Snitching on students

Filed under: Tweens, Teens, Day Care & Education

Chalk on a blackboardAs a teacher, here in the U.S., my wife is required to report suspected cases of child abuse or endangerment. If she sees or hears something that indicates there could be a problem, she is obligated to contact child protective services. I'm okay with that -- sometimes, kids need protection even from their own family. In England, however, it seems the government wants to take that a step further -- by having teachers report potential terrorists to the police.

The plan extends the "in loco parentis" responsibilities of teachers to include keeping an eye out for pupils who consider violent extremism an option. Francis Gilbert, a teacher who would have to watch out for these disgruntled teenagers (are there really any other kind?), has written a critique of the idea noting that students, aware that their teachers might turn them in, would be afraid to say anything that might be considered anti-establishment.

The teenage years, especially, are a time when kids rebel against the status quo, looking for ways to solve the problems they see and improve society. From the Beatles to Romeo and Juliet, this is part of growing up, part of becoming the next generation. Setting teacher out to crush that is a very bad idea.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.