And Another Thing…


First Stupid Thing I’ve Heard in 2009

Hair-splitting semantics run amok:

School bans the word ‘school’


THE head of a new school has banned the word “school” – in case it upsets pupils’ parents.

Watercliffe Meadow is known as a “Place for Learning” because staff say “school” has a negative impact on some mums and dads.

The new £4.7million academy in Sheffield, South Yorks, replaced three old schools.

Its 481 pupils, from nursery to Year 6, are allowed to wear slippers instead of shoes.

Headteacher Linda Kingdon said: “We decided we didn’t want to use the word ‘school’.

“One reason was many parents of children here had very negative connotations of school.

“Instead we want this to be a place for family learning.

“There are no bells or locked doors. We wanted to de-institutionalise the place and bring the school closer to real life.” 

What negative connotation does the word “school” have exactly? Where did Ms. Kingdon get the idea? Did the parents demand the change? If not, how did anyone draw this conclusion?

I love the quotes about letting the children wear slippers and not having any locked doors, especially since these things are a part of “bringing the school closer to real life.”

Where, in the real world, is anyone allowed to wear slippers outside of their home? Where in the real world do we not have locked doors? This reminds me of some of the things that my friends at state schools used to say to me about attending a Christian college, such as “How do you learn anything about the real world?” Apparently, this was the real world where Mom and Dad paid for everything, you got to sleep in every day until 10, and nobody cared about your appearance when you went to work.

But hey, I’ll play along. I don’t know if England’s public schools are in the same sorry shape as ours, but based on the work stories some of my teacher friends tell me, maybe the U.S. should try some alternative names for our schools:

Gang Recruitment and Initiation Center

Facility for the Cultivation of Unwarranted Self-Esteem

Parental Failure to Discipline Correctional Unit

Place for Junior-League Responsibility Aversion Training and Sociopathy Development

Metal Detector Testing Site

Well, you get the picture. Any other alternatives you care to suggest?

Filed under: Rants, School, , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. David B says:

    “The George Costanza Jerk-Development Store”

    “You University” (oh wait, I think there’s actually one out there)

    There’s a lot of things my kids at church tell me that go on at schools these days that have nothing to do with learning or development, and it seems like the inmates are the ones running the asylum. I know home-schooling gets a bad rap, but amazingly enough, when my kids turn 18 I’d like them to actually know something and I’m strongly considering it.

  2. derail says:

    WOW. I was not aware that things had evolved to be so rediculous in some schools. That is just craziness. Thanks for posting this.

  3. odgie says:

    Dave – I used to share the general disdain for home-schooling, until I met some people who did it right. While some home-schooled children turn out bass-ackwards if their parents don’t know what they are doing, many of them turn out better educated and much more self-assured and socially adept than other kids their age. I think it depends on the kids and the parents.

    Derail – Welcome and thanks for commenting. Feel free to poke around.

    Let me also clarify that none of this should reflect on teachers – there are a lot of good teachers out there trying their best in a failing and non-supportive system.

  4. Brian says:

    yeah, let’s bring our kids closer to the real world of child-molesters, kidnappers and rapists, by not believing in locked doors…

  5. odgie says:

    Brian – good (and disturbing) point.

  6. It was the “no locked doors” line that really floored me, too.

    How about the “Open Smorgasbord for Pedophiles”?

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