Friday Thought – Is School Better Now?

These scenerios from a friend may possibly not be as far fetched as you might imagine!                                               

SCHOOL  –  1963 vs. 2013

Scenario : 
Johnny and Mark get into a fight after school. 

1963   Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.

2013 –  Police called, and they arrest Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it. Both children go to anger management programmes for 3 months. School governors hold meeting to implement bullying prevention programmes.

Scenario :
Robbie won’t be still in class, disrupts other students. 

1963 –  Robbie  sent to the office and given six of the best by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2013 –  Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADHD – result deemed to be positive. Robbie’s parents get fortnightly disability payments and school gets extra funding from government because Robbie has a disability.

Scenario  :
Billy breaks a window in his neighbour’s car 
and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt. 

1963 –  Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2013 –  Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care; joins a gang; ends up in jail.  

Scenario  :
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school. 

1963 –  Mark gets glass of water from Principal to take aspirin with. Passes exams, becomes a solicitor.

2013 –  Police called, Mark searched for drugs and weapons.   Mark expelled from school for drug taking. Ends up as a drop out.

Scenario  :
Johnny takes apart leftover fireworks from Guy Fawkes night, puts them in a paint tin & blows up a wasp’s nest. 

1963 –  Wasps die.

2013 –  Police & Anti-Terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny’s Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly in an airplane again.

Scenario  :
Johnny falls over while running during morning break and scrapes his knee.  
He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. She hugs him to comfort him. 

1963 –  In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing footie. No damage done.

2013 –  Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy and ends up gay.   

So, were they the good old days after all?

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15 comments

  • This post makes painfully clear how warped are the times we live in. Hello modern day Roman Empire in decline.

  • Hi Julia, including this in the BritMums Education Roundup for May, as post the both itself and the comments are so thought provoking. I agree with so much of what you say, but also find myself agreeing with Adrian and his comments.

  • On the dot! you’re a rare one 🙂

  • I’m old enough to have gone to school in 1963. In the 60’s I went to a boy’s grammar school where you were beaten for any minor infringement. Result – constant disruption and war of attrition between masters and boys. The worst behaved people were completely inured to it. It didn’t work either as a sanction or in terms of ruling by fear. Ah yes, the good old days. Some of us remember them quite clearly…

  • oliverquinlan537148301

    I read this and have to say I find the implicit message in the last one that ‘ending up gay’ is an undesirable outcome to be utterly offensive.

    • I understand where you are coming from. The tone of most of them are of a similar ilk I think to strengthen the writer’s idea that the old days are the best.

  • Interesting post. I’ve forwarded it on to all the Old School school teachers I know.

    There’s nothing wrong with looking back now and again. It makes you see the flaws AND benefits of life 50 years apart; see how far we have come in some ways and how we’ve gone too far in others.

    Happy Sunday.

  • I agree people may be a bit oversensitive to drugs nowadays.
    But you want to go back to corporal punishment? Really? Children being seen and not heard?

  • liz2you

    You really got us thinking now, Julia, especially Adrian, and yes; it is often difficult to think back on your past and extract negatives, because as humans, its more comforting to dwell on the happy and good memories. And there is no harm in that!
    The world ouside has terrible things going on, and yes Adrian, it was going on then too; difference is today communication is so fast and easy, and the media love to paint black pictures rather than rosy, just for effect!
    Thanks Julia!
    Liz

  • There is positive and negative in every situation and generation, but they on the whole there was a lot more common sense back then.

  • I clapped after reading your post because of all the positive outcome to each scenario 1963 timeline. On the other hand, Adrian doesn’t make bad points either.

    Anyway, I like your post. There’s still a lot of good to be seen here.

  • Pingback: Guest post | @avawhinge

  • Adrian O'Connor

    I don’t think they were the good old days. I’ll happily admit that I’m not a fan of sentimental ‘remember when’ posts — and I’m seeing them an awful lot on Facebook lately amongst my friends and peers. Maybe it’s a sign we’re getting old. I think that these feelings exposes a flaw in our human nature — we’re far too keen to believe that the past, and especially our own past, was somehow more worthy and honourable than the present (and especially the present of the younger generations). I think for all of these you could write just as many ‘remember when’ statements about things that were far worse in the 60’s. 70’s and 80’s than they are today. Our rose-tinted spectacles decieve us.

    Remember when victims of bullying were told to man up/stop being jessies?

    Remember when adults could arbitrarily ‘punish’ children using physical violence without any accountability? Without any reason?

    Remember when husbands could beat their wife and people would be happy (relieved, even) to look the other way?

    Remember when growing up in a working class family meant a life-time of being working class, thanks to the many-faceted glass ceiling of the old class system?

    Remember when quirky celebreties were given crazy positions of power, and allowed to abuse young girls?

    Sorry to spin a negative, devil’s advocate tone, but this is my genuine reaction to these statements.

    P.S. Would the police really be called for a child taking Asprin to school? Would a child or his father end up on a terroism list for blowing up a tin of paint? Would police be called to a school fight unless something went seriously wrong?

    P.P.S. The ADHD issue appears to be a serious problem, and we appear to be failing a large number of children who simply don’t fit the mould of our current one-size-fits-all education system. However, we didn’t do much for those children in the past either, we just called them stupid and put them on a joke ‘special needs’ programme. I’m not sure that’s any better.

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