Question climate change in school, or how to get expelled

Last week I received this email from a Cat reader:

I’ve come across an event – teaching climate change in schools – that may need greater attention and inquiry, and that it may be of interest to you.

My daughter attends a well off primary school in Sydney’s lower north shore. I attended a ‘meet the teacher/parent’ night, where this years’ Unit of Inquiry was announced to be climate change. The whole course – from what I’ve read- is presupposing the most dramatic of CAGW, and the children are being asked – for a first project – to find a photo of the horrible impact of CAGW.

I have raised this with the school, and asked why they are presupposing CAGW. The school denies it is, but does not represent any contrary claims – and I had to introduce Ian Plimer’s book “How to get expelled from school” as a resource to them.

This concerns me greatly. My daughter is already talking of lone polar bears afloat on icebergs drifting in a sea of CAGW. I’ve been trying to redress the imbalance, but the whole course is weighted to the ‘pro’ argument, there is little opposition.

For a school such as this one to hold the values of inquiry and debate, yet simultaneously teach without opposition CAGW, leads me to think they are either being mandated to do so, or there’s an unwritten directive?

I think this deserves greater attention – does the syllabus demand CAGW be taught?

So young minds are being exposed to extremist propaganda.

Then yesterday Deadman reported that his 17 year old had gotten himself into a spot of bother:

My 17 y.o. son, at a packed electoral meeting in the Town Hall for young people today, could not help himself when Nick McKim brought out the ol’ 97% lie—of the supposed consensus of scientists who support the pseudo-scientific conjecture of AGW—and, when he had the microphone in hand, said “Please stop lying; the 97% statistic if f*cking bullshit, and you f*cking know it, you c*nt.”
This was, he concedes, a tad rude but The Greens of all people should appreciate the triumph of feelings over rational argument.

Yes, well. What’s happening next? Alfred tells:

I have just received a phone call from one of the assistant principals of Hobart College bidding me to meet her tomorrow morning to discuss my uncivil language at the electoral meeting.
I shall provide a report.

Deadman is supporting his son.

Well, it will be interesting to hear Alfred’s report of this morning’s meeting when he comes home from school today because I just had a call from one of the vice principals, Vanessa Warren, who wants me to attend a hearing with her and my son (and, perhaps—for she was not too clear—, the principal as well). She spoke of suspending* Alfred for what she asserted was grossly offensive language. I put it to her that Alfred was not there as a representative of Hobart College and that no impartial observer would have reason to believe that he was representing the school thereat but she maintained that he was “right in the middle of a large group” from the school which, apparently, gives the school authority to determine speech codes in public fora. I also told her that I (and judicial precedent) did not consider Alfred’s robust and admittedly intemperate words to be remarkably offensive, but that made her even more breathlessly incoherent.
At some stage tomorrow I shall probably feel obliged to mention that I have ’blogs and I’m not afraid to use them.

* suspending! what a threat!

Excellent.

I do have to say, however, that calling a Greens politician a “cunt”, while probably satisfying, is over the top and deserving of some reprimand – although expulsion is probably an over-reaction.* Especially given that young excitable minds should not be exposed to extremist left-wing views during school hours. What were they thinking?

For those wanting to engage in a letter writing exercise, Grigory Potemkin has very kindly provided the details. Please be civil and sign your real name in any letters.

*Even by our very lax – some might say “low” – standards we don’t approve of such language here at the Cat.

Update: Alfred describes the meeting he had today (emphasis added):

Today I had a meeting with one of the Vice Principals of Hobart College to discuss my actions at the electoral forum on Tuesday. From what the VP said, it seems that the main cause for alarm is my language in calling the knowingly deceitful Nick McKim a liar, as calling someone a liar is worse then calling someone a c*nt. After agreeing with me that she has no right to take away my rights, the VP confined me to a room by myself. (Another member of the staff later admitted to me that he didn’t know it existed.)
I managed to record the forty minutes of conversation between me and the VP and, for the last twenty minutes or so, a social worker (or the like), wherein I learned that the school had had some contact with Nick McKim’s office—but she provided no further details (I was so astonished that my eyebrow went up a sixteenth of an inch and my monocle slipped from my eye-socket). She had no intention to advise my parents, by the way, until I insisted that she call my father.

This is starting to look like a ‘Politician bullies school boy’ story.

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670 Responses to Question climate change in school, or how to get expelled

  1. Pickles

    I have often cautioned against the use of unt words. Nick, the Merc was lying in wait for you today. You’re fucked.

  2. jumpnmcar

    I’d be interested to hear about the response from the teenagers in the audience.

    My sentiments too.
    I may cop a whack from the ” real regulars ” but would this,

    “Please stop lying; the 97% statistic if f*cking bullshit, and you f*cking know it, you c*nt.”

    be condoned if said by a 6 year old?
    10 y/o ?
    17 y/o?
    When is the cut off point?

  3. ev425128

    The fact that is we’re a blended family, and that the 19yo is both a “step” and the greatest contributor of both “colourful” language and friends…

    “My” kids don’t swear in front of me. I can do something about that, and have effectively. The 19yo doesn’t often let loose, but doesn’t hold back when the mood takes or when amongst peers. I’ve had plenty of opportunity to observe the conversation amongst teenagers who I know to be intelligent, and no words are taboo – they are sounds that have either meaning or effect.

    You get where I’m coming from? “Upside the head”, while probably needed would likely result in a lawsuit from the former occupier of my spot in the bed or one of my finely-honed kitchen knives used for a purpose for which it was not intended (and unnecessary attention from ambulance staff). Or both.

    Point being, this is the way kids speak to each other.

  4. johanna

    “Otherwise why not get Billy Connolly instead of Tim Wilson as Freedom Commissioner …”

    Agree with Gab, excellent idea. Billy’s take on suicide bombers (“Now lads, I’ll only do this once” is also well worth a reprise.

    More seriously, Deadman’s transcript says:

    Principal: If I was employing you, and you used that language in my workplace, I’d sack you. So that, in a work—, in a school environment, if you used that language, and I was observing it, I’d feel threatened. I might laugh, but I’d actually feel threatened. I’d feel insulted. I would be shocked, and I would be very, very offended.

    The Left’s ability to pack numerous fallacies into a few words is highlighted here.

    She’s not his employer, so it’s irrelevant.

    Under the laws she and her ilk undoubtedly support, she’d have Buckley’s of sacking him anyway. Look at some of the disgraceful reinstatement cases that FWA has supported. And that’s not counting the “three warnings” rule.

    She’d “feel threatened” by “observing” that language? She must either wear earplugs in the playground, or feel permanently threatened.

    Not to mention insulted, shocked and very, very offended. I vote we take up a collection for earmuffs for this fragile little petal right now.

    But here’s the thing. She wasn’t there, it never happened to her. So that’s also irrelevant.

    To describe this case as flimsy is to insult, shock and offend flimsy cases everywhere.

    More broadly, in a society where teachers and students get assaulted with fists, knives etc by other students, have their property damaged and are otherwise terrorised, it is just bizarre that saying a rude word attracts such a heavy-handed response.

    It would be interesting to see a profile of what kind of offences have attracted suspension in Tasmanian schools in recent years. My bet is that saying a rude word as a singular event does not rate high, if at all.

  5. nilk, Iron Bogan

    …if you used that language, and I was observing it, I’d feel threatened. I might laugh, but I’d actually feel threatened. I’d feel insulted. I would be shocked, and I would be very, very offended.

    This. It is all emotion and no reason, and because it is emotion, she is incapable of understanding reason.

  6. Dave Freer

    Deadman – an apology is all in the language used. Firstly, it is necessary to establish that your son was constrained under threat of further punishment to make the apology. Secondly that statement itself was either true — McKim is a liar — or the the politician has failed to do his research and is in ignorance misinforming the public, and thus unfit for public office and responsibility (cite the relevant research), and of course the school would not wish to be associated with such misinformation or outright lies, and he apologized that they are now perceived to support that deceit, and that he deeply regrets bringing them into such disrepute. Thirdly his conduct would have been entirely different had he been aware that he was on any form of official school outing and that it was possible for the general public to know that he was part of the school. In this I suggest that he brings up never having guessed it even possibly might be, as he had turned in none of the required travel waivers for official trips, and as it would be illegal for the school as a state funded organization to support any one political party, and such junkets had not been provided equally for all parties (if this is the case) and it was thus never his intent to bring the school into disrepute, and if this was the case he deeply regrets it, and looks forward to the school sanctioned trips to hear other political parties. Fourthly that he was unaware that language used by politicians (cite examples) and his peers was unacceptable to the same and, as this had caused offense he would in future moderate his language and looked forward to the headmistress telling the school that should be the future norm and that the language used by (cite various pollies) was disgusting, and finally he would like the opportunity to express his regret explain to whole school that even when politicians lie to minors – and what the lie was, it is better to allow them to be misled and and deceived by falsehoods than to speak out intemperately and call them a lying c*nt in the heat of the moment.
    Best of luck with it. I think they decided to bully him, they’ve breached several codes of practice in the process, and are now too deep in to back out. But giving them opportunity may in the long the best for your boy – who has my respect for his strength of character.

  7. Gab

    It is all emotion and no reason, and because it is emotion, she is incapable of understanding reason.

    That covers all leftards but the Greenslime especially so.

  8. Reading some of the pious contempt for Alfred’s admittedly inappropriate tetragrams and his failure to orate in rounded Ciceronian periods when enraged by a lying politician, one might easily think that the posters haven’t read all that many of the more robust comments which have been posted on this very site by people quite a few years past their juvenility.

    jumpnmcar, Alfred was taught at home last year but he has returned to the State school system in order to matriculate.

    E-mail me, people, if you want details which I cannot fairly post on a public site.

  9. ev425128

    If it was “my” 6yo, 10yo, 17yo it wouldn’t happen in front of me without appropriate parental reaction.

    But I don’t extend that to this particular incident. Given the setting, the audience and the context I’d like to think I’d be doing what Mr Informal Informal is doing. I call the 19yo on language violations in front of me or the other parent, but not while amongst the peers – they set their own standards.

  10. Brian of Moorabbin

    Arnost (@8.19am)

    +100000000000000000000000001

  11. Baldrick

    “Look, I’ve always been relaxed about people expressing their views, whether I agree with it or not,” Nick McKim.
    ABC 7.30 Tasmania. 21/2/2014 (@ 8.24)

  12. Arnost

    I’d bet that the veep and the principal read up on the 97% consensus issue and figured out they haven’t got a leg to stand on if depending on the “lying” accusation. And because the lefties vocabulary doesn’t include the word combination of “I was wrong”, they followed the usual script and doubled down on the swearing angle hoping for high ground followed by authoritarian shutting down of any debate.

    If Alfred has audio of the original suspension threat for calling McKim a liar… Then that’s gold.

  13. boy on a bike

    Principal: If I was employing you, and you used that language in my workplace, I’d sack you.

    Really?

    I’d start by examining the workplace Code of Conduct and see what it had to say on swearing in the workplace. I’m sure it would say that you can’t be sacked for a first offence – there’d have to be three written warnings, a conference with a union rep present and the employee would have to be sent on a training course and put on a remediation plan before any action to terminate could be taken.

    Context would have to be examined as well. (And lefties love to use “context”). I’d start by asking coworkers or underlings for depositions stating that the Principal has never sworn at any time in any context since taking the job – including at off site events, such as a night at the pub with teachers. Plus there would be questions about whether swearing is a common feature in the workplace.

    Almost every P&C meeting that I attended over the last 2 years contained at least one gripe from the Principal about students swearing too much. (No, she didn’t say, “We can’t stop the little f*ckers from swearing”, but I wish she had). They swore on the bus, in the class room, at lunch blah blah blah. There was no difference between the sexes. To suddenly act like Sprog is the only kid to ever swear at this school and he must be harshly punished as a result is mind boggling.

    I walked past Junior’s room last night and he was on Skype and playing some sort of online battlefield game. I heard him say, “Don’t go up that f*cking alley – you’ll get f*cked up the arse by a sniper, and we’ll all be in the sh*t”.

    Yep, that’s how they talk to each other.

  14. .

    “Please stop lying; the 97% statistic if f*cking bullshit, and you f*cking know it, you c*nt.”

    I’d condone Her Majesty saying it.

  15. E-mail address for me: deadman[at]informalmusic[dot]com.

  16. .

    Principal: If I was employing you, and you used that language in my workplace, I’d sack you. So that, in a work—, in a school environment, if you used that language, and I was observing it, I’d feel threatened. I might laugh, but I’d actually feel threatened. I’d feel insulted. I would be shocked, and I would be very, very offended.

    What a dishonest sack of shit.

  17. candy

    “Please stop lying; the 97% statistic if f*cking bullshit, and you f*cking know it, you c*nt.”
    be condoned if said by a 6 year old?
    10 y/o ?
    17 y/o?
    When is the cut off point?

    Honestly, who will take any notice of anybody any age who speaks with such profanity in public.

    I would be aghast and ashamed if my son spoke like that in a public domain, and wonder where we went wrong with him.
    What he says with his mates in his own private domain is his business.

  18. Armadillo

    Just listened to Bolt/Price. I doubt Alfred will get any sympathy there. They spent a lot of time condemning the left about abusing people like Abbott and Howard. All about how horrible the left are. It’s disgusting the way they wear ‘Fuck Abbott’ T-Shirts and so on. They compared it to how they have never stooped to the depths of the other side. They had plenty of examples to back up their case. Yes, the left are absolute arseholes. We are ‘above that’ they say. We do not need to lower ourselves to their level. The swearing. The hectoring. The intimidation.

    I’d have sympathy for that view – except that history tells me the opposite.

    Why the fuck do they think the union/labor/greens movement have so much power in this country? Surely not because of the swearing, hectoring and intimidation?

    It’s like watching a slow moving train wreck. Alfred and Deadman are standing in the middle of the tracks. Fight fire with fire. If it takes a 17 year old to point that out, God help us.

  19. boy on a bike

    Nick McKim’s facebook page links to this page on Climate Smart Tasmania. On this page, it says,

    I agree with 97% of climate scientists. How do I help?

    So there – it must be true.

  20. Arnost

    What he says with his mates in his own private domain is his business

    Yes. That is exactly the killer point here. Alfred may be a potty mouth in the view of some (maybe most as the c-bomb is not really acceptable is polite conversation) but he was with his peers – and using effing this and effing that is the norm. Just like using it here on the odd occasion is the norm. As I said earlier – just listen to some of the modern lyrics and the use of effing is rather common. It was McKim that was in “their” environment and he as a politician would have been there many times before. And heard worse.

    He just whined to the school and narcissistically wanted retribution for being (rightly) called out as a liar.

  21. Oh come on

    Oh ffs. Yeah I’ve heard people who are usually perfectly polite blurt out that kind of thing in the heat of the moment over an issue they care a lot about. This is an issue he cares enough about to start his own blog over. I suspect the Green had been spouting bollocks for a while and Alfred had had it up to the back teeth. Is it so alien to you that someone would speak like that to a fork-tongued individual spreading lies about an issue you care greatly about?

  22. .

    Just listened to Bolt/Price.

    Swearing is a non issue. I don’t like swearing all the time because it dulls the vocabulary, and it is impolite.

    Fuck, c*nt, shit are all English words.I won’t attempt to educate you on their roots or why they fell out of favour.

    Needless to say, being “disgusted” based on such a history is dumb. Bolt and Price wouldn’t even get to the issue of dishonesty.

    (Bolt might, but Price is an intellectual pygmy and of no value whatsoever to the non-left).

    One might bowlderise what they would say, but it would be inauthentic and be lost on the audience (of any kind) as to your true feeling and intent.

  23. .

    Oh come on
    #1198084, posted on February 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm
    Oh ffs.

    This.

  24. Armadillo

    It was McKim that was in “their” environment and he as a politician would have been there many times before. And heard worse.

    A cabinet meeting?

  25. .

    He just whined to the school and narcissistically wanted retribution for being (rightly) called out as a liar.

    and that!

  26. .

    Principal: If I was employing you, and you used that language in my workplace, I’d sack you. So that, in a work—, in a school environment, if you used that language, and I was observing it, I’d feel threatened. I might laugh, but I’d actually feel threatened. I’d feel insulted. I would be shocked, and I would be very, very offended.

    Does anyone seriously believe this giant crock of shit, or are you going to lap it up because I used intemperate language?

  27. Arnost

    A cabinet meeting?

    LOL… Exactly.

  28. Gab

    I don’t understand why this issue has to be drawn out at length on the point of Alfred swearing. Did you all forget this bit from Deadman:

    This was, he concedes, a tad rude

  29. Megan

    What happened to the advice regarding kids and swearing I was given as a very new teacher, and then not so many years later, a new parent? They are just using it for effect, ignore it.

    By drawing attention to it, and punishing young Alfred in such a heavy-handed, out of proportion manner, they have committed a classical tactical error. I’ll bet every single teacher who has ever done yard duty at that school has heard all the naughty words in Alf’s rant, not once but day after day. How many of those offenders…committing this heinous offence on school grounds…have been suspended?

  30. .

    Principal: If I was employing you, and you used that language in my workplace, I’d sack you. So that, in a work—, in a school environment, if you used that language, and I was observing it, I’d feel threatened. I might laugh, but I’d actually feel threatened. I’d feel insulted. I would be shocked, and I would be very, very offended.

    Let’s parse this.

    Amused, threatened, insulted, shocked, very very offended.

    As an observer

    What a load of inconsistent and contrived bollocks.

  31. Megan

    What a load of inconsistent and contrived bollocks.

    And completely at odds with current workplace law.

  32. johanna

    I wonder if McKim is having second thoughts about the wisdom of being involved with picking on a schoolkid in the middle of an election campaign?

    And, I wonder if Deadman’s FOI requests (assuming he makes them) about his son’s suspension will tell us anything about communication between McKim and Alfred’s school, or the Dept.?

  33. DrBeauGan

    Oh deadman, of course she won’t debate you. That would be playing on your ground and she’d lose. Note that they have already changed their ground. Take it away from them. It’s no longer about calling someone a liar, it’s now about abusive and threatening language. Deny them that position and return it to the substance not the form. The kind of ‘apology’ for intemperate language in my template does precisely that. Alfred will be apologising for the expression, not the content. Do that and they have nothing. You can enjoy listening to the creepy shits grinding their teeth to the gums.

  34. Megan

    What should I have done with the sweet little five year old moppet in her brand new uniform and beribboned plaits who, as I was approaching the infant’s playground during a yard duty stint, turned to an equally cute little classmate and roared “Get rooted, you!”

    Would a chat with her parents and a three day suspension changed anything?

  35. .

    DrBeauGan

    I’d say draw it out as long as possible then ignore their demands and start making your own based on the FOI requests.

    Give no quarter and ask none.

    Of course, that is paramount to Alfred’s ongoing enrolment and success in matriculation.

  36. Arnost

    I wonder if McKim is having second thoughts about the wisdom of being involved with picking on a schoolkid in the middle of an election campaign?

    Don’t know about McKim – but if it was me in his shoes I’d try to get as much political capital out of appearing to intercede and arranging leniency for Alfred.

    Otherwise I’d hate to be in the position a week of two out and having a barrage of questions to the effect of: “Were you or your staff directly involved in getting a child suspended from school for pointing out you were inaccurate? And a followup – were you intentionally inaccurate when talking about Climate Change to schoolchildren?”

  37. Arnost

    Of course, … Alfred’s ongoing enrolment and success in matriculation

    This is a the hairy scary gorilla at the back of the room. Deadman and Alfred have to weigh up importance of outcomes… And scarily – this blog post may well have sealed Alfred’s fate at the college.

  38. johanna

    If anything untoward happened to Alfred’s exam results, as he is obviously a bright fellow, the question would be “What was Tony Abbott’s role in this?”

  39. .

    Arnost

    The MP, the AP and Principal have all screwed themselves.

    Oh yes and they are inveterate liars.

  40. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I was raised in the middle classes and can pass as a gentleman in a bad light but I never bother.

    Hey Dr. Beaugan, I was raised in the gutter, mostly doing the raising myself, and I assure you that I can pass very well as a Lady of Gracious Upbringing in any company you care to name; in broad daylight too. I can also deliver a definitely intemperate verbal attack in a differently modulated accent when I have to, utilising an interesting range of descriptors of bodily parts and functions. On occasions when I have deemed it useful I have mixed the modes, to the considerable consternation of the receivers. GB Shaw was onto it long ago with Miss Eliza D., although Eliza of course was just a learner.

    At risk of sounding repetitive, I hope not leftish, ‘context’ is always crucial, with regard to language as well as to much else. Developing an acute comprehension of a variety of contextual modes (tribal understandings) and becoming a fine, if manipulative, practitioner of these is a learned skill never wasted.

    Best of luck, Deadman and Alfred, in any actions or inaction you decide upon. Ombudsman next?

    Candy, I have been called a cnut, and I agree with you that in general one deplores this.
    If one is a Lady. :)

  41. Don’t forget that even if Alfred provide the principal a fulsome* apology, and be graciously permitted to return to classes, he won’t escape punishment for the rest of the year. Those calling for a rap over the knuckles fail to take into account the certainty that the staff will have their shifty eyes on him, sycophantic students at school will deride him—they started on Thursday—, his mother and her awarmist friends will be even more contemptuous than usual, and we don’t know yet what sanctimonious strangers might do once he’s verballed by The Mercury and Green blogs and the like.

    * we know what the word means.

  42. Motelier

    I am with Gab on this, Alfred has admitted “it was a bit rude”.

    While I am shocked at way the school has handled this, I would only argue against the suspension on the grounds that he was not at an official school function as a representative of the school.

    The school is desperate at the moment. Alfred should now be sharpening his knives for all of the green propaganda that is purported to be in the education curriculum and delivered to the students. The school is scared of this. A student armed with knowledge can do so much to cause disrespect to teachers and the administration and the school administration is terrified of this.

    My advice, take the suspension as the first shot in the war, but be prepared to fight the war on peer reviewed facts.

  43. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    It’s early in the academic year, Deadman.

    Remove your son from these malign influences. Another school.

  44. Splatacrobat

    Has anyone contacted Eddie McGuire for his opinion?

  45. Oh come on

    Just listened to Bolt/Price. I doubt Alfred will get any sympathy there.

    Excuse me, I’m just going to file this under Why I Am Not A Conservative.

  46. Armadillo

    I’m just going to file this under Why I Am Not A Conservative.

    Sounds like an impressive filing system.

  47. Lizzie, I posited a move after our meeting at the school today, but Alfred reckons that the only alternative school within a reasonable distance, Elizabeth College, is worse than Hobart College. Anyway, teachers talk to each other.
    Posters here, by the way, may disapprove of Alfred’s sledge of McKim as much as they list, but he’s my son and I shall support him. His mother threw him under the bus at today’s meeting, and then shoved his bleeding body back under the wheels several more times for good measure. I told him that whatever he decides, whether it be insincere contrition or a fight in the courts, I’ll support him. I’ll support him though the heavens fall, and I shall do what it takes to prevent all the contemptible, conscienceless conspiring con-artists from wearing him down. I shall fight those fuckers on the beaches, if that be what it takes, because those misanthropic turds are out to destroy what remains of what we may laughably call our entire civilisation.

  48. DrBeauGan

    I certainly would never suggest a fulsome apology deadman. There are principles to be upheld. I have never been in your position but was once picked on by a teacher and won. I agree that the long game is having Alfred graduate well. I rate his chances as good. As someone else pointed out, schools are not monolithic entities and for every enemy Alfred makes he will find unexpected friends. The trick is to choose your enemies carefully. If they are arseholes, the non-arseholes will take Alfred’s side, though not necessarily in plain sight. As I said earlier, do what is right and scrutinise your conscience regularly and you’re bulletproof. As for the suckholes, who cares what they say or think.

    Lizzie, true ladies are born and not made, or if they are made, they make themselves. Well known fact. You are a natural aristocat.

  49. .

    Thursday—, his mother and her awarmist friends will be even more contemptuous than usual, and we don’t know yet what sanctimonious strangers might do once he’s verballed by The Mercury and Green blogs and the like.

    Greens as bullies. I could never have imagined this growing up.

    I had a mate, as a teacher, who went to a leadership development day for his older primary kids.

    He didn’t realise it was a green left stitch up, but within the Catholic system.

    He earnt the ire of the host when he called her a pharisee (a big beach house near Orbost for her) as she derided whites, men and wealth all day.

    He earnt the respect of his colleagues, including his boss!

  50. .

    If the school had any respect as an institution, it would apologise and sweep this under the rug right now.

    Why would it tear its own credibility or waste resources on a trivial, out of school matter?

  51. Cold-Hands

    Not having any legal expertise, I’ve mostly kept quiet, but the overreach by the school is infuriating. As Alfred was not in school uniform and not acting as a representative of the school, I fail to see how the Principal has any jurisdiction here. Unfortunately, having chosen to become involved, the School has the power to disrupt Alfred’s schooling and may do so, win or lose, through petty vindictiveness. The mere fact that the Principal has elected to intervene suggests that covert harassment may and will continue. While I agree that recourse to the ombudsman and legal channels are useful options to pursue, once this battle is won I would consider changing schools. It is doubtful that Alfred will be treated fairly by this college given its current behaviour.

  52. johanna

    It’s a real concern, Deadman.

    Mind you, unless his mother is Cruella de Ville, she will be equally disturbed by that kind of thing, if it happens. You and Alfred could find yourselves with an unexpected ally. Mumma Bear does not take lightly to extended assaults on her cub. A cuff over the ear is one thing, more than that is another.

    On the facts of the case (as you and Alfred have presented them) they haven’t got a leg to stand on. How far you and he choose to take it is a matter for your judgement.

  53. dover_beach

    Just listened to Bolt/Price. I doubt Alfred will get any sympathy there.

    Excuse me, I’m just going to file this under Why I Am Not A Conservative.

    Except neither of them are conservative.

    Deadman, best wishes to you and Alfred.

  54. Oh come on

    Alfred should take a chance and see this through. What’s the worst that could happen? And it could be the start of a great career.

  55. CR

    One simple question.
    Was Alfred doing this in school hours under the care of the school?

  56. johanna, deadman[at]informalmusic[dot]com.

  57. Oh come on

    Let’s not be too pedantic, Dover.

  58. DrBeauGan

    You are a fine bloke deadman and you have a fine son. You are the good guys and the good guys always win in the end. Ep pur si muove.
    I recommend insincere contrition. Alfred has nothing to be contrite about. He spoke truth to power, or what passes for power in Tasmania. You should never knuckle down, it corrodes the soul. Part of the long game is Alfred’s preserving his self respect. This matters the hell of a lot more than exam grades.
    Power is a strange thing and easily stolen from those who imagine they have it. Never give up. The good guys really do win in the end and there’s a reason for this.

  59. DrBeauGan

    Ps. Deadman, do you play chess? If so, reflect on the strategic principle of commanding the centre ground.

  60. DrBeauGan

    Or if military gaming, the high ground.

  61. CR, the forum was held in the early afternoon, during school hours, but most students at college study only four subjects. For Alfred this means he has two classes on two days days, three on two days and no class at all on Mondays. When he went to the electoral forum, though he went with a group of students, he thought he was going to a public forum—for, indeed, that’s what it was—and he did not consider it a school function. I agree with him. The principal insists that he was there as a student, and therefore charged to be obedient to her every whim, exactly as if he were in a class at school, and she will not consider any counter-argument.
    As I keep on saying—are previous replies invisible?—the school (for grades 11 and 12) has no uniform or, as Alfred said yesterday:

    Hobart College has no uniform; students are allowed to wear whatever they want, resulting in lots of exposed underwear, horrible tattoos and visible love handles.

  62. Armadillo

    The good guys really do win in the end and there’s a reason for this.

    In the movies perhaps Doc. ‘Good Guys’ depends on your perspective of ‘good and bad’ I suppose.

  63. Oh come on

    If he wasn’t representing the school in any capacity? If no, was he in their duty of care? If no, he wasn’t there as a student.

    Am I right in saying that the school wasn’t even aware of where he was at the time he supposedly breached the school’s disciplinary code? The principal’s position that he was representing the school is completely untenable. That’s why she’s not willing to debate the matter – she’s hoping it’ll go away if she huffs and puffs and blusters enough.

    Now let’s just say this doesn’t go away. Seem to me the principal’s opening one hell of a can of worms for herself? She must, at some point, decide whether

    - Alfred breached the school’s disciplinary code because he was under their duty of care yet they did not know where he was or have any control over his actions, which would constitute a major failing in their duty of care. In this case, the school administrators have some very serious questions to answer.

    OR

    - they had no duty of care over Alfred at the time he yelled at the idiot Green, so Alfred was not bound by the school’s code of discipline and his suspension cannot be justified. By suspending him nevertheless, the school administrators are depriving him of what they would no doubt term a universal human right to education.

    Sounds to me that City Hall can be fought in this particular case.

  64. Splatacrobat

    Hobart College has no uniform; students are allowed to wear whatever they want, resulting in lots of exposed underwear, horrible tattoos and visible love handles.

    At your post suspension meeting Alfred you could sew a triangle on your jacket to identify yourself as a prisoner of a totalitarian oligarchy. Maybe blue in colour with 3% embroidered in the center for emphasis. Refer to the VP as Kapo and thank her for helping you with your understanding George Orwell’s 1984.

  65. DrBeauGan

    The thing is Alfred, if you crawl through broken glass and offer to lick their arses, they will STILL try to screw you. Your best bet is to make them afraid to piss you off. This is a lot easier than it sounds. They are bullies and cowards. Not all bullies are cowards but these are. Trust me, I’ve met scores of them. Yes they will try sneaky, slimy methods of putting you down, but they are not smart, only devious. Learning how to sort them out will be more valuable to you than anything in the syllabus. And you have right on your side, which is priceless.
    You should not resile from your basic position that McKin said something contemptible because it’s true. But you can easily admit to an unfortunage choice of words in saying this. Neither you nor I think it was in fact wrong to use those words, but withdrawing them gives you brownie points with the stodgies and neatly undercuts their position. Take away their ground. What is their next move? Argue that you haven’t grovelled enough? That immediately leads to the issue of whether McKin
    was right. They can’t afford to go there. Fundamentally their position is weak, you can destroy them. And you should do so for your own safety.

  66. johanna

    O/t, but how do senior high school students have so little class time? In my last 2 years, I had 6×40 minute lessons a day, plus I stayed back for advanced teaching in economics and English two days a week.

    Admittedly, that was in prehistoric times, but it seems like a dramatic change to me.

  67. johanna

    Oh come on – the least that you could do is read the thread before you start bloviating. Like several others, you have leapt in with your “fresh analysis” without doing the minimal bit of research that would stop you from looking like an idiot. That would be, for example, reading the thread before you start to puff out your cheeks and proclaim.

    There were two members of staff there with the school group, and they knew exactly where he was.

  68. DrBeauGan

    Not just in the movies Armadillo, you cynic. And not always in real life, maybe. But a consciousness of doing the right thing against the forces of injustice and dishonesty is a very powerfull asset and attracts the support of other righteous souls. Me in this case. And a lot of other cats, I admit. There really is a hunger after righteousness in many people. Even you, admit it.

  69. Oh come on

    Johanna, I’m tempted to resort to the kind of language that got Alfred in trouble, but I’ll refrain. Even though you are almost as deserving as the idiot Green.

    Was he in their duty of care, Johanna? If so, he hasn’t got a leg to stand on.

  70. At the meeting with the principal, she said the proof that Alfred was part of a school excursion (which Alfred thought he was merely accompanying) was that he’d had a signed permission slip; when Alfred replied that he had no permission slip, and had not been asked to produce one, the principal swiftly changed her story and insisted that Alfred’s signing of his enrolment form (and the acceptance thereby of the school’s rules) gave the school control over him during all school hours. I reject her assessment.
    It was a public forum. not a school function.
    Alfred doesn’t attend school on Mondays; if, on some Monday morning during term-time he were walking through Franklin Square in the city, stubbed his toe, and muttered a profane oath which just happened to be overheard by a passing teacher from the school, would that constitute a breach of the school’s offensive language provisions? Apparently, the principal would say it did.

  71. DrBeauGan

    OCO, even if Alfred was officially under the direction of school teachers, the only thing they have against him is vulgar language. If he withdraws the expression but maintains his position in more delicate terminology they are the ones without a leg to stand on.

  72. Ripper

    Alfred doesn’t attend school on Mondays; if, on some Monday morning during term-time he were walking through Franklin Square in the city, stubbed his toe,

    and fell over and broke his leg, would they still claim they had ” duty of care”.

  73. DrBeauGan

    Deadman has a colourable case, but it is a strategic error to fight on the enemy’s ground. Withdraw the language and preserve the meaning and they are done for.

  74. sdfc

    570 odd comments about some rude kid’s bad manners. Slow week?

  75. johanna

    Oh come on, you have an unusual concept of the duty of care. Very unusual, most judges would call it “novel”, and not in a good way. More bloviating has not not covered your initial and gratuitous error. Just as well you’re not in front of the late Roddy Meagher.

    Let’s leave it at that.

  76. Oh come on

    They can ping him if he was representing the school or if he was in their duty of care.

    If he withdraws the expression but maintains his position in more delicate terminology they are the ones without a leg to stand on.

    I disagree – they can still claim he’s deserving of punishment regardless of whether he withdraws the expression or not.

    He should hold the line that the suspension is wrong, and that they had no authority over him at that time.

  77. Oh come on

    Johanna: please expand upon whatever it is you consider to be my “gratuitous error”, or stop talking crap.

  78. Oh come on

    So no, let’s not leave it at that. You’re sounding like Alfred’s principal.

  79. johanna

    sdfc, if you think that this about a kid saying a rude word, it just demonstrates better than any criticism could why you don’t “get” what is going on here.

  80. johanna

    When you can explain how the “duty of care” includes taping kids’ mouths shut in a public meeting, let us know.

  81. Oh come on

    Johanna, that’s a pretty frickin’ obtuse position to take considering you were just chastising me for not being fully informed on this. Do you think the school administration were especially mindful of the precise legal definition of ‘duty of care’ when they suspended him?

  82. sdfc

    Kid swears on excursion. Cats argue over whether he should be punished or not. What is there to get?

  83. johanna

    They never claimed that it had anything to do with that.

    Stop digging.

  84. Armadillo

    Kid swears on excursion. Cats argue over whether he should be punished or not. What is there to get?

    Yep. And so it should be.

  85. Oh come on

    But if he wants to fight them over their decision? You appear to think that the tiny matter of whether the school was legally responsible (yes, had a duty of care) for Alfred at the time he swore at the Green would be irrelevant to anyone tasked with adjudicating his suspension by the school. What an interesting perspective. Most judges would call it interesting, and not in a good way.

    Oh, and don’t tell me to stop digging. You decided to take this up with me, yet all of a sudden you’re furiously trying to get me to surrender. I wonder why. Johanna, please bugger off and stop wasting my time if this is all you’re planning to bring.

  86. DrBeauGan

    OCO, yes, they can still punish him but they already have. How much more if he resiles from the so called threatening language? What they really want to do is make him suffer for smacking a senator. Their punishment has to be proportionate to the offence. Vulgar language ? Oh, come on. Another day off school? How poor Alfred will suffer. Not.
    Alfred, if you are under attack and there is an impregnable defensive position a hundred metres away, you do not examine weaknesses in the enemy position. You move. Then you blast them to buggery.

  87. Oh come on

    By conceding and apologising to the school admin (or the people they are directing him to apologise to), he’s conceding they had grounds to suspend him. Bad move.

  88. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    “Principal: If I was employing you, and you used that language in my workplace, I’d sack you. … I’d feel threatened. … but I’d actually feel … I’d feel … I would be … I would be very, very …”

    They’re good aren’t they, these sheilas in charge. They all want to be blokes when they’re on the bully run but then they scamper so easily, deceitfully behind their own skirts when it suits them, relying as she is on an invented hypothetical.

    She’s a tuck shop crumb sweeper upper promoted above her station, loving the power of bringing a forthright man down, sitting with gavel in hand, so certain of her self righteous unimpeachable authority. Objectivity is not a job pre-requisite.

    This lying standard carrier for that special breed of Tasmanian Labor Green lunatic consciously pimps for a lying Green politician, giving it/she/he a forum to mislead and indoctrinate children she is expected to educate, dispassionately. There will be none of that though, the victims will learn only what she deems necessary at Hobart College.

    I won’t have people swear around me, even our own civil construction blokes (who have learned to accept that discipline) but she has turned that into her perfect camouflage – a classic and transparent female manipulation to distract from the central issue. Someone forgot to tell her “equality” comes at a cost.

    I see the greater profanity from her, and from the three senior wymminses around her, so very clearly. They’ll eventually devour each other – something they are good at.

  89. DrBeauGan, I appreciate your counsel but the principal has already suspended Alfred; if he withdraw the naughty words he doesn’t get his time back. Of course, the principal made it very clear that his “time for reflection” must include a way of “making it right”, whereby she surely means his abject proskynesis to all who were present at the forum as well as the liar, McKim. Though I’ve advised a show of contrition to Alfred I don’t know what he’ll want to do; he has several days to consider the matter.
    With offensive terminology withdrawn or not, I dispute the notion that Alfred is the slave of the principal, despite the education department’s rules which give her almost unlimited powers over students, because they go against the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Children, articles 2, 13, 14 and 28 and, I’d argue, a straightforward notion of fairness. Even if Alfred had said (as you well advise) unobjectionable words suggesting that McKim lies, and knows that he lies, I’m not convinced that the school wouldn’t try to pin some other charge on him. After all, the “unacceptable language” provisions of the school are defined as “swearing, obscene, offensive etc”, and that etc., since it is Latin for “and everything else”, means that the principal, who is clearly the sole arbiter of what constitutes “unacceptable language”, could well decide that calling one of her chums a liar is unforgivably offensive. No-one, unfortunately, may appeal a principal’s suspension of under two weeks by the provisions of the Tasmanian Education Act (1994). What’s more, it doesn’t end there: the education department’s guidelines specifically allow a principal to “take disciplinary action in circumstances such as […] when a student’s actions out of school hours bring the school into disrepute” and, once again, the principal is the sole arbiter of what constitutes bringing the school into disrepute—as long as she keeps a suspension shorter than two weeks. Under the law, as she applies it, she could suspend Alfred for quoting scenes from, say, “Shaun of the Dead”, to friends, away from school, at midnight.
    Remember too that Alfred has to obey all rules but the principal decides which rules she will follow; the school’s own policy document states that the “supportive college environment policy incorporates a structured sequence of breaches”, but when I quoted those words and suggested that a suspension for a first offence seemed excessive, the principal airily replied, and I quote:

    I think the incident on Tuesday was a fairly serious breach of our, what we would expect as appropriate behaviour and, um, I would hope that you would also see that that’s not an appropriate way to voice an opinion. Absolutely nothing to do with the opinions students have, it’s the way you spoke to another person— I don’t even think it matters so much it was a public forum, I think it’s an inappropriate way to speak. We treat that really seriously. We really value respectful relationships. I have discretion to suspend students for up to ten days. [emphasis mine]

    So there.

  90. johanna

    You appear to think that the tiny matter of whether the school was legally responsible (yes, had a duty of care) for Alfred at the time he swore at the Green would be irrelevant to anyone tasked with adjudicating his suspension by the school.

    Well, well, the goalposts have shifted. Duty of care is now in brackets, and we have galloped across the plain to the equally irrelevant, but different, “legally responsible”. You should join the school’s legal team.

    The matter is so tiny, it would be barely visible in the distilled essence of Tim Flannery’s credibility as a seer.

    In short, it doesn’t exist.

    Keep digging, though. This is fun.

  91. DrBeauGan

    Deadman, there seems to be no way of getting out of the ten days even though it is clearly grossly excessive punishment for what is merely vulgar abuse under provocation. She has a position not unlike that of a sea captain and the powers are considerable, but she is liable to the complaint of abusing them. And that is where she will be vulnerable. If she tries to impose a punishment for disagreeing with her mates, she is dead meat. She may well be too stupid to see this.it’s already plain that she IS stupid. An intelligent person would have wheedled Alfred, not threatened him. She is clearly insecure, rattled and reduced to bluster. You would have frightened her. You are enormously her superior in education and intellect and this will be painfully clear to her. Hell, she’s frighteneed of Alfred. Coming the heavy authority figure shows that. In due course the education department will gently counsel her not to be so heavy handed and her name will go on a do not promote list.
    If Alfred withdraws the rude words as a generous and conciliatory move, a sensible person would meet him halfway.

  92. DrBeauGan

    Of course, she isn’t a sensible person or she wouldn’t be in this pickle. And sbe is not going to look vood when this goes upstairs. Her sittuation is far worse than Alfred’s. She won’t lose her job. She’ll be stuck in it with the file note that she handled a minor disciplinary problem incompetently.

    I’d nothing for a while until Alfred decides his position. If he reads this thread he will see how the pompous old farts fdel about his frightful crimes. There’s lots of them arond on all sides of poliics.and he needs to know how to manipulate them.
    Let the sill cow srew.

  93. coz

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania-state-election-2014/mckim-hits-the-hustings/story-fnl83ie0-1226834284394
    ^
    Overuse of hand gesture and somewhat confused in direction at 0:07…left, right, it’s all sh!te.

    ‘Arriving at a Colony 47 education advisory meeting at Warrane, the former education minister shares a handshake with Labor minister Brian Wightman, who has just addressed the meeting.

    A quick pit-stop at the office follows, before he fronts media at an NBN press conference at Hobart’s City Hall, where he’s also taking part in a YNot Q&A youth forum, answering questions about gay marriage, jobs, Gonski and public transport put forward by voting-conscious teens.’

    If the Muckury was there, they saw nothing, heard nothing and a saying nothing.

  94. nilk, Iron Bogan

    And then there’s Ted.

    Ted Nugent offered a half-baked apology — “not necessarily to the president” — for calling Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” after liberals objected to the conservative rocker’s presence at campaign events for Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbot.

    “I did cross the line,” Nugent admitted this morning on “The Ben Ferguson Show.” “I do apologize — not necessarily to the president, but on behalf of much better men than myself. Like the best governor in America, Rick Perry; the best attorney general in America — God, just think if America had an attorney general as great as Greg Abbott, like we do here in Texas!”

    The rock star claimed he was wrong to use “the street-fighter terminology of ‘subhuman mongrel.’” He contended that the should have instead used “more understandable language like ‘violator of his oath to the Constitution,’ ‘the liar that he is.’”

    :)

  95. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Mumma Bear does not take lightly to extended assaults on her cub. A cuff over the ear is one thing, more than that is another.

    Mumma Bear is a Greenie. They eat their own young when it comes to deference to Gaia.

  96. A Lurker

    Hi Deadman, am partway through reading the latest postings and given that his scholastic life may become untenable at Hobart College (due to potential future low-level bullying by staff and students) I am wondering if Alfred could get early entrance into university through a scholarship, or early entrance into a trade (or wherever else he is planning on doing with his life). Your son certainly has sufficient fire in his belly and an intelligent head on his shoulders to make an early transition into tertiary study, and given what has happened over the last few days, it might be something to investigate.

  97. johanna

    Lizzie, I take your point, but hope and believe that you are wrong in this case.

    I have seen remarkable transformations along these lines. They don’t give up their beliefs, but like the mothers of sadistic murderers (“he’s a good boy, really”) go all primeval when it comes to the crunch.

    I don’t think that speculating on Alfred’s family circumstances is appropriate, but merely make the comment in the general sense.

  98. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    he’s my son and I shall support him

    There is no greater love, Deadman.

  99. johanna

    nilk, I saw Ted Nugent (on a double with Black Sabbath) in Houston a few decades ago. The audience was the meanest looking bunch of tattooed, pierced, shaggy, unwashed bikers I have ever seen – and as the old joke goes, that was just the women.

    Alcohol was strictly forbidden, but everyone was smoking dope – no problem with bringing bongs in to the venue, which was a large sports stadium. Forgive the lack of detail, for some reason my memories of it are not as sharp as they might be.

    Anyway, Ted and the lads were awesome, and he fired a few shotgun rounds upwards (it was an open air stadium) if he thought people were nodding off. The Sabs were pretty good too – although Ozzy, who was quite chubby and very wasted – wore unfortunate lemon coloured tights. Not a good look. Whereas Ted was leather and buckskin, lean and mean.

    Sorry for the ramble, but I hadn’t thought about that concert in years. Texas is amazing. I doubt that I’ll ever go to a concert where shotguns are fired again.

    Oh, and there was absolutely no violence among the audience, most of whom looked like they’d been let out of prison for the evening. I was alone, and felt (and was) safe at all times.

  100. A fair consequence for the principal/s would be to be publicly stood down for the same amount of time that the Alfred is suspended.

  101. Leigh Lowe

    Draft apology:-

    i called nick mckim a c**t it is true and i am sorry for it

    Punctuate as you see fit, Miss.

  102. Brian of Moorabbin

    Kind of surprised that the Cat’s resident education guru, who has regaled us with his tales of representing oppressed students in their struggles against totalitarian authority, has not popped his head in to give Deadman and Alfred some advice on how to deal with the overly-officious harridens of Hobart….

    Or perhaps, in addition to his support for burly rugby players committing serious physical assault upon schoolchildren, he also supports overly draconian punishments for ‘infractions’ against the sainted Greens outside of the school’s jurisdiction….

  103. Denise

    Sigh. I worked as the administrator of a mission building wells and schools in Sudan before the partition, helping to provide comfort and material help to an Aids orphanage in Zambia and in the squatter camps in South Africa. We had a huge problem with most of our youthful aides who were sponsored and who came from all over the world chiefly America. They were well-intentioned, yet everywhere they went they caused offence to the local black people. (Very much the way Aussie kids do in Asia).

    If anyone was monocultural and tribal it was these yoof. And that culture was one that the locals felt continually gave them the finger. Whether it was whingeing because there was no ice and no Coke, dressing inappropriately, making disparaging remarks about the hospitality and the food provided very sacrificially by the locals, using bad language and showing no respect to the elders of the tribe, making unwelcome overtures to the opposite sex – male and female – they just spent their days riding roughshod over the locals’ values and customs. Half the time they decided it was too much hard yakka and then there was the inconvenience of getting them back home again, getting more people out etc. In Africa it takes a long time to earn trust. What do you think this did to our aspirations of helping these people bring themselves up from their ghettos? Eventually we had to set up a sort of bootcamp training course before ever the aides came out for the long term, so we could weed out the no-hopers from the genuinely committed. So that the no-hopers could realize they weren’t up to it and save everyone a heap of trouble and expense.

    Is it so difficult to teach children to be gracious to others and to debate without abuse? Why do we parents, who after all are providing the means for our children to live without hunger, to be educated and well-clothed (an historical anomaly for much of humankind’s existence) – have to bow down to their cultural icons of debasement? The West was great because people worked themselves out of the hellholes they were born in, now students are trawling in the sewers for our culture. How’s that going to end?

    If after twelve years of schooling our children actually prefer to speak in the patois of football hooligans, we’ve already lost the battle. They talk the talk but won’t walk the walk. If these kids want real authenticity let them go live in Harlem, Detroit or in a London council flat and see how quickly they learn to value what we have and which is taken so lightly.

    If that were my son, I’d back him all the way to these monstrous authorities, but I’d have a few quiet words at home about
    bringing both his parents and homeschooling into disrepute. Ok, ok, so I’m a crusty old reactionary and the lad’s just a boy and I’m being awful picking on him; it just annoys me when we give our enemies the weapons or should I say unicorns to distract from the real issue. Like the children of Israel going down to the Philistines to get their weapons sharpened, in their battles against the Philistines.

    He was heroic for standing up to the collective, but it’s certainly ironic that he does that in the language of another collective. I can’t help, though, thinking about those doomed youth at the Prague Spring in 1956. People in China and elsewhere in jail for speaking truth to power. Students working several jobs at once so they can be the first in their family to go to university and give their children a better life than they had. We are letting them down whenever we don’t draw a line in the sand.

    Maybe if our generation didn’t walk around in Che Guevara T-shirts and grovel to the left, we’d not be in this situation now, where the left is morphing into a juggernaut. That of course is not the boy’s fault.

    Dot, I didn’t realize people were reluctant to reveal their allegiance. I hope you now know where I stand. It was comical though that you asked me to honestly reveal my voting choices, because you’d have no way of knowing whether I was telling the truth or not. As Chesterton said ‘The more he protested his honesty, the faster I counted the spoons’.

  104. Ranga

    The apology you give when you’re not at all sorry for your actions/words :

    “I am very sorry if your feelings have been hurt or you are offended”

  105. calli

    Hush, Brian! Perhaps he’s on trollidays.

  106. A Lurker

    Hi again Deadman, just wondering how you and your son felt about that newspaper article. Did you think you and Alfred were fairly treated by the paper? From my reading of it, the reporter seemed to push a ‘no fault’ line when it came to the behaviour of McKim, and it is interesting that McKim himself said that it was the Principal who contacted his office – which if true, lends credibility to the supposition that the Principal et al at the school, were attempting to ingratiate themselves to the Greens if they weren’t already Green’s supporters/members.

  107. Kind of surprised that the Cat’s resident education guru, who has regaled us with his tales of representing oppressed students in their struggles against totalitarian authority, has not popped his head in to give Deadman and Alfred some advice on how to deal with the overly-officious harridens of Hobart….

    Unlike you’ Brian, some of us work for a living in jobs that don’t allow for blogging on the taxpayers time…

    As regards to this attention seeking twerp – best ignored.
    He should of course make a public apology for his gutter language.
    He can’t be blamed for his ignorance…..obviously a combination of poor genes and experiental deprivation.

  108. Brian of Moorabbin

    Unlike you’ Brian, some of us work for a living in jobs that don’t allow for blogging on the taxpayers time…

    Actually I’m on a ‘Well Earned Break’ (as ABC journos like to call it) at the moment Bob, after having accrued in excess of 25 weeks of leave over the last few years. As such I’m able to enjoy blogging as much as I desire for the next 2 weeks.

  109. Brian of Moorabbin

    obviously a combination of poor genes and experiental (sic) deprivation.

    It’s experiential Bob…

    Is that your way of saying that neither he nor Deadman have a personal anecdote for all occasions, unlike your good self?

  110. .

    No. Alfred shouldn’t apologise, he has been egregiously lied to, mistreated, copped overreach and faced political interference as a private citizen.

  111. .

    The Mercury are also being dishonest and bizarrely acting as Mc Kim’s free PR agent.

  112. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Denise, I am pretty big on imposing civility at home and in public upon my children. I try to model it myself for them (with notable failures, especially when I am driving and imbeciles on the road annoy me). We do discuss how we are all imperfect and how viewpoints on many things vary. All children live in the world as it currently is. Eventually, they find a peer group, and you are not in control of that. You can only hope that as a parent you have set them up to think things through for themselves from the good base you provide. Thanks for your contribution here; it was good to read, and salutary. Overall, I agree with you about pulling kids up to know when they are well off.

    Someone here thought you were a new commenter, but I have noted, as you say, that you have been here occasionally before. It is good to see more women coming to the Cat, imho.

  113. PD of SEQ

    Well I think the boy is wrong. After all, calling some alarmist a c*nt is out of place and a waste of breath. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again; c*nts are useful. (In the nicest possibly way). As a matter of interest, Potemkin’s village is into the argument again.

  114. Armadillo

    It is good to see more women coming to the Cat, imho.

    Yeah, welcome back nUmbers.

  115. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    ‘As regards to ..”

    Numbers. I am seriously hoping you don’t teach anyone English. Deadman could certainly teach you a few things. Dot has already suggested how your spelling (perhaps even your vocabulary) is lacking.

  116. johanna

    ‘Dillo, please don’t insult, offend, threaten and all those other words I can’t recall just now – female contributors here by grouping us with that sad little man.

    Sorry, he’s one of yours. And if you think that classing him with us is just an insult to him, be vevvy, vevvy careful, especially at night, or when you are alone, or … anytime, really!*

    *NaDT – for public purposes, anyway.

  117. Leigh Lowe

    Numbers. I am seriously hoping you don’t teach anyone English.

    No.
    He only teaches (ahem) “life-skills” to numpties.
    For example, “how to catch the only bus in Toowoomba” or “how to buy milk from anywhere but Coles or Woollies”.
    None of his charges are going to be studying the finer points of the laws of grammar.

  118. jumpnmcar

    He can’t be blamed for his ignorance…..obviously a combination of poor genes and experiental deprivation.

    This from someone that alleges he teaches kids with genetic abnormalities.
    Mentally ill monster he is.

  119. Leigh Lowe

    It is good to see more women coming to the Cat, imho.

    In the words of John Cleese from Life of Brian ….. “Are there any women here?”
    The odd one wearing a false beard (and maybe one or two with their own facial hair) may have slipped through, but there can’t many.

  120. boy on a bike

    Nick McKim appears to be a signed up member to a vast globalised, multinational organisation called “global greens“.

    Their charter includes:

    a new vision of citizenship built on equal rights for all individuals regardless of gender, race, age, religion, class, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or health

    I take it this means that a 17 year old has as much of a right to swear in public at someone else as I do. To think otherwise is discrimination and a breach of the rights of the teenager.

    and

    We strive for a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and are able to directly participate in the environmental, economic, social and political decisions which affect their lives; so that power and responsibility are concentrated in local and regional communities, and devolved only where essential to higher tiers of governance.

    Which is exactly what Sprog did.

    and

    strong support for giving young people a voice through educating, encouraging and assisting youth involvement in every aspect of political life including their participation in all decision making bodies.
    that all elected representatives are committed to the principles of transparency, truthfulness, and accountability in governance.

    Which is exactly what Sprog did.

    and

    significant involvement of youth culture as a valuable contribution to our Green vision, and recognition that young people have distinct needs and modes of expression.

    Which means they can be sweary – an Greens have no problems with that.

    and

    Condemn all dictatorships and regimes which deny human rights, regardless of their political claims

    Which means McKim must condemn the school for their dictatorial actions.

    Petard. Hoisted.

  121. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    The odd one wearing a false beard (and maybe one or two with their own facial hair) may have slipped through, but there can’t many.

    hahahahahahahaha

    Noooo. We live as angels in the sky above the Cat, Leigh, and swoop down occasionally.
    Valkyries, did I hear you say? Just call me Brunhilde.

  122. schroed

    [Charming - the person you are abusing is a minor. Sinc]

  123. johanna

    Well spotted, BOAB. I think that McKim will be backing away from this rapidly.

    And, hey! I thought that false beard was pretty convincing. Are you trying to mess with my self-esteem, or something? Because if so, I’ll report you to The Greens, and we all know what happens after that …

  124. Oh come on

    Johanna, you can only claim I was moving the goalposts if you had a clear idea of what your initial gripe with what I wrote was in the first place. Yet you haven’t been able to elaborate beyond some huffing and puffing over my wholly accurate and relevant use of the term ‘duty of care’. And now you seem to think placing this in parentheses somehow radically alters my position, which is rather bizarre.

    Now, Johanna. It’s pretty clear what’s gone on here. You had some beef with me and decided to try and take me down a peg or two. Unfortunately this effort flatlined, and so you desperately tried to bluff me into surrendering to whatever confused point you were trying to make. That didn’t work out either, so now you’re floundering about trying to ping me on something – anything.

    Man. This is boring. Look, you keep grasping at straws all you like and I’ll go and find something worthy of my attention, all right?

  125. johanna

    I’ll go and find something worthy of my attention, all right?

    Excellent idea. Bye.

  126. Denise

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.
    #1198752, posted on February 22, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Denise, I am pretty big on imposing civility at home and in public upon my children. I try to model it myself for them (with notable failures, especially when I am driving and imbeciles on the road annoy me). We do discuss how we are all imperfect and how viewpoints on many things vary. All children live in the world as it currently is. Eventually, they find a peer group, and you are not in control of that. You can only hope that as a parent you have set them up to think things through for themselves from the good base you provide. Thanks for your contribution here; it was good to read, and salutary. Overall, I agree with you about pulling kids up to know when they are well off.

    Someone here thought you were a new commenter, but I have noted, as you say, that you have been here occasionally before. It is good to see more women coming to the Cat, imho.

    Thanks for those kind words. Somebody had to be a bit severe; after all the wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy lol.

    ‘Course if I stepped barefoot on a piece of Lego in the dark I wouldn’t be singing the Hallelujah chorus. But that’s at home. And of course what the chillun say in private is none of my beeswax.

    But out there’s different. It’s a fight to the death with those that really, really hate us. They hate us the way we hate cockroaches and want our extermination. And rat cunning and all well versed in that Fabian handbook Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals so adept at the media spin. Let’s face it a lie goes three times round the world before truth even laces its shoes. So this is no time to be ‘young and naive’.

    BTW we found at the mission that a disproportionate number of our best aides came from dysfunctional homes. Our Sudan team leader – started off in this work whilst still a teenager – and aged prematurely by the physical rigours of the work ( recurrent malaria, constant threat of river blindness, horrible weather, depredations of the National Front, dehydration, intestinal parasites, and having to eat with a smile delicacies like sheeps’ eyes and stewed okra which made him all shivery with disgust) – was raised with his seven siblings and a single parent in a trailer park in Arizona so he could identify with the Sudanese and fully aware of the benefits to them of the education that had taken him from a life of squalor to one of purpose and service to others. And there were many just like him; fully motivated to provide real foreign aid, not condoms and wind farms.

    I think I’ve exhausted myself on this subject now.

    Have you ever heard Anna Russell on ‘Wagner’s Ring Cycle’? She lived in Woy Woy for a long time in her old age and quite liked it. Another person who overcame a horrible upbringing. As did Billy Connolly of course – though IMHO he hasn’t quite mastered the art of the philosopher’s stone, he seems to me to be still driven by volcanic anger, hence the constant swearing, because of the terrible betrayals of his youth.

  127. Senile Old Guy

    At risk of sounding repetitive, I hope not leftish, ‘context’ is always crucial, with regard to language as well as to much else. Developing an acute comprehension of a variety of contextual modes (tribal understandings) and becoming a fine, if manipulative, practitioner of these is a learned skill never wasted.

    What I was trying to say but expressed much better by Gab.

    To OCO, he signed an enrolment form. That makes it a school function.

    To Numbers: wrong. The factual content of Alfred’s statement (wrt 97%) was accurate.

    I in no way support the school’s actions and good luck to Deadman and Alfred.

  128. Perhaps Alfred can use this time to do some business studies in e.g. the design and production of T-shirts with a 3% logo as described Splatacrobat and marketed by social media to his fellow inmates.

    Meanwhile, being a YNOT forum, it was funded by the Tas. Premier’s department and non-government players. YNOT says it’s about:

    Ensuring environments are inclusive of young people where they are respected and heard. This will be implemented by facilitating effective communication, collaboration and networking between young people, service providers, governments, other key players and the community.

    Alfred should also apologize for describing McKim as something useful. McKim is feckless and may as a consequence, indeed not be a liar: Simply gullible and unable to form his own ciritical and rational thoughts. As such, he may simply be resonating what he hears.

  129. Oh come on

    I may have got the wrong end of the stick, but I was under the impression that the enrolment form was signed so Alfred could enrol in the school. You don’t usually ‘enrol’ in school functions, to my knowledge.

    If the school had no duty of care over Alfred at the time and he was not representing them officially or even tacitly (say, by wearing a school uniform), I don’t see how it could be claimed to be a school function.

    Based on what facts have been presented thus far, the school overstepped its authority by suspending him. They have no jurisdiction over his conduct in his own private time – assuming this conduct does not bring the school into disrepute.

    Of course the principal is claiming that somehow people might associate this boy with the school even though it would seem he did not identify himself in any way as being a student of Hobart College, but any reasonable person will reject that out of hand, which is why the principal is refusing to even discuss the matter. She’s hoping Alfred will suck it up and move on. I really really hope he fights back over this, as I reckon he has a good chance of causing the trigger-happy school admin a headache they won’t forget any time soon.

  130. Stephen of Glasshouse

    Wasn’t there a previous pm who opined that a member of cabinet was a dumb c#$t?
    That would be a link worth looking up..

  131. They have no jurisdiction over his conduct in his own private time

    Oh come on, that’s what any reasonable person would say, I hope. Unfortunately, as I explain above, the principal appears to consider (based on the Act, departmental guidelines, and her own school rules) that she may regard any of her students, at any time in or out of school hours, to be completely answerable to her and, even if she suspend a student for the maximum of ten school days, she will be answerable to no higher authority for any punishment she feels like applying.
    The relevant departmental guideline is this:

    Principals may also need to take disciplinary action in circumstances such as the following: when a student harasses a teacher out of school hours; when a student damages school property out of school hours; and when a student’s actions out of school hours bring the school into disrepute. (“Discipline Guidelines”, p. 6)

    The person who decides what constitutes bringing “the school into disrepute” is the principal. If she suspend a student for thinking inappropriately or contrary to her whim, there would seem to be no appeal in Tasmanian law.

  132. Leigh Lowe

    I think Alfred should use his three-day sabbatical to ask himself what his objectives were, which may include:-
    (1) Letting off steam at a Green muppet;
    (2) Demonstrating McKim was repeating an urban myth;
    (3) Impressing the Year 11 girl with the cute turned up nose, sky blue eyes and correctly placed bumps in her school jumper.
    Mind you, none of these objectives is more worthy than any other, but it might be worth reflecting on the true intent and what might have been the best method of achieving that.
    (Oh, and if the answer should be (3) please seek no further advice from this quarter).

  133. Tel

    I take it this means that a 17 year old has as much of a right to swear in public at someone else as I do. To think otherwise is discrimination and a breach of the rights of the teenager.

    Agreed. I don’t think swearing in public is a good idea, but due to my belief in free speech I must support other people’s right to do it.

    The person who decides what constitutes bringing “the school into disrepute” is the principal. If she suspend a student for thinking inappropriately or contrary to her whim, there would seem to be no appeal in Tasmanian law.

    That’s pretty weird, I guess the decision has to fall on someone’s shoulders. In that case, the best Alfred can do is get a written statement from the principal (for future reference) and then find something useful to do with the days off. If the principal was running a private business I would support her decision not to serve a customer for arbitrary reasons, but in that case you could just take your custom elsewhere. A school that is supported by taxpayers isn’t exactly a private business.

    Mind you, if the media get heavily involved now, the whole incident could bring the school into disrepute. Maybe the principal could give herself a few weeks off for blowing things out of proportion.

  134. Stephen of Glasshouse

    Hmmmm..The Ombudsman route in the guidelines looks to be interesting. I hope the school dotted the i’s etc in all correspondence to Alfred ..

  135. Tel

    Perhaps Alfred can use this time to do some business studies in e.g. the design and production of T-shirts with a 3% logo as described Splatacrobat and marketed by social media to his fellow inmates.

    I think that probably would be actively bringing the school into disrepute, and perhaps a bit over the top as well. I think it’s better to stay focussed on stuff that matters like trying to get an education… just say, “I can stand up to bullying without escalating the situation” and get on with life.

  136. Tel

    From the newspaper:

    Alfred had been bussed from school to the forum, attended by other students and teachers. He said he would return on Wednesday.

    Is that correct?

  137. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    ‘Course if I stepped barefoot on a piece of Lego in the dark I wouldn’t be singing the Hallelujah chorus.

    LOL Denise. I still bear the scar on my instep of a midnight darkness Lego attack from ten years ago.
    It was more painful than childbirth. Well, almost. Certainly more intensified and concentrated.
    So much so that I lost all linguistic variety. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, rinse and repeat x 21.

    Motherhood. Pehaps that will stike a sentimental chord of memory with Mumma Bear. Hope so.

  138. Oh come on

    Good question. If the school bussed him there, then I’m afraid the principal is probably within her rights to suspend Alfred. In that case, DrBeauGan’s sample apology is probably about as risque as you’d want to be.

  139. Oh come on

    If it turns out that Alfred can demonstrate he was attending as a private citizen, it’s just crossed my mind that “our” Tim Wilson, when he takes up his position on the HRC, might be able to bring some pressure to bear on the matter. This principal, who appears to believe she has the right to regulate the speech of students attending her school even when they are not at the school or are representing the school in any way, needs someone to shine a bright light on her interesting ideas.

  140. Carpe Jugulum

    Tim Wilson, when he takes up his position on the HRC, might be able to bring some pressure to bear on the matter

    That is a very interesting point, i wonder if Mr Wilson would be amenable to advocating on this young mans behalf.

    Free speech & all.

  141. .

    This bussing nonsense is nonsense.

    If you are are bussed from home to school and back by your school, rather than a bus company, then your entire frickin’ life as a child is a “school excursion from 5 to 18.

    This is nonsense.

  142. Oh come on

    If they were responsible for his transportation to the event, it’s going to be very easy for them to claim it was a school-organised visit and consequently he was bound by the school’s code of conduct.

    I don’t know what his position would be if his father wanted to go legal – surely the school couldn’t claim he wasn’t there as a private citizen if there was no slip sent home to be signed by his parents giving the school permission to take him.

    But in the court of public opinion, I suspect the fact that he caught the school’s bus there (if indeed he did) will convince most that the principal was within her rights to discipline him.

  143. .

    Or, the school can be fingered for taking kids to a political rally and being utterly naive on the actual results.

  144. .

    “as to what the actual results may be”

  145. Gab

    Or, the school can be fingered for taking kids to a political rally and being utterly naive on the actual results.

    Good point. What in heaven’s name was the school doing busing students to a Green rally? Has the school sent students along to a Liberal event?

  146. Oh come on

    That’s certainly another angle to explore, but I don’t think it’s going to get Alfred out of his current pickle, more’s the pity.

  147. Gab

    Sometimes getting someone out of a pickle involves moving the heat back onto the enemy.

    Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it

  148. Oh come on

    Gab, that’s only going to work if you can convince enough people that Alfred was a victim of a capricious school administration. The fact that he went to the forum on the school’s bus makes that task a LOT more difficult – probably impossible. And the enemy knows it. That’s why they went to great pains to mention it in the Mercury article.

    I’m still holding out hope that it’s been misrepresented or is a flat out falsehood.

  149. Gab

    that’s only going to work if you can convince enough people that Alfred was a victim of a capricious school administration

    No the point is you move the spotlight away from Alfred and onto the school admin by raising questions over what the school was doing supporting a Greens candidate by sending students along to a Greens rally and asking if students were also sent along to any other political events – and if not why not.

  150. Oh come on

    Even with some quality publicity, I’m not convinced that would barely register a blip on the care factor radar of your average Tasmanian, Gab. A great number of them don’t seem to have all that much of a problem with the Greens.

  151. Eddie Sharpe

    Then the school should be teaching erudition, but the student seemed to know more about getting his message across to emotive Greenies.

  152. Oh come on

    They’re the kind that love democracy – as long as the party they support is always in government. And yes of course if Alfred called a Liberal MP a cnut and was suspended as a result, they’d all be outraged and be calling for the principal to be fired.

    What can you do? Choose your battles wisely, that’s what. If Alfred took the school’s bus to the forum, this is one to pass on.

  153. Eddie Sharpe

    Alfred, you can’t talk like that. Learn how to put down proper.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but without the learning experience of this exchange that happened we wouldnt even have the benefit of it for that.

    Alfred may have chosen the wrong word in the heat of the moment, but that’s what thinking on your feet is all about.

    Next time he’ll know how to do it better .

    Next time he may use the other ‘c’ word, the one that Greenies are known for.

  154. King Knut

    Alfred should just suck up the ‘punishment’ because he said it wrong, and use the time and the experience to learn how to say it better. Better so that the message isn’t overshadowed by the delivery, and the Leftards are left nowhere to hide from the lies they promulgate.

  155. Walter Tsunoobee

    Alfred might consider apologising very openly for the manner of the delivery, while using the apology as a platform to restate and get his message across, whatever that is.
    A letter in the local paper (if the editing can be trusted) ?
    An ‘open letter’ to the McKim candidate ?

    Apologising unreservedly for the delivery,
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8594194/Outrage-as-Lord-Monckton-calls-Australian-climate-change-scientist-a-Nazi.html

    while criticising the politicians unthinking use of discredited propaganda on schoolchildren.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/03/cooks-97-consensus-disproven-by-a-new-paper-showing-major-math-errors/

  156. J. Hartley

    Does appeal to the 97% myth demonstrates just how cynical or how dim this McKim candidate is ?

  157. Denise

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.
    #1199211, posted on February 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    LOL Denise. I still bear the scar on my instep of a midnight darkness Lego attack from ten years ago.
    It was more painful than childbirth. Well, almost. Certainly more intensified and concentrated.
    So much so that I lost all linguistic variety. F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, rinse and repeat x 21.

    Lizzie, my poor little instep was not half as blue as the air. In this case, swearing was probably better than murder. Yes, stepping on Lego’s up there with childbirth and going to the dentist.

    J. Hartley
    #1199495, posted on February 23, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Does appeal to the 97% myth demonstrates just how cynical or how dim this McKim candidate is ?

    No, it’s the collective mindset; they always assume that the authority of the mob is as appealing to others as to them. That’s why they hate that of the West which is predicated on the Judeo-Christian assertion of the superiority of the individual over the state. As indicated by gems like this: ‘Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil’ – lying, stealing and coveting being three of the prohibitions in the Ten Commandments the Greens regularly flout. The Book stands in judgment of them and they can’t hack it.

    Gab
    #1199384, posted on February 22, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    that’s only going to work if you can convince enough people that Alfred was a victim of a capricious school administration

    No the point is you move the spotlight away from Alfred and onto the school admin by raising questions over what the school was doing supporting a Greens candidate by sending students along to a Greens rally and asking if students were also sent along to any other political events – and if not why not.

    IMHO this is strategically the best way to get them on the back foot, by blaring this with a megaphone. Maybe we can all write letters to our local rags with this emphasis. Also the irony of them pretending to be champions of liberty and then trying to shut down dissent.

  158. Oh come on

    IMHO this is strategically the best way to get them on the back foot, by blaring this with a megaphone.

    Considering the circumstances, I doubt any campaign you run will move beyond preaching to the choir, which would be a waste of time in my opinion. Best of luck, anyway.

  159. .

    I find the idea that using the school’s bus to get there binds you to their rules a little hard to swallow given the other details of the event.

    The principal was lying, and the school was playing politics.

    Their best option is to sweep it under the rug.

  160. Andrew

    I would suggest that if Alfred had used polite words then he would have been ignored, and his point lost into the forgettery of the Left. So good on him for taking up arms against the enemy of reason.

    I agree. I want these filth to know how much decent people loathe them and their evil. That grub that is possibly going to be the WA senator – made sure I explained in detail what a disgraceful grub he is, to him, and how sickened I am by my first impressions of him and his politics of hate and bile.

  161. Chris

    I agree. I want these filth to know how much decent people loathe them and their evil. That grub that is possibly going to be the WA senator – made sure I explained in detail what a disgraceful grub he is, to him, and how sickened I am by my first impressions of him and his politics of hate and bile.

    You don’t think that’s a bit pot-kettle-black? I thought the espoused purpose of this website was to reach-out to others, share opinions and bring them into the fold through the overpowering correctness of your beliefs? But much as some people are put off Alfred’s argument by his choice of words, I’d have a guess that referring to people as ‘filth’, ‘leftards’ and other insult words is likely to have that effect, too.

  162. The inevitable “Downfall” parody contains extremely offensive language.

  163. Mike of Marion

    Deadman, I’ve saved the ‘School Hitler” as it will surely be ‘attacked’ later and YT will be asked to delete it!! Well done.

  164. .

    Chris
    #1201399, posted on February 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm
    I agree. I want these filth to know how much decent people loathe them and their evil. That grub that is possibly going to be the WA senator – made sure I explained in detail what a disgraceful grub he is, to him, and how sickened I am by my first impressions of him and his politics of hate and bile.

    You don’t think that’s a bit pot-kettle-black? I thought the espoused purpose of this website was to reach-out to others, share opinions and bring them into the fold through the overpowering correctness of your beliefs? But much as some people are put off Alfred’s argument by his choice of words, I’d have a guess that referring to people as ‘filth’, ‘leftards’ and other insult words is likely to have that effect, too.

    Shut the fuck up you boring leftard imbecile.

  165. Chris

    Shut the fuck up you boring leftard imbecile.

    XXX

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