If you dare to tell me that school is good for most (all?) children, I will spit feathers and turn purple, green, orange and blue like a demented chameleon on a multi-coloured tablecloth.
This mother's story about her lovely artistic son is worth reading:
It has brought back to me all the essential wrongness that I remember about schools.
The twenty-seven Year 5 kids pushing one way out of a set of doors and the thirty pushing the other way. The doors bulging and twisting under the force. No teacher in sight. Me, with my hand to my mouth, across the playground, watching frozen in horror and waiting for one or more of them to be knocked to the ground and trampled upon. Waiting for the blood. Waiting for the death.
CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER.
School is safe? School teaches you? Teaches you how to be a barbarian maybe.
School is a place of no choice. School is where you dread to go and hate to be. OK, not all children (maybe in a tiny few cases, school is actually a step up from home) but to young'uns who are loved and respected in their homes?
Is it really what we want for our children?
Having to hide in the toilets away from the three mean and radgy girls who always make you miserable?
Being told you should 'stand up' to them while knowing they'll beat you to pulp if you say A WHISPER to them?
Adults do not know or they conveniently forget how damn dreadful it is being powerless and humiliated and shamed and laughed at and ignored and hit and punched and poked and having your favourite gel pens nicked on your first day at a new school and seeing your best jacket on the floor having been trampled all over with muddy boots.
CHILDREN DESERVE PROTECTION.
My children, and yours, deserve to feel safe every day, not just the day when they have to go to the dentist and so not to school. They deserve to feel secure, not to have their little hearts pumping so fast they can feel sick and dizzy because they see some big kid in the schoolyard who stole the lunch money Mum paid for out of her crap job and who is coming THEIR WAY.
THEN YOU GO TO SCHOOL AND THEY FINGERPRINT YOU.
They steal your fingerprints. You don't give consent because who tells a big tall hard-faced teacher, "No, this is something I do NOT CONSENT to" because it's all "do what teacher says now". But fingerprints - you must have done something pretty bad to be fingerprinted like a criminal but what was it? No one tells you which adds to the confusion and hurting stomach and sick feelings and lightheadness.
Every night you try to sleep to escape the deathliness of your days but you stay awake because you don't want to sleep because that will mean you wake up and it's SCHOOL again and you've just got away from the torture and the hell and the noise and those kids following you around and giggling at something behind your back, but it's not at something else it's at YOU.
God help us. We are spirit-murderers.
God help us. We think this is normal.
In the future, we will look back and cry for what we have done to children.
God help us, but God help the little children first.