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!
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.