranger's sprog had been on the last school trip I went on!