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EVERYTHING BUT: In other words


Ridley Greene

EVERYTHING BUT: In other words

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When I hear these days of a student stabbing the other in the chest, or connecting a stone to the ear lobe of an unsuspecting other, I shudder at how dangerous the school compound has become.
When a student is so violent and consequently uncontrollable, and, to save her victim from pulverization, a battalion of able-bodied male teachers must summon all their will and strength to lift her off the premises and set her down outside the imposing iron gates, I wonder where the good old happy school days went.
When a student, armed with a big-rock, bulldozes himself through tiers of human barricades, depositing himself in the school office in pursuit of God knows whom, I ask myself whatever happened to the notion teachers deserve respect, if for no other reason than they are adult and have more knowledge than their charges.
When a pupil stands amidst his peers in the classroom and gives his teacher a piece of his mind – bluntly, succinctly, and X-rated – I agonize about what his parents might be like; then visualize them sentenced to community service on Broad Street.
When a teacher, if he attempts to remove a recalcitrant young boor from the classroom, might be accused of assault and have wily parents, a principal and the Ministry of Education breathing fire down his neck, I ponder on what Minister of Education Ronald Jones is not doing about his demon-possessed brats.
Truth be told, I am not sure Courtney Selman and his prayer warriors can boast much of a decrease in this devilry and delinquent and violent conduct in our schools. Frankly, all this supplication and touted exorcism ain’t cutting it.
The antidote to much of this lawlessness is a trashed behind, a good cut-ass. But Minister Jones says he is not in for this bottom whipping – not any more.
The trendy propaganda nowadays is that flogging – or the officialese corporal punishment – is brutal and uncivilized; trampling on children’s rights. That “communication” and negotiation with the little hot tin head is the solution to classroom vagabondness.
I’ll give the modernists this: some “communication” could work: getting the little darlings to express their thoughts and imageries in a respectable language – standard English. The problem is too many of our young conjure up their wishes and intentions in the modes of the 300 rpm party music and the decadent dance hall.
A brain that has challenges engaging its cells in lucidity and productive reasoning, out of frustration will seek muscle from its neighbouring appendages – like the hand with a weapon. Clarity of thought could dramatically help minds think through intended action; be a deterrent against wanton lawlessness.
People who speak good English are at peace with themselves – even when they have to be critical of others. Insisting on the speaking of good English always at school could go a very long way.
Students would understand their teachers better (those who speak proper English themselves); they would write better and more interesting papers; and they could influence their poorer relatives back at home. They would enjoy reading more and live longer in the land which the Lord our God has given them.
Demons do not speak good English. Ask Emile Straker about Conrad who would hide out in Doris’ belly.
Admittedly, teachers have been bombarded with all kinds of initiatives, theories and bright ideas from people who no longer give instruction, or worst, never faced a classroom of students at all.
As the new trend goes, teachers should engage, discuss, entertain and stimulate their charges, being ever the epitome of anger control. Really, teachers ought to be allowed occasionally to be none of the above; just to experience a period where they may impart in peace and quiet something of value.
Teachers could do this if they don’t have to fear for their lives, or be overly concerned about violent disruptions on the school premises.
I insist communication in proper English could do the trick.

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