Political correctness gone too far

I was online checking my mail and chatting to J, new Primary NQT and she says to me that while I was online she wanted to get a few ideas for teaching science.

So I said fire away and she did and this is what she said

“As you’re a science teacher, I would like some ideas on how to teach fitness and healthy diets to 6-7 year olds”

I don’t usually deal with the mess that is Biology as you all know, though I adore studying it I think it’s a bit messy to teach as it’s not really logical. So I thought about it a bit and came back with an idea gleaned from my TEFL course, taking it from a group dynamics standpoint.

“Why don’t you,“ says I “get some paired pictures of fat people and fit people and get the kids to mill about the class until they find someone else with the same picture. When they are in pairs they can talk about their pictures and how they are different and say which one looks like he may live longer/be fitter etc.”

To which she replied, “We can’t do that! We have to be sensitive to body sizes and shapes these days so we can’t discriminate against fat people in case the fatties in our class get upset!”

Well fuck me! That makes things a bit difficult then don’t it! You’re meant to teach about how a lack of sport makes you fat without using the word “fat”. It’s a bit like Taboo this…

How the fuck are we meant to prevent the propagation of fat bastards if we don’t make them realise that they are fat and useless at an early age? No seriously, how the hell are people going to be able to take it seriously when we are too scared to look them in the eye and say “Look mate being fat is not really good for you. You are at greater risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, not getting laid etc”

We all know that the facts above are true, but we are too scared to really do anything about it, but we continue to show images of perfect people in media, while simultaneously banging on about how bad it is to be fat in the press. But in schools, where we can really make a difference, political correctness has taken gagged teachers from being able to really affect the situation.

If little Johnny has his conscience pricked in school by a small group discussion about how fat people and fit people differ then maybe he’ll try and do something about it. But if we leave little Johnny to become really big Johnny because he can’t understand the news articles about Diabetes and overeating in the daily papers, then surely we have done more harm than hurting his feelings.

Isn’t it time we stopped fucking around, stopped skirting the issues that matter through fear of stepping on toes and really stepped up and made a difference?

This whole incident reminds me of a similar incident that I heard about during my PGCE when Clara came back and said that they had been told that they were no longer allowed to use the term “Brainstorm” in lessons to describe the process whereby you elicit ideas from the class and put them on the whiteboard.

The reason for this government brainwave? The term “Brainstorm” is also used in the upper echelons of surgery to describe an epileptic fit. And by using the term brainstorm in class (you have to bear in mind that Clara is a primary teacher too) the epileptics would get offended and cry.

So I changed my advice to a much simpler version.

“Tell them to turn to page 59 and do questions 1-4. That way they can’t blame you if they see any offensive things written about fat people and they can cry as much as they want”

Lord help us all.
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