Thursday, 29 June 2017

Deliberately frightening children

in an attempt to teach them a version of history is wrong.
A newspaper in another state has reported that a school informed a class of ten year old children that their parents were not looking after them very well so they were going to be taken away from them. 
If that is true, and it would seem to be, then it was an appalling thing to do.
The school has justified it as a way of teaching the children about "the Stolen Generation". This is the term for the indigenous children who were, it is said, forcibly removed from their families and sent away to be brought up in white man's ways. 
It has been the subject of much political and social debate. There are many arguments about it, the way it is said to have been implemented, how many were involved, the effect that it had - and more. 
Like any other controversial issue, especially one which might lead to monetary compensation, facts have been overlooked, exaggerated, rewritten, misinterpreted, and more. The reality is much less palatable. I wish my friend, my "other-mother" R, was still alive and could address the federal parliament on the issue and have every television and radio station in the country broadcast it as she did. People may think differently then. 
They would not be setting out to "teach children about history" by frightening them. 
At the time this came up there was a little snippet of information put up by someone else. Her granddaughter was making Eid cards at daycare - to give to her Muslim friends. They apparently celebrate all sorts of things at that day care centre. It sounds like a pretty good place to me. The children have to be learning about the amazing, diverse ways of thinking and believing among people in a much more positive and healthy way.
How much better it would have been to teach the children who were given that frightening story about being taken away an indigenous folk tale. What they were told was a deliberate lie that has the potential to do great harm. 
Whatever you believe about the Stolen Generation that is not acceptable.

1 comment:

Stroppy Author said...

Indeed, this is stealing another generation. What a terrible way of going about it. Even if they had just started by saying 'imagine...' Then you get an extra lesson, too: empathy. This is truly horrible :-(