Ann Farmer’s thought for today: School, the perfect safe space for debate

Simon Langton Boys’ Grammar School in Canterbury has reportedly sparked outrage on the internet by creating a deliberately ‘unsafe space’ for pupils to argue the merits of feminism and study Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The optional after-school sessions are extremely popular.

It is ironic for outrage to be expressed on the internet, home to outrages that have damaged so many young lives by exposing them to appalling images in their formative years. Young people are also exposed to extremist rants, and surely it is better for them to discuss these rationally, and challenge them at school or college – the perfect safe space for debate.
Sarah Cundy, an 18-year-old pupil at the school, says that as a woman the sessions make her feel ‘completely unwelcome’; but she is also chair of Canterbury’s branch of Momentum, the Corbynista grass-roots organisation that specialises in intimidating opponents. Momentum would approve of one-sided diversity-and-victimhood brainwashing classes for children, but object to pupils being able to join in a debate because their version of diversity does not extend to opinions. Children need to learn to recognise right and wrong, not simply be taught to parrot political correctness.



Ann Farmer

  • Colkitto03

    The key here is that the sessions are optional. This completely diffuses any claims of ‘outrage’
    The concept of ‘optional’ is anathema to the left.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Yes, diversity of thought is where the concept runs into the sand.

    • Groan

      “Children need to learn to recognise right and wrong, not simply be taught to parrot political correctness” This is what is an anathema because they know through long experience that “the people” will be distracted and diverted from their “historical mission” to overthrow capitalism by the attractions of “bourgeois democracy” (probably best represented by the USA) one of which attractions is of course free speech and thought. “the people” cannot be free to decide for themselves because when they do they “fail” (by which is meant they don’t usher in a Communist Gov.) . Thus “the people” must not be led to believe they have any critical faculties themselves, in case they are fooled into making the wrong choices (“The Donald” being proof positive of this tendency).

  • Sean Toddington

    For what its worth I think the bit about Mein Kampf has been denied by the school. Although they did invite the disgusting Milo Yanolopulis is to speak there last year. The point about Momentum is well made though. Many of them are actually teachers and I’ve heard it said that they are running groups for little more than children explicitly based on the teachings of the Frankfurt School. This is pure cold blooded evil.

    • UKCitizen

      So Milo is disgusting but Momentum pushing the death cult of Marxism doesn’t warrant any adjective?

      • CRSM

        Both disgusting IMO.

      • Sean Toddington

        wasn’t ‘pure cold blooded evil’ enough for you? or didn’t you read my post?

        • UKCitizen

          Okay fair enough, could be misconstrued as to referring to the actions rather than directly to the group but I get your gist.
          The reason I mentioned it, is because the right have a habit of vilifying people who are allies but they just don’t like, more than there opponents. The left never do this, they either don’t say anything, avoid or just plain lie. This may make us feel morally superior but that isn’t much use when you have lost the war.

  • paul parmenter

    So the school wants to encourage its pupils to face up to views that go beyond or even against political correctness. Yet according to the Telegraph article, it cancelled a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, one of its own alumni, seemingly under pressure from the Department for Education’s “extremism” unit (pause for hollow laughter).

    Hmm…

    • Owen_Morgan

      Justine Greening’s catastrophic Department of Obfuscation strikes again. Milo Yiannopoulos makes a living out of being provocative, but an “extremist” he certainly is not.

      Earth to Greening: there are plenty of extremists in education and a lot of them are teachers, school governors and university lecturers. If you’re serious about extremist visiting speakers (don’t worry: I know you’re not), you should check out UCL sometime, or the School Of Anti-Semites.

  • Labour_is_bunk

    Pause for thought: she’s a local leading light in Momentum and attends the local Grammar school – anyone else detect the faint smell of hypocrisy?

    • CRSM

      But isn’t it a BOYS grammar school?

      • JB

        It has a mixed sixth form.

  • Sargv

    “Diversity is our strength. Every person that thinks otherwise must be punished.”

    “Our enemies are wrong. That’s why instead of demonstrating this during the intellectual debates we will emotionally appeal to authority using our self-proclaimed victimhood to shut them.”

    Progressivism is a cult of a bloodthirsty narrow-minded mob of dimwits, what else can you expect from them? On the other hand, I should be grateful they still did not send me to Gulag or Auschwitz, like their Soviet/German comrades would.

    But give it time.

  • “The optional after-school sessions are extremely popular.”
    Note the word “optional”. No-one is forcing Sarah Cundy to attend, nor, I suspect, is she wanted.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      It is Sarah Cundy’s assumed right to find something/someone that she is offended by which entitles her to demand that they/it be banned.
      That’s how Mommentum progresses.

      • I wonder if she’s offended, as I am, by the numerous women in our nearest town who cover themselves with black bin bags. It should be banned.

  • mark taha

    Children have the right to their opinions. Teachers have the right to disagree with them but not to suppress them. Those who want a “safe space” can go to their rooms.

  • evad666

    There are only two books on Government which merit teengers reading them.
    1) The art of War by Tsun Tzu.
    2) The Prince by Machievelli.
    All else is bunkum.