Sunday, January 04, 2015
Branded racists, bigots and homophobes at the age of THREE
How thousands of children are being blacklisted by schools for using innocuous playground taunts
Children as young as three are being branded racists, homophobes and bigots over playground taunts.
Thousands of pupils are being reported for so-called hate crimes after using innocuous words such as ‘Chinese boy’, ‘Somalian’ or ‘gay’.
Teachers also log insults like ‘doughnut’ and ‘fat bucket of KFC’. Even calling a pupil a ‘girl’ can be classified as abuse.
Schools file the incidents for local education authorities. The details are also passed to Ofsted inspectors who are required to assess how teachers deal with bullying.
Records of a child’s ‘prejudice-related’ behaviour can be passed to their next school, potentially casting a shadow over their secondary education.
Alleged offences by more than 4,000 pupils were logged in just 13 council areas – meaning the national total may stretch into the tens of thousands.
Civil liberties campaigners warned the practice could have serious consequences for any children labelled as bigots.
Josie Appleton, of the Manifesto Club, a civil liberties group, said: ‘Particularly worrying is the expansion of incident recording and reporting to ever-greater categories of prejudice, which seem limited only by the strange imagination of education officials.
‘One primary school pupil calling another a girl suddenly becomes a sign of gender image prejudice, subjected to recording requirements more thorough than accompanying most burglaries. A reality check is urgently required.’
The reporting of racist incidents in schools became recommended practice for local education authorities across the country under Labour.
The Coalition government made clear that schools were no longer under obligation to submit these reports to LEAs and should exercise their own judgment in deciding whether to record.
However, data published by the Manifesto Club – and gained under the Freedom of Information Act – shows that reporting and recording has continued and in some cases has been expanded.
The 30 LEAs who recorded the most abuse under Labour were surveyed and 13 continue to collect racist incident reports from schools and six have expanded their recording to include a broader range of ‘prejudice-related’ bullying.
The majority say they ask, recommend or encourage schools to keep their own records.
In 2012-13 – the latest available statistics – 4,348 incidents were reported to the 13 LEAs.
Of the 1,909 incidents where the age of children involved was specified, over half were in primary schools and astonishingly, four were in nursery schools.
In one case, at a Brighton school nursery, a child aged three or four was the subject of an incident report and given counselling.
Looking at pictures of people with different eye colours he had said ‘yuk not black’ and discarded all the black faces.
Divorce laws should be tougher on women because young girls think that the key to success is to marry a rich footballer
British divorce laws have made marriage into prostitution
Britain's divorce laws should be tougher on women because they are encouraged to shun work and 'find a footballer' to marry, a female peer has said.
Baroness Deech, who is standing down as the chair of the Bar Standards Board, believes the divorce system is 'terribly unfair' and needs urgent reform.
She says as the law stands young women are sent the 'bad message' to find someone rich and 'once you are married you need never go out to work'.
'Never mind about A levels or a degree or taking the Bar course — come out and find a footballer,' she told the Financial Times.
She believes that couples should settle the terms of their divorce before their wedding and this would stop women marrying successful men and then running off with a large share of their wealth.
The peer is currently backing a House of Lords bill that would make prenuptial and postnuptial agreements agreements legally binding.
She said: 'We have a whole area of law which says once you are married you need never go out to work, [that] you are automatically entitled to everything you might need even if that marriage breaks down and it's your fault.'
The system is in sharp contrast with calls for equality where women should get half the posts on FTSE 100 boards and the Supreme Court, she said.
Last month the husband in Britain’s biggest ever divorce case should receive the lion’s share of the £870million fortune at stake because he did most to make their fortune, a judge ruled.
Sir Chris Hohn, son of a Jamaican motor mechanic, will take more than half a billion pounds from the wreck of his marriage due to his extraordinary achievements as an ‘activist investor’.
His City coups were worth billions and included a profit of more than £600million from the takeover that led to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as a £100million profit from last year’s botched privatisation of Royal Mail.
Sir Chris’s wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn is likely to appeal against the decision by Mrs Justice Roberts to deny her an equal share of the couple’s vast wealth.
Mrs Cooper-Hohn, who has been awarded £330million, raised their four children and ran the charitable foundations into which her husband poured most of the money made.
The judge said, however, that he had also played a major role in managing the charities and that the couple would have no fortune to divide without him.
Lady Deech has previously argued that changes to divorce laws would also better protect career women.
She said on Radio 4’s Sunday Programme earlier this year: ‘Lots of young women these days are working, earning well, and would feel it extremely unfair if a young man who they marry and perhaps leaves them is going to take with him a sizeable chunk of what they have worked so hard for.
‘The position of women has changed in the last 40 years and it’s time to recognise that in this country, like virtually every country in the world, two people who are getting married ought to be able, if they want, to make a contract about how their assets are to be divided if they divorce.’
There WAS an Establishment cover-up of child abuse as the powerful looked after themselves, says former inquiry chief
There was an Establishment cover-up of horrific child abuse because powerful figures looked after themselves, former judge Lady Butler-Sloss warned today.
Senior members of British society in the past did not think child abuse was as serious or important as protecting politicians and other members of the elite, she suggested.
Lady Butler-Sloss was forced to quit as chairman of the wide-ranging inquiry into allegations of a cover-up because her brother was in the Cabinet in the 1980s.
But she insisted if she had stayed in post and been able to run the inquiry she would have 'cut the whole thing open'.
Lady Butler-Sloss's resignation in July came less than a week after David Cameron agreed to an inquiry into allegations that politicians, the police, the judiciary, celebrities, the BBC, the NHS and the Church conspired to cover-up abuse over several decades.
It followed concerns that her brother Michael Havers sat in the Cabinet as attorney general during the 1980s - the period on which claims of a cover-up are focussed.
Lady Butler Sloss insisted she could have done the job, arguing that 'as a judge with 35 years' experience on the bench, I was quite able to be independent and say that people got it wrong and to be critical of them'.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, which she guest edited today, she said abuse over decades was kept from public view.
'I do believe the establishment has in the past looked after itself, partly because people did not really recognise the seriousness of child abuse and they did not think it was so important, and it was important to protect members of the establishment,' she said.
'So I would want to go in with a knife and cut the whole thing open and expose it, as to what happened, bearing in mind, of course, that the views of those people are not the views of people today and that is a difficulty.'
She said she took the job of chairing the inquiry not because she want to do it but it 'needed to be done'. 'It never crossed my mind that my brother would be an impediment.'
In October the second chairman of the inquiry, Fiona Woolf, was forced to resign after failing to declare the extent of her links to Tory peer Leon Brittan, who was allegedly handed a dossier detailing abuse.
But Lady Butler-Sloss said that effectively giving campaign groups the final decision on who chairs the inquiry 'creates real problems'.
She said: 'I worry that the victims, survivors - for whom I have the most enormous sympathy, and as a judge I tried a great many child abuse cases, I really have huge sympathy for them - but for them to be deciding who should become the person chairing it creates real problems.
'Because if you did not have, in the past, a position of authority, how are you going to be able to run the inquiry?
'You need someone who knows how to run things and if you get someone from an obscure background with no background of establishment, they will find it very difficult and may not be able, actually, to produce the goods.'
She also defended the decision to make Fiona Woolf a Dame in the New Year's Honours List, so soon after her resignation. She said criticism of the honour was 'very unfair' as it was in recognition of her term as Lord Mayor of London. 'The very least that the honours system could do would be to honour a woman who has got such a distinguished post.
'Unfortunately she had, like myself, a brief period where she had agreed - for goodness sake, she had agreed to do a very disagreeable job to become chairman. 'And because she happened to know Leon Brittan, she was unacceptable to the survivors and therefore she stood down.'
But Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who exposed the Cyril Smith child sex scandal, said the damehood 'seems inappropriate', adding: 'I can think of many more worthy recipients … once again it looks like the Establishment are looking after their own.'
HarperCollins apologises for 'offensive' omission of Israel from atlas and promises to pulp all remaining copies
Publishing giant HarperCollins has apologised for omitting Israel from an atlas and has vowed to destroy any remaining copies.
A spokesman said the company 'regrets' the omission from the Collins Middle East Atlas and has removed it from sale. All remaining stock will be pulped.
HarperCollins was criticised for not labelling the country on the map - bought by English-speaking schools in the majority-Muslim Gulf, while clearly marking Gaza and Jordan.
Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins, had told The Tablet that including Israel would have been 'unacceptable' to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated 'local preferences'.
But in a statement, a spokesperson told MailOnline: 'HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas.
'This product has now been removed from sale in all territories and all remaining stock will be pulped. 'HarperCollins sincerely apologises for this omission and for any offence caused.'
Bishop Declan Lang, chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet: 'The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel's belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world.
'It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence.'
US-based HarperCollins Publishers is is a subsidiary of News Corp, whose executive chairman, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, is famously pro-Israel.
Dr Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews, told The Tablet: 'Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimising "the other" and can lead to confusion rather than clarity.
'We would be keen to see relevant bodies ensure that all atlases anywhere reflect the official UN position on nations, boundaries and all political features.'
Maps which recognise Israel include Google Maps, Apple Maps, MapQuest, National Geographic, Peters World Map, Yahoo! Maps and Lonely Planet.
New York-based HarperCollins is one of the world's leading English-language publishers.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.