Friday, June 27, 2014

My self-esteem is heating up the room (Jessica Lea Mayfield)

Every once and a while a news story comes along that reminds me what a small, petty minded place New Zealand is.

Usually the story is about a school student who has upset the school rules in some way - jewellery, a uniform breach or, as in this case, hair. 

The student refuses to comply (even though they've chosen the school and said they'll abide by the school's expectations).

They dig their toes in.

His or her (often) liberal parents get on their high horse and challenge the school, the media then gets involved and the whole thing blows up into a cause célèbre.

It's all so boringly predictable. Suddenly lawyers get involved and it becomes a winner/loser situation. 

Thanks to this 'story' everything we try to do in schools about restorative practices becomes something of a joke. 

The end result in this case was the school was found to be at fault on a technicality. Their hair rules weren't specific enough!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

The student and parents were right. The school was wrong. Please. It's hair. 

It's a nothing story.

There are bigger things happening in education. Great things. Innovative things. But the debate becomes about rules.

I spent Friday engaged in a PD win/win discussion about what future learning at Woodford House would look and feel like. It was an inspirational session. It was a move away from an industrial model to an innovative approach to learning.

It won't make headlines anywhere but, potentially, it was far more important than a petty story about hair.

No comments: