Forgetting to Educate the Whole Child

Here’s a quick, crazy story;

Headteacher of Leading Public School Will Expel Students For Having a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

This is truly bizarre. Maybe even more so, because not only is this a crazy announcement by a head of School, but it seems none of his school’s Board of Governors or key personnel have felt the need to challenge him or question this harebrained idea.

In education today, we are helping children and young people to grow up ready to succeed and be their very best in a complex world full of conflicting needs, desires, goals, demands on time and emotions. Does anyone really believe that we prepare them effectively for such a reality by forcing them to eliminate or suppress personal urges from their lives? How is this preparing them for anything?

Firstly, I think this will simply reward students who just don’t happen to feel the same urges early in their lives. Secondly, it could be almost a matter of random fate as to which pupils find themselves on the wrong side of such a rule. It’s likely to encourage dishonesty and devious subterfuge more than celibacy.

Worse, I don’t think it will even serve it’s intended purpose. Suppressed feelings can be just as likely to disturb focus on academic efforts. Also, students can just as easily get disturbed by rivalries in their platonic relationships with peers as with their romantic liaisons.

Finally, if you go out and ask all of the world’s most successful people about the critical aspects that propelled them towards success they will invariably point to mistakes made, acts that felt right at the time but subsequently lead to regret.

So, I say, let youngsters live their lives naturally, have relationships, fall out of relationships, feel all the associated emotions, but be willing to care enough to be there to support them and help them to learn the personal lessons that come with those life experiences. Let our youngsters learn the skills of balancing all the different complex elements of their lives.

This is the way to support young people growing up in a complex world.

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