COMMENT

The private schools go woke

David Bullard relates the terrifying stories he has been hearing over the past few months

OUT TO LUNCH

A friend of mine is very worried about the quality of education his seven year old daughter is getting at her rather expensive private school. He’s not worried about the three R’s of riting, reading and rithmatic, at least not yet. What is getting to him at the moment is that, in exchange for about R97 000 a year in school fees, his young daughter is being encouraged by her teachers to question her sexuality and reject the norms of bourgeois society. More specifically I suppose she is being asked to question her gender because we all now know, thanks to Wokeness, that gender and sexuality are totally different things don’t we?

If my friend’s seven year old is confused then I, with a 61 year head start on the poor girl, am even more confused. Presumably the poor girl (and I use that word in my blissful ignorance of modern gender reality) has been told that just because she sleeps in pink sheets and Mummy and Daddy bought her a doll’s house for her last birthday she doesn’t need to accept that she is cis gender female.

She needs to be taught (at R97 000 a year) that a strapping, catapult shooting, kitten drowning tomboy is struggling to break free and the sooner testosterone treatment is agreed upon followed by gender realignment surgery the better. It’s only her parent’s outdated views on sexuality that are holding her back.

This rather terrifying story, which I have no reason to doubt because my source is impeccable, adds to other equally terrifying stories I have heard over the past few months. Back in June I wrote about how a group of spoilt brats from Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town (fees circa R270 000 pa for a boarder) had presented a list of demands to their school for, amongst other things, safe places for people of colour which would be out of bounds to people not of colour and safe spaces for LGBTIQA etc etc students so they could pursue their activities without nosy housemasters bursting in on them.

There were additional demands I recall such as all the domestic staff should receive an immediate pay increase and their children should be educated for free at Bishops and all be awarded Rhodes scholarships to Oxford, irrespective of grades. I never heard what happened to those demands but I hope some fathers had strict words with their lads and wrote a letter to the school governors telling them to ignore the ignorant ramblings of their boy-children and dismiss them as the product of an as yet unformed brain. Hopefully the R270 000 would help sort that problem out.

When the world went into mourning for the death of the sainted George Floyd and the absurd Black Lives Matter anarchists decided to adopt this violent, serial criminal as their poster-boy even stranger things happened. I’m told that the principal of a private school in Johannesburg instructed white teaching staff to lie face down on the floor for two minutes as a sign of respect.

Another school had moments of silence to reflect on the life of George Floyd (presumably the bits when he wasn’t dealing in drugs or holding a gun to a pregnant woman’s head during an armed robbery) and to own up to the sheer offensiveness of their whiteness. Obviously if you didn’t observe these common decencies then you marked yourself as a racist teacher and probably needed to start looking about for a job; preferably one where you couldn’t indoctrinate susceptible young minds with your outdated, colonialist views.

I’ve now lost count of the number of stories I have read where the ‘woke’ alumni of some of our most exclusive private schools are suddenly recalling how they felt marginalized at school because of institutional racism and sobbing about it on social media. Quite why anybody should take any notice of such pitiful whining from spoilt brats who have been set up for life by wealthy parents is beyond me so I can only assume that this is some sort of struggle cred over- compensation.  

But, dear reader, the good news is that many principals of our most exclusive schools (them wot has Latin mottos) have now drunk the Kool Aid of extreme white wokeness. The latest virtue signaling fad is to bring in a company of diversity trainers to organize targeted workplace inclusion initiatives.

The aim is to re-educate white staff and prepare them for stroppy students who demand that white, racist colonialists like Will Shakespeare be expunged from the school syllabus and be replaced by a suitably disadvantaged, LGBTQIA etc etc, one legged, single parent, vegan intersectionalist poetess with some personal experience of the scourge of GBV.

I went onto the website of one of these ‘advisory services’ and noticed that they have already managed to infiltrate several companies as well as many expensive private schools with their mumbo jumbo. At one school the team leader addressed the predominantly white staff and apparently announced in front of the simpering head teacher “we all know how we hate capitalism”. An odd statement for a high fee paying school I’m sure you would agree but an even stranger statement from someone happy to be paid a very large consultation fee for exposing the evils of whiteness to white people. Clearly those who run these courses have a delicious sense of irony.

The question is why on earth are principals of what used to be regarded as ‘exclusive’ schools falling for this bullshit? The very simple answer is self-preservation. If XYZ Diversity Advisory Services (a very BEE compliant company naturally) phone you and want to come and talk to your predominantly white teaching staff about how they can partially overcome the burden of their white skins then you can’t say no. To do so will get you exposed on social media as a racist. That is severely career limiting so the only solution is to bring the diversity happy clappies in and pretend that all is well.

Now the only remaining question is whether future parents will continue to be prepared to pay a high price for what is fast becoming a severely diluted education. Part of the benefit of a private education is the opportunity to make influential friendships that last for life. That may be anathema to the ‘woke’ but one only needs to look at who runs big business, where they went to school and who they went to school with to know it’s true.

There used to be a long waiting list to get your children into a top private school. The accepted rule was that you had to put their names down at birth. That’s no longer the case and a number of schools are finding that they have immediate vacancies as discerning parents begin to wonder what on earth they are getting for all that money.

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I tweeted last week about my objection to having my hand sanitized a sixth time in ten minutes when I went into a book shop at the weekend. I pointed out that I was already well sanitized but the chap with the spray bottle insisted so I left. I didn’t get much support for this view because we have now all been brainwashed to believe that if we don’t sanitise every time we go into a shop or restaurant then we will die of COVID or, more likely, kill somebody with co-morbidities.

I haven’t a clue what goes into some of these sanitisers and I’m sure very few other people do. One last week dried out my hands so much that I concluded it must have been either drain cleaner or bleach. But just suppose for a moment that the conspiracy theorists are correct and these sanitisers contain a toxic ingredient known as IP294ED which is absorbed through the skin and makes you want to vote ANC in next year’s local elections. Which is why I am now carrying my own sanitizer from now on. Better safe than sorry.