Monday, 14 December 2009


It's a hot day in Perth and I don't need the radio voice to tell me that it’s 39 degrees outside of the taxi. We learn from travelling. A local story about bullying at school, for instance. A piece of news that could easily be picked up by international agencies to fill the columns of newspapers worldwide. If it ain’t news, then they make it news. And when you follow a handful of online newspapers of different countries, then you soon find out that they all copy from each other, especially for this kind of little bizarre stories.

In an effort to curb the growing problem of school kids bullying each other during recess time, an Australian principal appears to have had a luminous idea: just shorten the time of the break with 10 minutes. Problem solved. No need to teach children how to respect each other; forget about the hassle of punishing them and having to defend that approach to the nosey parents. No. Just lock them up, back into the classroom, as quickly as possible, like a herd of sheep driven into the stable. When asked about his motivation for the measure during the radio interview, he responds: “We have observed that children get bored after a while during recess, and we believe that then the bullying starts”. So the pupils never get bored in the classroom? When I think back of my own school time, they had better shortened each class with ten minutes as well…

No comments: