left libertarian, please
An irate headteacher reported one of his pupils to the police and tried to scupper the youngster's chances of getting into university after reading a blog post that slammed his school. Jacques Szemalikowski, headmaster of Hampstead School in North London, refused to allow 19-year-old Kinnan Zaloom to come and collect his A- …
"...In the last year he has become more and more enchanted by anti-establishment ways of thinking and has even said that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt..."
An inherent risk? - a damned near 100% certainty IMHO.
Generally though. if the quote above is factual that makes the ex-pupil sound like a very well adjusted and perceptive young man.
left libertarian, please"
as Left doctrine favours massive state ownership, state control and very big interventionist government, and Right-wing doctrine favours smaller government, it could logically be argued that Anarchy is the ultimate in right libertarianism...
Very American ideas of "left" and "right."
Let's try for some education here. There are multiple important elements to the "left" in most countries. The primary element is social progressiveness. It is entirely possible to believe that we shouldn't segregate blacks, burn witches, kill gays and ban porn or bad words whilst also believing that people should be free to do as they choose.
To generalize grossly: "right libertarians" believe in the freedom of the individual to oppress, belittle, besmirch, harm, defraud and even murder others. Their brand of "libertarian" is all about the "right" of individuals to establish and then maintain control over those around them, by force of might, force of charisma or by controlling the means of production.
"Right libertarians" typically believe in corporatism and viciously defend the "fundamental goodness" of the corporate veil (the right to commit any number of heinous crimes as a corporation but never have the consequences come to bear on the individuals owning or running that company.) They are very darwinian: your rights should really boil down to "if someone tried to kill you, you have the right to try to kill him back." That can be literal killing, or corporate/financial/what-have-you phaliic measurement and bludgeoning.
"Left libertarians" are pretty different. They believe that we all have certain fundamental rights (typically those laid out in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights) and that no entity - not government, corporation or individual - has a right to infringe upon them.
Right libertarians view the UDHR as a restriction of their rights. Left libertarians view the UDHR as a definition of their rights.
Left libertarians are all about privacy, the right to power over one's own life and the right to determine one's own future.
Right libertarians are all about the right to power over the lives of others and the right to harm others for personal gain.
Then, in the middle, there are centrist libertarians as well as individuals all up and down the spectrum.
Being "left" does not equate to a belief in "big government." Most "leftist" nations (such as Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland, etc) are in fact fans of efficient government. They want some government programs (health care, policing, fire services,) but don't feel the need to have bureaucracy grow exponentially. They also don't seen the benefit in a massive military industrial complex because they simply don't have a desire to go forth and control the lives and beliefs of others.
People on the "left" who would identify as "left libertarian" (which covers a significant chunk, and is probably the biggest bloc of "leftists" after the aging NIMBY brigade) simply want to be left alone. They have a "you don't bother me, I won't bother you" mentality about life....but they will work together when they see an obvious benefit from doing so. That's where you get things like functional universal health care systems, policing and a military that does peacekeeping and disaster relief instead of trying (and failing rather catastrophically) to murder a bunch of brown people for their oil.
The problem with "right" versus "left" as it emerges in our political systems is that politics is so messy. There are way more dimensions than "left" or "right." There are plenty of authoritarian docuhecanoes amongst the "right" or the "left" of any nation. NIMBYs show up amongst the left as the cockferrets who are against quite literally anything and amongst the right as those desperately clinging to a morality the majority of their own nations no longer subscribe to.
So yes, "left libertarians" exist. They can even believe in things like centralized health care whilst still believing in the importance of individual liberties.
Try - if you can - to picture people who believe that they should have the right under any but the most exceptional circumstances to do whatever they want within the law...but who also believe they are equal to and no more important than anyone else.
These are the kind of people who believe personal privacy is important, but also see the value in a health care system that uses triage to determine who has the greater need instead of money. Let's use this latter as a real-world example.
A common American gripe about Canadian health care, for example, is that it takes too long to see a doctor if you go to the emergency room or would like an MRI/other type of test.
Right libertarians would be up in arms saying that they should have the right to buy their way to treatment. Anything else is infringing upon their rights.
Left libertarians look at it differently. In Canada, for example, in ER or test selection there are trained professionals making decisions about need. The guy with the bullet holes or the lady about to give birth gets to see a doctor before the kid with the scratchy throat regardless of how wealthy that kid is. Left libertarians see this as fair and equitable; we are all equal, regardless of means and part of our "liberty" is that you cannot "jump the queue" simply because you have greater means.
Sometimes, you end up waiting a long time. Sometimes, the doctors even make the wrong call and someone dies because they didn't get treated in time, when they might have had the money to simply buy treatment in an American-style system. It sucks. It's not ideal by any means...but we accept that this is the tradeoff for a more equal system that respects the rights of the individual.
The alternative is the American-style system where people die simply because those with means (but whose need is less urgent) bought their way up the queue and there weren't resources available to treat the less well-off. Most right libertarians I've met don't view this as unfortunate at all; many proudly say this is "darwin in action."
So there you have it. A short - and grossly generalized - overview of the beliefs of a "left libertarian". You may now commence frothing and demanding our scalps. We're used to it.
""Right libertarians" typically believe in corporatism and viciously defend the "fundamental goodness" of the corporate veil "
"Right libertarians view the UDHR as a restriction of their rights."
" Most "leftist" nations (such as Canada,..."
"right libertarians" believe in the freedom of the individual to oppress, belittle, besmirch, harm, defraud and even murder others."
Seriously ... WTF?
This is a very common misunderstanding between libertarians and non-libertarians. The fundamental disconnect here is that whilst tax pays for many common goods, it also pays for large numbers of things that the libertarians find valueless and or actively harmful to them, hence wanting to be able to control what they are paying for.
Note that the things that a given person finds valueless or harmful can vary.
"To generalize grossly: "right libertarians" believe in the freedom of the individual to oppress, belittle, besmirch, harm, defraud and even murder others. Their brand of "libertarian" is all about the "right" of individuals to establish and then maintain control over those around them, by force of might, force of charisma or by controlling the means of production."
This is absolute horse shit. Libertarians believe that individual freedoms are sacred, and are the inalienable property of the individual. No individual is more important than another, and each has the right to defend their property from theft, damage. An idividual's life, health, minor offspring are considered their property. Thus all disputes between individual's may be reduced to a disagreement over property.
It's a simplistic doctrine, but one with some logic.
Trevor, what is the point of writing such a long detailed comment, when you make it crystal clear that you are heavily biased in favour of the "left" and against the "right"? Everyone who has "leftist" views will no doubt agree with you, and everyone who has "rightist" views will disagree. So what have you accomplished? (Other than to make an impressive display of your qualifications for the job of Grauniad columnist).
I prefer not to be classified, as I am mostly a free human being. But I suppose I could be described, loosely, as a "right libertarian". (I approve of liberty, other things being equal, and I also prefer not to fix what isn't broken). That being so, I find it strange to be told in such minute detail what I think, what I want, and why - by someone who obviously disagrees with me in almost every way.
@Tom Welsh I'm a socially progressive, fiscally conservative centrist with libertarian tendancies but who doesn't buy into the complete libertarian package. I despise the hard core of the "left" as much as I despise the hard-core of the "right".
If you feel that I've mischaracterised the "tribe" you choose to associate yourself with, maybe you should take a long, hard look at the end result of the actions of that tribe. I'm a journalist, Tom. My job is to cut through the horseshit and to say the things other people find uncomfortable to hear.
You are free to try to convince me that the social doctrines of "the right" aren't based on establishing and maintaining social dominance over any other potential "tirbe" if you wish. I don't know what you'll say that will undo a lifetime of taking notes and living amongst "the right" every single day of that life...but you're free to try.
The right are about ownership. Of themselves, of their family members, of material goods, property, resources and ultimately other people. It is all about those with the most means being allowed to dictate terms to those with fewer means and no entity being empowered to stop them.
Those with greater means are attracted to the right because of this. That's simple and easy to understand.
The left is generally about being left alone with undertones of cooperation to mutual benefit. Again, that makes sense, because it encompasses (and attracts) those who know they don't have greater means and likely never will.
The part I find utterly fascinating is the tendency for those with virtually no means - but who also typically have virtually no education and a lower than average ability to understand the world about them - to also be attracted to "the right." They are easily swayed by the social messages of fear and hatred. Even more are swayed by the (utterly false) idea that they can somehow become individuals of means by believing what those with means believe.
A historic meeting occur ed recently between a recruiter for the KKK and the NAACP the other day. The most interesting thing to come out of it was that many of the recruiter's most violently anti-minority recruits admitted to being 25% mexican.
Humans associate with those they feel will make them powerful. Many amongst our race have not come all that far past Ug beating Grog over the head with a stone so he can drag Mig down the cave by her hair, rape her and obtain offspring.
In today's world, those traditionally in power (fat old white guys, for the most part...a demographic to which I belong, by the by) are losing that power. They are becoming ever more radicalized because of it; doing - and saying - ever more stupid shit in the desperate attempt to retain at least the illusion of power. There's your "right wing" today. Oh, certainly an overly broad generalization, but it hits the biggest cross-section.
The "left", on the other hand are reactionaries to the core. Composed mostly of people without any real power over their lives, they value anything that gives them the illusion of personal freedoms. They value communal resource sharing because they don't have the resources to go it alone.
They also have a nasty tendency to spawn super-reactionary NIMBYs and a whole other cadre of authoritarian types who work day and night to take power away from those who currently have it. "If I can't be the dominant ape, then by george, neither can you!"
Both "sides" are fucking idiots, IMHO.
There are right libertarians. There are also a metric fuckload of right authoritarians. The exact same can be said of the left.
What nobody on either side wants to admit is that the entire thing is about nothing more than dominance, and dominance is about sex. The driving force behind all of this ideology really boils down to "how can I stick my cock into the Alpha female" and/or "how can I get the Alpha male's cock shoved into me?"
Some of us have genetic predispositions that guide us towards choosing various elements of ideology over others. (Conservatism being one of those things we can actually test for at a genetic level now. I wish we could test for left-style authoritarian NIMBYism, but alas, we've not even come close yet.)
All of us have cultural training that guides us towards the selection of an ideology.
The intricacies of the ideologies are complex. They are over-rationalised and evolve over time to counter arguments that have a chance of making the holder of those ideologies look foolish...but it still all comes down to nothing more than dominance. And cocks.
As almost nobody can actually bring themselves to experience that level of self-awareness nor actually choose their ideology with that understanding - and a through exploration of their own genetic and cultural predispositions - I look down my long nose at the log of you. Primitive, emotional, instinctual brutes, the lot of you. I keep a veritable zoo worth of pets and I respect the pets more.
At least they don't have to lie to themselves about what drives them. That is a clarity of purpose I do respect.
Now, if you want to say I'm "heavily biased" against "the right" you can go right ahead. Live in your little fantasy world where I'm the evil Canuck that just hates the right wing. That's a hell of a lot easier to believe and it fits with gut feel better than facts.
Meanwhile, reality gives zero fucks what you think or why. It trundles on and so do I.
My father was a headmaster, I'm pretty sure that this action would have had one of his students either temporarily or permanently excluded. Constructive criticism, or even critical criticism, but you don't throw your opinions into Internetland peppered with Fs and Cs and expect to be treated with anything other than the contempt you are showing the people you are blogging about.
It's not as if the student has lost his A level results, they will be sent to him by the examining board. He has effectively been excluded from school, luckily for him, after his school career had finished. I also don't really have a problem with the head telling the Uni he applied to the sort of person that he is. If I'd behaved like this towards my previous employer I'd expect them to tell any future employer.
No so, your education is an important part of your career, try putting no schools on your CV and see how you go, or try to put loads of schools on because you kept getting excluded. Universities have limited places, they tout for the best possible candidates, what you pay may be eye-watering, but it's nothing like the full price of the course. A uni has a right to choose who it lets in and if you F and C your way around the Internet slagging off your school, that's unlikely to do your chances of getting on a course much good.
"Actually, the university is very unlikely to give a flying F word." Actually, not so. All unis in the UK operate in a sort of beauty contest to get students to apply to them, so do not want a "bad review". So for them it would be a risk taking on a known troublemaker with a history of dissing his previous places of education, especially as Zaloom's rantings seem completely unfounded.
And before you bleat on about "Fascist", etc., such bad reports from headmasters have been happening for decades. I myself was in a similar position to Zaloom - I was not the best behaved of pupils and twice came close to expulsion for "bringing the school into disrepute", and was told at one of my uni interviews that my old head had passed on a bad reference. In my case I got better grades than I required so it wasn't an issue, but looking back I can now understand why my old head passed on the bad report, and why my uni interviewer gave me a stern warning that such a bad reference could affect both my educational and business futures. I suspect the difference will be I learnt my lesson.
"My father was a headmaster, I'm pretty sure that this action would have had one of his students either temporarily or permanently excluded. "
Legal behaviour outside of school hours, off of school property could get you expelled?
"I also don't really have a problem with the head telling the Uni he applied to the sort of person that he is."
One should always denounce thoughtcrime - it's what BB wants you to do.
Posting anonymously to protect the guilty. In this case my Daughter.
She put up an early version of a blog post on a bulletin board (another BB!) condemning her school and the fact she was not protected from bullies. The one and only time she fought back, she was the one disciplined. In frustration she wrote her comments. The bully found them and sent them to the head master.
She was given the choice of being pulled out or being expelled. It was a private school. This was half way through her GCSE years.
So yes, the school can and do punish things.
Lesson to all - no matter how anonymous you make the comments, if you don't want it to bite you ion the but later one, don't post it.
"The one and only time she fought back, she was the one disciplined."
Good to see that in 30+ years nothing much has changed :-/ They tell you to ignore it and that that'll make it go away. Like fuck it does! And then the times you do manage to knee headbully in the nutsack, you are the one to get into trouble (but boy, it still feels great to have done that).
This is where I tell my kids the opposite of what the schools are telling them.
The school's mantra is "If you're bullied tell the teacher, don't fight back".
Mine is, "It you're bullied, hit them back and hit them hard".
Bullies aren't bothered by what teachers do. They are bothered about getting a kicking.
The reason fighting back against a bully usually ends in the victim getting punished is all to do with knowing how far you can push it.
Bullies usually have years of experience. They know when and where to bully, and how far they can take it before authority has no choice but respond. Ultimately they are cowards, of course, but that makes them very wary of facing up to responsibility for any bullying. In short; they're good at bullying.
The victim, on the other hand, is usually useless at it all. They don't know when to respond, where to do it, or how far they can go. They're response is usually fuelled by desperation and rage and not calculated. It gets noticed, they cross the line where authority has to respond. End result is they get punished, when the bully doesn't.
What's sad is that the authority responsible is too bureaucratic, thoughtless or stupid to look at the bigger picture. Just what makes an otherwise meek pupil, who is never in any trouble, suddenly decide to take a swing at the class thug? Who is most likely to have initiated this situation? But they don't care, an example has to be made.
Your comment about the crossing the line is so true.
I was bullied and was caught by a teacher pasting one of my bullies who decided to push me without his usual back up. In fact I was so gone at that point I looked at the teacher who had entered the room and then turned back and hit him a few more times before stopping and basically standing there not giving a fuck.
I was quite willing at that point to take any punishment in fact it was at the point I felt it might stop it or give me an excuse to out my problem, in a school that had a don't grass culture.
Kudos though to the math teacher though who I'm pretty sure had guessed at the causes me being a mild geeky pupil, and who just calmly asked me if I had finished and then said well "both of you write 500 words on why you think fighting's doesn't solve everything". I probably should have been way more punished considering the lovely cathartic kicking I had given this guy and the state he was in.
I remember finally loosing it with a guy that had been giving me a hard time for ages whilst at school and hitting him over the head with a chair. The R.E. teacher running the class in the next room saw this through the window, along with the precipitating event and pulled the bully out and tore him a new one, Oh happy day!
"Violence is, ultimately never a satisfactory solution to a problem."
Wrong. Anon to protect me.
When I grew up I lived in the town in the entire country, where one was most likely to be knifed on a Saturday night. It was, and still is to some extent, a hard area.
I had the misfortune to (a) be a child of the poor part of a relatively wealthy family, and (b) have an intellect ideally suited to success in the school system, (c) be gifted at sports. There were plenty of reasons to bully me, and until I was about 14 my life was hell, getting beaten up, mobbed, ridiculed or whatever on a regular basis. My family position was the non-violence type, and as I was not a street fighter or boxer, getting into fisticuffs with the "thugs in training" was not my chosen solution either!
One day, during a mobbing where sufficient punches were landed on me (while I was restrained), I dropped my bottle. I manged to escape and grab one of them and promptly broke his jaw with a straight left, another I hurled into the bench causing him considerable pain, and with uncontrolled rage (and I mean uncontrolled, I had totally "lost it") I shouted to the now scattered group, "who the fuck is next?".
There were no takers, and it all ended at exactly that moment. Subsequently, I wished I had done it earlier and saved myself.
I left High School with fine grades and a modicum of subsequent success. Several of those c*nts that were my regular taunters ended up in gaol, while at least one's life ended with "lead poisoning".
Like "The Fonz" of "Happy Days" fame, correctly observed - you have to get your hands dirty once.
After months of being bullied and complaining to the school to no avail I hit back and ended up in the 'special behaviour' group. My bully got off scot free.
My parents suggested next time I should make sure I left no marks or witnesses.
If the kid is stupid enough to F & blind online about the school then unfortunately he has to take his knocks, which include other education establishments being warned.
However if he is as truly disenfranchised as suggested then he either needs mental help or the school needs to review their handling of students.
Unfortunately, there can be no real help against the bullies when they are in fact the teachers and staff.
Does anyone realize that in many cases, the actions of someone like Dylan Kleibold are often a direct reaction to this kind of school sponsored terrorism?
You have all seen the football player that can never be punished for beating freshmen because he's "Too important to lose"; or the teacher that is "above reproach among her/her peers" but is nothing but paedo scum in reality?
I too suffered at the hands of bullies in Jr and Sr High and when I defended myself. was sent home for two days and put on detention for weeks because I finally bloodied and broke the nose of a jock (lucky punch) who had been terrorizing me all year.
The only good thing that came of it was those bullies saw me in a new light and stayed away as I was no longer an easy target.
As far as I am concerned when in the USA, the constitutional principles of free speech apply regardless of your age or educational status. This especially applies to off campus activities. However far too many nosy busybodies feel they can say and do what they please when students speak the truth.
Good to see that in 30+ years nothing much has changed :-/ They tell you to ignore it and that that'll make it go away. Like fuck it does! And then the times you do manage to knee headbully in the nutsack, you are the one to get into trouble (but boy, it still feels great to have done that).
Yeah, that sounds about right. I may or may not have picked up the kid who used to throw rocks at my head, dropped him head-first into a bin, and kicked the bin down a hill. I may or may not have then been bollocked by teachers trying desperately not to laugh. Not an act that I'm particularly proud of, but I recall it being bloody satisfying.
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In my case it was a lucky punch to the nuts, resulting in bully rolling on the floor for 5 minutes in pain, 6 other bullies walking off, every teacher turning their back ("nothing to see here") and the bully never daring to come near me again. That was the bog standard comp. Private school however was sheer hell, the rule tended to be the richer your parents the more you could get away with, so it was always the poor kids fault.
Amen to that brother. 7 years at a private secondary school on a scholarship, and had the shit kicked out of me for 6 of those 7 years. The few times I fought back, I always got detention/suspended. The bullies with their rich parents and grandparents never got any real punishment. Fuckers.
Still, who got some of the best A-Levels, went to one of the best Universities, married a beautiful girl, has some fantastic children, and is earning more than most of my class-mates. Yep, last laugh is definitely here.
I'm sorry but this disgraceful teenager was asking for trouble:
- He suggested that all governments might be corrupt. This is absolutely unforgiveable.
- He said that student loans were a 30 year tax on education. This is an absolute outrage.
If he isn't stopped now he might start criticising wars, McDonalds, religion and other institutions that we hold dear and that are the underpinning of our civilisation.
Something had to be done, and this headmaster showed COURAGE in reporting him to our protectors, the police. It's just a shame they didn't have the gumption to inflict an exemplary punishment to show all the other scallywags that this kind of thinking IS NOT TO BE TOLERATED IN AN ENLIGHTENED AND DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY.
Outraged of Giggleswick
Anonymous to protect myself ;)
Was caught doing something similar at High school, including calling a few teachers some pretty unpleasant names.
Wasn't expelled, but did spend a day in isolation being made to write a letter of apology.
One of the teachers told me he wanted to smash my face in (his words) for dirtying his family name. My Maths teacher (one of the 'victims' and head of maths) moved me down a maths set as he felt he couldn't teach me (but still let me sit the higher exam).
Generally I had a pretty shit day the day they stumbled across my site, but all-in-all handled it reasonably well - they could have overreacted and kicked me out, but instead took a more measured response. They even opted not to make the reason I was being punished known too widely, given that I'd named a few fellow students (who it turns out, had gang links) as well.
Funny story, the teacher who'd said he wanted to inflict harm came back a few days later and asked if I'd considered Web Design as a career - he'd been crawling over my site in the meantime and was quite impressed.
So to me, this case is one of clear over-reaction....
Legal behaviour or liable, you choose.
As mentioned elsewhere a teachers responsibility does not cease at the school gate.
I notice that you can't enter into serious debate and instead suggest that it's like 1984, the last refuge of someone who can't actually argue beyond "down with this sort of thing." I'll just counter that it isn't thoughtcrime if you spaff your feelings onto the Internet and F and C about your school and their teachers. Thoughtcrime is inside, unacted upon, shouting your opinons to the world, isn't.
As mentioned elsewhere a teachers responsibility does not cease at the school gate.
Yes it does end at the school gates, once you are off the school property & outside of school time (ie not on a school arranged trip) then teachers & schools have absolutely no authority and no right to exert any authority over anyone
in loco parentis was not created for that & schools using it as excuses for such behaviour are making a mockery of the law and exposing themselves to legal actions should a parent decide to take any. It is not a blank cheque for them to do whatever they like to the children who they are supposed to be caring for, not punishing by extra judical means
End at the school gate? I think you need to read some school rules. Every school I attended and that my children attended, in two countries, was quite clear that behaviour outside the school reflects upon the school and can result in action at school. Positively, good behaviour or achievements outside the school grounds are often recognised within the school. This applies whether it is bad behaviour on the bus or taking drugs in the park.
Your attitude, of compartmentalising decency, manners and behaviour according to school, work or whatever could be cited as one of the problems society in general and people in particular suffer.
In this respect, while the school is not your employer (though you do have a legal duty to attend or send children there), it is comparable in that there are mutual obligations and expected standards of behaviour. So whether school, work or private club, behaviour elsewhere can have consequences within the institution. Or are all these "scandals" about, say, the behaviour of an MP when not on parliamentary business or an off-duty policeman unfair? The popular press seems to disagree.
In this case, the pupil is entitled to his opinion. I would say he is entitled to express it. But he has got to learn to do so in a reasonable manner that is not gratuitously rude, crude or nasty. If he can not do that by the age at which he is about to leave school, one questions if he is mature enough to enter university or any other adult institution. If you need to use four letter words (as we used to call them) to express yourself (I do not mean in the heat of the moment, though to some extent then too), your points are unlikely to be taken seriously and you probably lack expressive skills and good arguments to boot. He needs to learn that.
On the other hand, I can see, from the article, no reason for the headmaster going to the police and am not comfortable with his making special approaches to the university to get the boy rejected.
Quote: "Your attitude, of compartmentalising decency, manners and behaviour according to school, work or whatever could be cited as one of the problems society in general and people in particular suffer."
So your saying schools should be responsible in taking remedial action against a student if that student behaves in a way they deem detrimental to society off of school grounds?
Quote: "On the other hand, I can see, from the article, no reason for the headmaster going to the police and am not comfortable with his making special approaches to the university to get the boy rejected."
So this statement is a lie, since the school took the action you cited previously, yet you criticise them for doing so.
And you even managed to post AC too. I'm impressed with your lack of accountability, and unwillingness to be able to stand by your obvious attempt at trolling.
A school or company can write any rules they wish. Whether those rules are legal and could be enforced without penalty against the school or corporation is an entirely different matter. These attempts to legislate personal behavior are common and people who don't have Zalooms chutzpah are intimidated by them, but then most don't and that's what they are counting on. This is like homeowners associations that ban free speech things like flag displays.
These "rules" are a form of intimidation and have no legal basis. Perhaps, the police should have investigated the headmaster for false and malicious statements or libel or making a false report.
I'm QUITE sure what he did was illegal.
".....I'm QUITE sure what he did was illegal." You are wrong and seriously need to go read up on the rights of UK schools to exclude pupils for starters. You then also need to understand that the headmaster not only has the duty to protect his school's reputation from slander, he also has the duty to inform prospective universities of an applicant's behaviour. What the head did was completely legal. What Zaloom did was completely stupid. If you're going to play at little rebel then it's always best to learn the rules of the game before dropping your academic life in the toilet.
In fairness, the school typically provides a reference as part of your UCAS application. If the headmaster wishes to retract or amend that reference based on new information relating to that individual's character then he's well within his rights. Particularly if it's the case that 'Since we provided that glowing reference the applicant has done something that caused us to exclude him".
He's probably more concerned that if they've given this guy a good reference and then he gets himself kicked out of Glasgow (rare, but people do get booted from uni for reasons other than failing academically, although it takes more than a few sweary blog posts), then Admissions at Glasgow might cast a more critical eye over supposedly good applicants from his school if they don't feel they can trust the word of the tutors there.
By contrast, going to the Police is well out of line. If it's libel then the civil courts are open to him, otherwise he should just pipe down. Sounds like a bit of a bell end who likes throwing his weight around "I am Head, hear me roar!"
"Thoughtcrime is inside, unacted upon, shouting your opinons to the world, isn't."
Thoughtcrime is an authoriy's presumption of your private thoughts - based on a biased observer's interpretation of other things that you do and say.
There was a time when you had to be careful how you raised your glass for The Loyal Toast. If it moved over your finger bowl then a government spy would be likely to report you for the Jacobite thoughtcrime of toasting "The King ....over the water".
It is a philosophical rule that an "ought" cannot be derived from an "is". Just because the current situation may be as you describe, it doesn't mean that it should be.
This headmaster is a frighteningly stupid person who feels that freely expressing doubt about the existing government's abilities, and indeed any government's potential to misuse its power, is a bad thing. I'm glad that I have never had to deal with such an authoritarian tosser in any of my education.
Off hand, it wasn't the "thought crime" that was the real issue. It was the "potty mouth" aspect, which plainly indicates the school failed to inculcate any degree of artistry or originality in his use of English. Of course it would bring the school into disrepute. With the whole range of the language Shakespeare wrote in, he's using f****** and c***? Pathetic. Of course, the headmaster's concern with "individualism" is pathetic too, though he really should have found the lack of linguistic originality to reassuring in that regard.
> luckily for him, after his school career had finished
I don't see that. He would have been luckier to be thrown out BEFORE his school "career" had finished (the retardation trip is actually called "career"? who knew...)
> If I'd behaved like this towards my previous employer I'd expect them to tell any future employer.
The uni is not his "employer": He is the "customer", you know.
Fracking authoritarians are everywhere.
@Captain Hogwash - You are absolutely correct.
Technically it appears that "exclusion" is for under-16s only and requires that they be registered at another school. "Expulsion" is for 16+ and there is no obligation to find a new placement for the student.
In practice the distinction here is whether one is talking about the particular educational establishment (as might be expected), or about the educational system in its entirety. Any sane, rational person would assume it were the school itself given that the law already makes it clear that the state has a legal obligation to educate until the age of 16. The distinction in terms is therefore somewhat superfluous.
Words can have more than one meaning, particularly in technical matters.
For example: My wife is a chemist, I'm an engineer, it drives her up the wall when I walk about entropy in communication channels.
Try this definition: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/excluded
You'll find I'm correct.
Yet again bringing an argument back to Orwell is very tedious, especially when you're wrong.
Entropy in a communication channel is a measure of the efficiency of the system. Entropy in chemistry is a measure of the disorder. ie: They're different.
Anyway if anyone needs to go back and do some training it's likely to be me, she has a phd, I dropped out. I wonder why you thought it would be the woman who was wrong?
one needs to use dictionary definitions with discretion. There is the strict definition, the explanation of current usage and the commonly understood meaning. For instance, in spelling, Oxford prefers "z" where the majority of UK English writers use "s" in "-ise".
I note that "exclude" has got many meanings, one of which reflects this latest usage and is defined in terms of "expel" and "ban". One has to ask, so why not use "expel" or "ban"?
In fact, an earlier poster described his own treatment for similar misdeeds. It sounded far more civilised, sensible and effective. Simply suspending or expelling someone is an easy way out for both sides and leaves the expelled one feeling bitter and mistreated and denied the education he clearly needs. Being forced, with the aid of detention if need be, explaining to the recipients of one's venom and formal, written explanation and apology seem to me to be much more helpful and educative, with long term benefits to both sides.
"No, the word is excluded, it has been for decades, it has a very specific meaning and is not some new word."
I'm a native English speaker. "Excluded" means "kept out". "Expelled" means "forced out" or "thrown out". As the pupil was forced out, he was expelled. Newspeak does not change that, no longer how long it has been perpetrated.
Actually, another newspeak usage: how is it that those at school are no longer "pupils" (unless trainee lawyers)? "Students" are those who have left school and are in some form of higher or further education. It is misleading to call a 12 year old a "student", implying some sort of choice whether or not to go to school and demeaning to real "students" who, one hopes, have shown some level of attainment to reach that status. All just to give a warm, cuddly feeling to those who do not understand their own language or culture or impart some artificial status to the pupils and their teachers (or are school teachers now "lecturers"?).
"The word is expelled. Excluded, in this context, is yet another piece of insidious Newspeak."
Yes, but no. Expulsion sticks. You are expelled, and you are an ex-pupil. You are never coming back. Exclusion, in stark contrast, is usually only for a week or two until the fuss has died down. Then the parents put pressure on the craven governors, who put pressure on the "management team", who cave in and re-admit the troublemaker.
Exclusion, after all, is incompatible with inclusiveness - which we surely all desire.
I assume you're not a manager. All the references that are asked of someone these days is confirmation of the position a person held and the dates within which they worked. Should I point out that the member of staff was late every day, left early, stole million s of post-it notes, then I could be in danger of being sued. The worst I can really do if asked for a reference - my refusing to give one is good enough signal.
It is not this headmaster's duty to point out to a potential University that one of his ex-students thinks Michael Gove is a c*nt. It's just bad grapes that one of his ex-students was not properly engaged enough in school to write a positive review. That headmaster sounds like a c*nt. Raising the matter with the police is ridiculous, and this has hopefully pulled an Eye of Sauron type spotlight onto his record and OFSTED results to see how much of a c*nt he is or not.
I'm not a lawyer but as I understands it defamation claims are the primary risk but not the only one - e.g. various protections against discrimination/victimisation exist in employment law which could apply, as could the Protection from Harassment Act, or more unusual things like malfeasance/misfeasance and Human Rights challenges (e.g. I would have thought the right to a private life could be argued) where there is public sector involvement and so on.
Defamation claims are not something you want to be on the end of though. They are expensive (and often difficult) to defend and potentially expose you to a huge award of damages.
No, it's a popular misconception that an employer can't make honest references. Many comapnies have this as a policy, but it's not law in any way. In fact there was something on Radio4 about this the other day, "Word of Mouth" if I recall correctly where they were investigating what you can and can't say about people. The BBC lawyer they were speaking to was crystal clear that you can be honest about former employees and there is no problem with that at all.
I'm sure of course in theory you can make "honest references". It is just that you are running a big risk since your words do cause actual harm to someone else and thus you are liable to getting sued for defamation. Getting away with something like "He's late every day" would probably be easy if you've kept objective records. Saying something subjective like "He's lazy" would be a lot harder to prove and you run a significant chance he can make the judge agree your subjective assessment is not adequately substantiated and charge you the bill of his damages.
"I'm sure of course in theory you can make "honest references". It is just that you are running a big risk since your words do cause actual harm to someone else and thus you are liable to getting sued for defamation."
It's easy to write an honest reference without being unpleasant - it's all in the phrasing and hoping that the potential future employer can read between the lines.
For example; "A very personable and sociable member of the team" could be code for "Spends most of his time chatting with colleagues and doesn't get much work done"...
> you can be honest about former employees
So long as you are really sure you are being honest.
Can you prove that your records are correct?
Can you prove that the statements weren't motivated by personal feelings?
Can you demonstrate that there was no discrimination against the person?
Remember in a libel case you have to prove that the allegations you made were true - the person allegedly libeled doesn't have to prove they weren't.
Is it worth the risk to your business or should you just say nothing ?
> The BBC lawyer they were speaking to was crystal clear that you can be honest about former employees and there is no problem with that at all.
...if you have solid proof of everything you did say and are prepared to fight it out in court. For a lawyer, no, of course there's no problem with it at all. Sort of have to make a living too, you know.
Which is why you limit your references to the minimum required if you can't say anything good. Besides, you never know whose door you might be having to knock on for a job one day.
"...it's a popular misconception that an employer can't make honest references."
Well maybe in the UK, stateside it depends on what state (or even sometimes the county or city jurisdiction) you're in. Quite a few have made it illegal to say anything at all other than simply to confirm hire and end dates. Not only can you not say anything negative, you're obligated not to say anything nice either (though I would doubt you would face much risk of legal action if you had nothing but good things to say). As such, getting those calls about a former employee can be a somewhat harrowing experience as it's difficult to know exactly what rules apply to any given situation (and they can and do change without great fanfare).
>" In fact there was something on Radio4 about this the other day, "Word of Mouth" if I recall correctly where they were investigating what you can and can't say about people. The BBC lawyer they were speaking to was crystal clear that you can be honest about former employees and there is no problem with that at all."
That was a good programme, and the concepts explained clearly. In the same sort of way that journalists have an obligation to their readers to provide accurate information, so do former employers.
It is our company policy not to give references for staff that have left 'just in case'. Fortunately the ones that I like have my mobile number and i am more than willing to speak to their prospective employer for them. If they were good at their job ( and paid their way at the pub) they get a shining embellished reference, if not they don't get one simples.
> If I'd behaved like this towards my previous employer I'd expect them to tell any future employer.
The late great Prof Fellgett told us that some headmaster had written something like this about a pupil who wanted to go to Reading to study Cybernetics and the department's reaction was "We must have this one!"
Yeah, I don't disbelieve it, I was at the cybernetics department in the early 90s, it produced some excellent engineers, but it did have an alarming drop out rate. I was one of those drop outs, it was due to rolling far too much of my own conspiracy and not doing enough actual work. This was fairly common amongst many in the cyb department at the time.
> My father was a headmaster, I'm pretty sure that this action would have had one of his students either temporarily or permanently excluded.
Please do not be so miserable to put words into your father's mouth, as it were. What he would have done or not we will never know, assuming that your "WAS a headmaster" is correct.
Incidentally, one can perfectly use words such as "fuck" and "cunt", which is what I surmise you are referring to by "Fs and Cs" (please correct me if I am wrong), in intelligent discourse. There is nothing wrong with embracing the full expressive power of your chosen language. Or perhaps the young lad's command of English really is limited to a restricted, mostly vulgar register? If this is the case, it does not say much about his former school, which would seem to validate the point he appears to make.
Surely there are much better ways for the school and in particular its headmaster to respond to criticism. They're really not making themselves any favours there!
There is something wrong with using such words casually, in public forums. You remove their power and show inability to express yourself clearly, showing at least some respect and consideration for your audience.
In addition, in a world of English variants, strengths of meaning and degrees of offensiveness vary from society to society. USA English tends to cast around words freely that are deeply offensive to other English speakers. UK English happily uses some expletives that seem thoroughly rude to Americans. I fell over this myself when moving from Australasia to England. S
Language is more than just words. That's why various groups spend so much effort changing it, whether the neutering of swear words, the appropriation of words (exclude for expel, gay for homosexual, differently abled for disabled, freedom for licence, protection from terrorism for restriction and control, surcharge for price rise)
You're defending the headmaster for his pettiness towards a former pupil - think BIGGER - what are existing pupils expected to learn other than critique is NOT ACCEPTABLE. What would the headmaster have been perpared to ruin/crush in defense of his position? Especially if fundamentally true without swearing.
And if your father would have done the same then perhaps your father should not be a headmaster.
This post has been deleted by a moderator
Wow anonymous coward receives 69 downvotes. Is this a record? If so I intend to break it.
Er I love Apple, Microsoft is cool, Linux is better than Microsoft. Apple is better than Linux. Microsoft is better than Apple, Linux is better than Apple. MC Hammer rulz!
That should do it....
I don't doubt that, theoretically, an honest reference is allowable.
I've been told that the largest law firm on the world doesn't give out references for support staff [don't know about legal] other than the "yes, he/she worked here" type though, so I would think very carefully before writing a reference for anybody.
Please don't. Part 2's the shit produced-to-be-a-single Part. At least it suckered my parents into buying the album.
(Handily, at 64kb mp3, if you dropped Part 2 and Young Lust The Wall would fit on an a 64MB mp3 player.)
Back on topic:
The guy sounds like he might be a bit too Galois for some mathematics departments.
Thing about these sort of things.
Is take someone like James Joyce there is people who sit in Universities doing nothing else but study his stuff but at the time he actually made it they worked to get it banned and condemned him completely.
You should be able to say what you like without consequences other than very limited specific exceptions. (America is right in that sense.)
Every government IS corrupt - it has been so since ancient times.
The headmaster is a vindictive tw@t. "I'll show HIM!!! Grrrr!" It's straight out of The Beano.
Most of us have outlandish (or not) opinions at school / uni age. Calling the police and claiming that he could be an anarchist or shock-horror an individualist! How DARE HE THINK FOR HIMSELF and FORM OPINIONS OF HIS OWN!?
Fight the power!
"Michael Gove and the previous mindless c**ts that have held the role of education secretary have made comprehensive state schools into factories for young people. We are not educated, we are inculcated and cultivated to be a society of vacuous consumers. With tuition loans being a thirty-year education tax, we are slaves to the dime."
Was the same way before this matey, Secondary moderns were exactly the same, and when we transitioned to Comprehensives in the 70ś it was supposedly to provide a more level, less class based playing field (or at least thats how it was sold at the time), Only difference was you didn have the tuition loan tax, otherwise sounds more or less the same as it was 40 years ago (at least for us poor plebs who didn have rich Mummies and Daddies).
Nothing to stop him going into an apprenticeship, no tax on education there, other than the income tax on the money they pay you. Of course, he comes across as the sort of person who wants a state to provide everything to him for free, and be grateful when he calls them cunts.
FWIW: No, I don't think that uni fees should be as high as they are, but realistically the legacy of the "everyone should go to uni" drum that's been banged for so long now is that we can't afford to pay everyone through uni. Vocational courses and apprenticeships are not a dirty word.
Vocational courses and apprenticeships are for people who are unable to enter University as they lack the required mental capacity.
Rubbish .... take a look at "higher apprenticeships" from engineering firms like Rolls-Royce etc which combine work based training with part-time study leading to degree qualifications. Plus many accountancy firms take on people after A-level and they effectively get the same accountancy training/qualifications as graduates without the need to spend 3 years at university accumulating debts.
That is the most patonising bollocks I've read for a while. I know plenty of bright people who did vocational training and have plenty of mental capacity. In the olden days that was how most nurses and midwives we trained. Likewise I know plenty of people with degrees and PhDs that whilst incredibly intelligent in their chosen field lack the basic skills to keep a car on the road, balance a household budget or other mundane everyday tasks such as expressing a simple argument without using loaded language such as "mental capacity"....
"who are unable to enter University as they lack the required mental capacity. It would be wasteful to under-educate people who can benefit from a full education."
Yeah, it's much better to over-educate those that can't benefit from it.
Better to encourage all the clever clogs to go to uni, and get their psychology degree, so they can bugger off to work in a coffee shop, like a lot of people I encountered in my younger years, while I was off, learning on the job, and not running up a lifetime supply of debt.
Most people i know that didn't go to uni (myself included) instead spent their time doing an apprenticeship (or similar) and is now gainfully employed, where as many people that I know that did go to uni are now knee deep in debt and (some 10 years after leaving) are still not really sure what the want to do with themselves, and spend more time looking for jobs, than actually in them.
I'm not saying this is the case with everyone who does go to uni, I'm just telling it how I see it.
As someone who's 'vocational' qualification is degree level and who counts the 'apprentice' as one of his most able co workers, I feel I need to reply. I know others have come at you, but I must say the richest people I have ever met did not have degrees or many bits of paper, but had worked their way up and then set up on their own. All my friends with Degrees/Masters are either unemployed and have had to work very hard to make sure their bits of paper pay for its self.
Talent and Skill is valued these days far more than paper work, Vocational courses prove you have the skill and can help develop talent. If I could I would post a link here to the Avenue Q song 'What do you do with a BA in English?'
> Vocational courses and apprenticeships are for people who are unable to enter University as they lack the required mental capacity
Err... John, in England the only thing required to enter a university (the noun is not capitalised) is money, not "mental capacity", whatever that means. Otherwise I would have never stood a chance of getting in!
Furthermore, vocational courses and apprenticeships can be a lot more effective in both financial and career terms than a "me-too" university degree.
PS: Anecdotally, a friend of mine decided in his early twenties that he wanted a career as a bricklayer and went on to train as one--nowadays he is a naval engineer. Another one, a very intelligent lad with a degree in musicology, decided that he liked the short work hours and job security... of being a rubbish collector. :-P
I have 2 degrees, which I expect to have paid off this year, but it is the trade qualifications that get me work (presently in a University). Biggest problem for me right now is keeping my mouth shut when the PhD-encumbered lecturers teach things I know are just not right! Something I can't morally or legally do at all when they start, for example describing doing things with electricity that are borderline unsafe! And guess who has to do all the paperwork when some unfortunate student decides to try it for/on them self!? From the stories passed around amongst the tech-support staff here, this sort of thing is fairly common. I am just thankful I work in the visual-arts school and not in chemistry or somewhere like that where the stories I hear are quite hair-raising (eg: lets just dump all these glass bottles of volatile chemicals in an old cardboard box for the removal contractors to move to the new campus! The cheif chem-tech was red-faced-screaming that day, for sure.).
How does he come across as someone who wants the state to provide everything to him? He's going to be payng a hell of a lot for the rest of his life to study mathematics...
I think what he was expecting as someone who has finished his secondry level education, and therefore assumedly an adult, what the freedom of speech. Which is open to everyone. There shouldn't be gratitude that he called Gove a c*nt, but he has the freedom to express his opinion should he so wish. He has not broken the law, though the headmaster has decided he could exclude him (which could well be within his gift) and report him to the poilce, which is an arrogant nonsense.
> No, I don't think that uni fees should be as high as they are, but realistically the legacy of the "everyone should go to uni" drum that's been banged for so long now is that we can't afford to pay everyone through uni.
At just over half a dozen countries in the World (a number that is decreasing rapidly), there are no fees at all to go to higher education, and in all cases some aid is available for people of insufficient means. On at least two of those, based on first hand experience, the level of education offered is outstanding.
They do however have very strict, competitive examinations, so that only the best and most motivated get in. Exactly the people who would benefit the most from it.
No but if you were good at that time you went to a Grammar school. (Pass the exam go to the Grammar school).
Get decent A Levels go to uni and have everything paid.
That is better than what it is now especially for people on low incomes.
(That happened to me Dad these days if you are born poor you will die poor no matter what you do which is far worse. He went to pretty much the worst Primary School in the City).
"No but if you were good at that time you went to a Grammar school."
Don't forget the post-1944 Secondary Technical Schools. In many cities they also required an 11+ or 13+ pass. You could do "A" Levels and go to university - even do English at Oxbridge. However at 16 you could also get an apprenticeship with one of the many industrial companies who sponsored the Prize Day awards.
The pre-war two year Junior Technical Schools were very good at training people to enter craft apprenticeships at 16 - with low unemployment rates. The Grammar schools turned out mostly overqualified clerks - with relatively high unemployment.
The post-1944 Secondary Technical Schools were aiming higher for technical managers and research engineers/scientists - they also produced a bishop now and again. In the 1960s - just as they were being most productive - they were merged into Comprehensives that hadn't the same specialist capabilities. It is only in the noughties that some schools have again become declared specialists in Science or Engineering - mainly focussed on university places. A visit to one of these often shows no practical work in things like chemistry or physics - just dictation from the teacher.
Ironically, the education establishment is up in arms over the Free Schools precisely because they aren't identikit sausage factories.
The dirty little secret about Comprehensives is this - the few that get their pupils into the top universities regularly use the "Evul Private School" examining board A levels.
Funny how no-one has noticed that.
We have Secondary Moderns right now. It's just that they don't label them that way.
"even said that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt"
So doesnt that mean that this is putting his thoughts along simialr lines of people such as, Tacitus, Plutarch, Jefferson, Sagan, Nietzche, Bernard Shaw, Lord Acton etc etc?
Seriously is this head an idiot? Some of the greatest minds around have made comments and addressed issues such as this, (not saying the kid is one of them btw), personally I'd be quite worried about the lack of general education and knowledge in the school head.
At least it's just some school official ....meanwhile in America....
“Unfortunately you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
—Barack Obama in a commencement address at Ohio State University, May, 2013
This poor guy is probably on some list (extra search/no-fly etc) somewhere for life.
Yes, the blogger does sound like a petulant child. Yes, it doesn't seem (to the unqualified eye) that he's done anything illegal. Yes, it seems like the head has completely over-reacted.
In fact, nobody comes out of this sorry episode looking as if they are a shining example of the role they fill.
However it seems to me that the head teacher has grossly over-stepped his authority, getting involved in events that happened outside the school gates - even if it was all about the school. Schools are not the USA - they don't have a god-given right to interfere in matters that displease them, in areas they have no jurisdiction over.
I am slightly puzzled by the head teacher's reaction, however. Given the obvious animosity between him and this kid (one that smacks of unprofessional behaviour, reacting to the taunt is a newby's mistake), you'd think he'd be throwing a party to celebrate the parting of the ways, rather than stirring things up even more. Maybe with sufficient exposure, teachers do get to be like the children.
Even if it did extend significantly beyond* the school, "in loco parentis" was, i assume, intended to refer to behaving like a responsible parent, not some screaming pseudo-adult hauling their unfortunate offspring around the mall.
*In this part of Aus it also covers students going from school to home or another extra-curricular activity, at which point it firmly stops.
Actually it *does* stop outside of school hours / outside the school property as then you are under the responsibility of your parents, not the school
in loco parentis does not give a school carte blanche over a students entire life, nor does it allow them to essentially exercise 'thought-control' when the student is not on the school premises
It was in fact created so that medical emergencies could be dealt with, without first having to contact the parents (such a delay having the potential to cause the death of the pupil) & for *no other* purposes
Teachers operate in loco-perentis, they are required to act as if parents and it doesn't stop when outside of school hours.
That's exactly wrong. Parents / legal guardians have the job of parenting their kids when under thier supervision. The job of the teacher stops at the school gate (with the exception of school trips, etc. where the parent has given written authorisation). We don't yet live in an authoritarian state a-la North Korea. Lets try to keep it that way, eh?
Your first sentence I completely agree with. I don't think the head hasn't overstepped his authority too, in fact I DO think he HAS overstepped his authority which is another, clearer way of saying what you said. The rest of your post, sorry mate, you're on your own. I don't believe the state does have the right to usurp parental authority except in extreme cases such as severe neglect and abuse.
More like he slagged off the restaurant after he had left, then the manager phoned up the other restaurant he was heading to, to get the chef to spit in his food.
After having working in a restaurant washing dishes as a kid it's not the spitting you have to worry about, it's where he gets the cheese for your cheese sauce from.
"Swearing is a really important part of one's life. It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing and without enjoying swearing... There used to be mad, silly, prissy people who used to say swearing was a sign of a poor vocabulary -such utter nonsense. The people I know who swear the most tend to have the widest vocabularies and the kind of person who says swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary usually have a pretty poor vocabulary themselves... The sort of twee person who thinks swearing is in any way a sign of a lack of education or a lack of verbal interest or -is just a fucking lunatic... I haven't met anybody who's truly shocked at swearing, really, they're only shocked on behalf of other people. Well, you know, that's preposterous... or they say 'it's not necessary'. As if that should stop one doing it! It's not necessary to have coloured socks, it's not necessary for this cushion to be here, but is anyone going to write in and say 'I was shocked to see that cushion there, it really wasn't necessary'? No, things not being necessary is what makes life interesting -the little extras in life. "
While I agree that swearing is a fairly important part of speech, when you're writing things down, you've got a lot longer to think about what you want to say and how you want to get the message across, peppering text with Fs and Cs is far less linguistically skilled than using a specific single swear word once or twice to make a point. You'll notice this is exactly what Mr Fry did in your quote.
Also, Stephen isn't an Oracle, he does have a habit of getting things wrong, from a little bit wrong or as we know it in my house "Is that true, or is it a QI fact?" to a lottle bit wrong, usually about technology as regulars on this site will be only too aware.
The headteacher of this school should be promptly removed from from his post
To start with, it would appear that this former student made these remarks from a personal computer (ie not one inside the school) so why is the headteacher interfering with event that happened outside the property bounds of the school, that is nothing to do with him. Secondly to go to the lengths of contacting the university the student applied to smacks highly of an attempt to carry out a smear campaign spreading hearsay (which i remind folks, is usually considered illegal)
All in all while the student perhaps should have not made his remarks in such an expletive filled manner, the UK was the last time I checked considered a 'free' society where you are 'free' to express your thoughts even if others do disagree either with your thoughts or the manner you share them in without having to fear extra-judical punishment, and without fearing that your entire future might be ruined by no more that the petty actions of what appears to be a somewhat challenged headteacher who is clearly unable or unwilling to either rise above the criticism or address it directy in a manner that would resolve the problem raised.
Actions should indeed have consequences.
Hampstead School should be looking for a new headmaster. The fact that an individual follows 'anti-establishment ways of thinking' is not a reason for hostile action against him in a free society. It would be different if he had been, say, calling for terrorist acts.
Speaking truth to power or spouting verbal bottom sludge? Could be either, don't care much either way. Half the postings on Facebook/Twitter are the same mindless abuse.
Actively trying to block a student's path forward by denying him access to university? The headmaster is completely wrong to try that and should resign. It is an educators duty to teach/train/develop/encourage a future citizen.
Now that the headmaster has tried, and failed, he can expect a lot more of the same about him and his school.
Welcome to the Barbara Streisand Effect...
"Michael Gove and the previous mindless c**ts that have held the role of education secretary have made comprehensive state schools into factories for young people. We are not educated, we are inculcated and cultivated to be a society of vacuous consumers. With tuition loans being a thirty-year education tax, we are slaves to the dime."
I just wish that some of the alleged graduates who periodically inflict their (unsolicited) CVs on my business had this sixth-former's ability to express himself cogently - some of them might then have half a chance of being considered for employment.
> Szemalikowski told the Camden New Journal he decided to try to destroy Zaloom's chances of attending a good university because he was worried the potty-mouth blogger "could be developing into an anarchist”.
Because if there's one sure way of encouraging a person with anarchist tendencies back on to the "straight and narrow", it's a figure of authority vastly overstepping and abusing their powers against said person.
"Our chief psychic here at the Trash, Madame Headhurts, sanely predicts that on the first day the new law is implemented, an inconceivable amount of students will be innocently late, too many to keep back for detention, the new rule will be scrapped, and the School Management members will have more egg on their faces than Jamie Oliver at a Fetish Orgy."
His writing isn't so bad, maybe The Register should give him a column.
To me it seems that there are a lot of beancounters active (the school board or council?) who are completely unaware of how things work in the real world and are only concerned about their companies so called good reputation. And every risk of getting a somewhat negative comment about the things they do needs to be suppressed or silenced best as possible.
They may not like what Zaloom wrote, and I agee that one could argue that Zaloom could have used different wording, but that's really not what this is all about. In fact, the so called reasoning behind it is laughable:
"Szemalikowski told the Camden New Journal he decided to try to destroy Zaloom's chances of attending a good university because he was worried the potty-mouth blogger "could be developing into an anarchist”."
Sure. But if he's so afraid of a possible threat then wouldn't it be much safer if you could keep an eye out on the things Zaloom says or does instead of forcing him to go "underground"? Cutting his ties with the society or community that he was familiar with could risk exactly that. Sorry, but I only see a cheap excuse here to get rid of a source of negative commentary. Nothing more, nothing less.
Schools aren't run by a headmaster or some form of "school democracy" any longer. There are powers at work (the school council for example) who approach the whole environment strictly from a business point of view. And they have absolutely no interest what so ever in the human side of things.
Heck; have we already forgotten how a school council (with an all too willing headmaster in my opinion) were having no problems with expelling a 9 year old girl and only because she liked taking pictures of the school food and blog about them? Not even in a negative manner perse, merely giving her opinion on the food she got that day.
Who knows; maybe she'll become a new top chef some day. But no; the school council didn't care, all they cared about is silencing people who might talk negative about their organization, even if it's merely constructive criticism.
Could the kid have used different language? Of course, but he's a kid and there are a lot of fucking words you have to learn; not only the definitions of, but when and how to use them. It takes years of practice to develop the panache necessary to use them effectively.
What he has learned from all this is his first lesson in getting noticed. That's the first step in getting people to hear what you have to say. Self-marketing is probably not what the Headmaster had in mind when he prematurely shot his wad in public.
The Headmaster's overreaction would also seem to indicate the kid may have hit on some real issues. His methods were rather crude, but to those old enough to filter out the occasional cunt there are likely valid points in there.
Russell Brand and George Galloway know long and unusual words, I would contend it's not a sign of intelligence or skill, just of knowing some words the other people don't know.
I would contend that both Brand and Galloway not only know long and unusual words, but are also highly intelligent individuals. That intelligence tends to have no bearing on common sense, or on morality is the only thing that can really be inferred from this.
That you have failed to recognise this, and the fact that both of them have had very successful careers by a number of metrics implies that they are probably both of higher intelligence than you are.
in one of Milligans books who tries to get some revenue off a Scot for bringing a bottle of whisky back from the war. To avoid having to pay the man shares it about and drinks the rest. The customs prat calls the MP's over to arrest him. 'Why?' 'He's drunk' 'No he's not' <apoplexy> 'He will be! He will be!' </apoplexy>
Individualism. It must be punished, you know.
Actually it reminds me of Berrow Wood school. I was there when various Social Services came in to shut the place down under allegations, later proven, of physical and sexual abuse of kids by staff. I can tell you, they had pretty much the same kind of attitude as this cock-end of a headmaster. Funny thing is, you develop a kind of Stockholm Syndrome to cope with it, and it took years to realise what cunts half the staff at that place were. Because, of course, we're all there because we're worthless and this is as good as it gets, apparently.
This kid should count himself lucky he wasn't young enough to be sent to a place like that, thanks to a bell-cheese of a headmaster. As-is, pin a medal on that lad for having the balls to have an opinion. Such attitudes should be cultivated, not punished.
I can't resist pointing out that Will Self went to UCS and slagged the place off in one of his books - and I think they consider him one of their successes.
But then a school whose school song includes the words "they laid intolerance low" has a certain living up to to do.
In 1917 Alec Waugh wrote a novel, at the age of 17, which criticised his Alma Mater. "The Loom of Youth" became a scandalous best-seller. He was then banned from ever visiting the school again. In recent years the school library has put the book on its shelves - and regards him as a distinguished old boy.
Can't help but think of the refrain:
When we grew up and went to school
There were certain teachers
Who would hurt the children in any way they could
By pouring their derision
Upon anything we did
Exposing every weakness
However carefully hidden by the kids
But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night
Their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them
Within inches of their lives
That was written circa 1979. So it's still possible to attribute that in part to teachers' brutalising war experiences. One of our most apparently psychopathic teachers had apparently been in the war-time commandos. The school heaved a collective sigh of relief when he left - and a sigh of pity for the school at which he was to be the new headmaster.
Based on the information presented in this article, I would believe that the school's headmaster should be severely reprimanded at the very least. Possibly fired. Not because of his actions in relation to the school itself but specifically because he called the police. I realize that I have not read any of the source material and so my opinion is weighted heavily by my limited exposure to the facts of the matter. However based on what I read in this article I didn't get the impression Kinnan had posted any police actionable material. He may have been extremely rude and may indeed have anarchist and individualist views but none of those things are illegal in any way. Unless Kinnan threatened some form of violence, Jacques had no business involving the authorities and he should be made to publicly apologize for doing so inappropriately. The school has every right to suspend or expel students for being a disruptive influence. However they do not have the right to involve the authorities because their headmaster disagrees with one of his student's views.
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"With a name like that, Id be interested to know wether this head master was a member of the Stazi at some time in the past "
With a a first name like this he is most probable French or Belgian with some Polish roots. Most probably his father or grandfather was an immigrant coal miner.
However, I would not mix his nationality or ethnicity into this. The headmaster is a disgrace regardless of where he comes from.
I have just been reading The Hampstead Trash and can say as a former young anarchist and current old fuddy duddy that Mr Shawaddywoddykowski ( copied from the Hampstead Trash) should be proud of the achievement shown by the good English and writing style of the Bloggers from his school.
They have clearly received an education in English from somewhere are are using it to express themselves clearly and amusingly with satire ( a respected British tradition).
Rather than trying to censure and censor Kinnan Zaloom Mr Shawaddywoddykowski as an apparently passionate educator should have made efforts to educate Zaloom and his colleagues in what he percieves as correct behaviour and politics and not gone running off like a school snitch to the university and the police and acting the cunt!
"If you'd taught in the sixities and seventies, you wouldn't have survived them, [...]"
His attitude does rather remind me of my headmaster in the 1960s. He was getting close to retirement and became paranoid about any scandal arising from the changing social mores. He was apparently more interested in the prestige of university places, especially Oxbridge, than he was in the Technical School's mission for Science and Engineering applied for industry.
In his final year he chose the only two UVIth Arts students for Head Boy and Deputy. Yours truly cut his
baiting debating skills challenging the increasingly repressive rules as unofficial spokesman for the UVIth Engineers and Scientists.
You know what surprises me?
Firstly, that a significant proportion of the comments endorse the headmaster's action and condemn the student. I think Kinnan is well-justified in his "anti-establishment ways of thinking and ... that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt". (There is more than enough proof of the latter!)
And as for Kinnan's expletives, those same words have appeared in comments under many another El Reg article, yet there were no prissy complainers. This curious disconnect baffles me.
There is no Trivium is schools; they don't want people who think for themselves, because the slave teachers and slave managers do not like genuinely insightful reasoning, argument and debate which shake the masters tree, because that would be scary, and wake them up; no can't have that!
Universities are better up to a point; however they can be a debt slave trap if you allow yourself to build up too much debt; I just missed the tuition fee nonsense, so paid mine off fairly quickly.
The boy was right, and it is quite sad that so many people are so blind that they cannot see the cages fitted to them by 'teachers'. School was originally a luxury leisure activity and should be still, with the real learning from doing, so modern society often has it's priorities arse about face.
Because the police were called for what was effectively slander by the head teacher, the boy should sue the pretentious prick to teach /him/ a real lesson!
I've been in state and public schools, and the state schools were definitely worse; I saw a good teacher leave the state school for a better career, I hope he did will!
I routinely ignore or pay lip service to rules, because many are nonsense which enslave you or makes your life dull and fragile.
I can only imagine the head suffered from a prolonged fit of pique. I imagine he's having a rather momentous 'oh no!' moment around about now.
The kids language is uncouth, no doubt, but he isn't doing anything wrong. He just seems to be finding his feet in a rather obnoxious and expansive way. All part of growing up.
The head's overreaction almost proves the points the kids on the blog are trying to make.
Running a school these days seems to be far more about appeasing the government and the sort of superficial posturing described in the articles, than actual quality education.
In the end it comes down to attracting students, because students mean money, and you only do that by looking good in the metrics the government sets and publicizes. Within that mindset, the Head has to stamp on this kind of criticism as it could harm the school's reputation. Trying to destroy a teenager's future on the other hand, smells of vindictiveness (or spite), and an enormous lack of professionalism, Personally, the Head is utterly in the wrong.
Of course, the best schools can both tick all the boxes and provide a great education, but that requires: a good head, quality staff, and the aforementioned money, and all three are in very short supply.
Kinnan Zaloom clearly shows in his articles -- having gone and read a fair chunk of the blog, and trying not to sound condescending here, that he is intelligent, literate and perceptive. Starting the blog was probably not a sensible move, but I am not sure if I would act differently in the same position. When from your viewpoint you see something seriously wrong, and no one is listening; what else do you do? Knuckle under? In the end, this highlighting the blog may have more impact on the guy's career than his A levels.
According to the Camden New Journal
Mr Szemalikowski ... added that if Mr Zaloom had not used bad language he would still have warranted an expulsion “for his mad ideas and ranting”.
I'd love to know what legal basis he would have for expelling a pupil for mad ideas and ranting. There are very tight controls on exclusions and expulsions; it is not down to the whim of the head teacher.
Won me over right there. Smart kid.
"Szemalikowski told the Camden New Journal he decided to try to destroy Zaloom's chances of attending a good university". Isn't that potentially both an admission of liable and a data protection offense? It also sounds like an admission of harassment and persecution.
You may argue the kid committed similar offenses himself on the blog, and that should have been tackled via due process. Should have left it right there, all clear legal and above board. But because the Head appears to have allegedly crossed the line and made this personal, well it's just shameful really and an embarrassment to the school.
Perhaps instead of whining about the dumb cunt of a headmaster at Hampstead School, we might actually want to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Here is a good place to start...
Telephone: 020 7794 8133
Fax: 020 7435 8260
Attendance line: 020 7472 5380
We all have a fundamental right to say and do things our employers (or teachers, &c.) might disapprove of, anytime we are not actually at work (or school / college / university). These people do not own us.
Come the next election, I will be voting for whichever party is promising to introduce a new law (or enforce any law that already exists) guaranteeing proper separation of personal and professional lives. There is no way that employers (or educational establishments, &c.) should be allowed to use anything done while "off the clock" against employees (or students, &c.).
I am astonished that there is a single person on here who supports the headmaster, yet there seem to be quite a number.
How can anyone justify a deliberate attempt to ruin a youngster's life? The headmaster should not only be removed, but should undergo a medical examination. He sounds dangerously psychopathic to me.
".....How can anyone justify a deliberate attempt to ruin a youngster's life?....." How? Zaloom seems to be the one responsible for ruining his own life by (a) being stupid enough to thumb his nose at those with the power to make him suffer, and (b) being too much of an under-achiever to get the grades he needed anyway, and (c) by indulging in an ego-stroking vent online in the stupid belief that support from his fellow underachieving anarchists will somehow compensate for his own failings. But then the whole idea of taking responsibility for your own actions does seem quite foreign to many of the posters here.
"....The headmaster should not only be removed, but should undergo a medical examination....." Why? He was doing his job - protecting the reputation of his school and warning a uni of a potentially slanderous troublemaker. Going by your previous posts, it seems that you consider Zaloom automatically correct because he shares your failed ideologies. I'm betting you wouldn't be condemning the headmaster so quickly if the head had warned the uni that Zaloom was an EDL member and had a website full of criticism of the school for not implementing Fascist schooling doctrines.
".....He sounds dangerously psychopathic to me." I suspect you had problems of your own at school and blamed them on everyone else but yourself?
Congratulations on the attempt to label individualistic, non-conformist thoughts as being of the same threat level as physical terroristic violence.
You don't deserve to live in a free society.
"Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins."
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
One of the commentards suggested the Head sue for defamation. In a way I think that should have been his approach. I am sure any decent solicitor would have explained to him why that was a bad idea, and might have stopped him making a fool of himself.
Or maybe he wouldn't have listened ...
you Ruin the kids life because you think that his views that all governments are corrupt makes him a anarchist ? you know what happens when you stamp on people for daring to be individuals, when they are grown and strong enough they come back and take over your school , they put you out on the street and burn your home down, so good luck with your spitefulness may you get everything your wish on him back *10 .
if he believes that the school is crap it could well be crap, but as it's his opinion why would that bother you so much ? unless it's true ? then i could understand why it might well bother you for him to publish your crap school as it will mean they will replace you as headmaster for failing the youths , you want to ruin someone's chances to get a good education , look to be honest I would sack you for that alone but to do it out of spite also as in you made my school look bad and I don't want people to look at it that way. You should not be allowed in education , your a has been that just wants to cover his or her own arse instead of doing whats best for the students . in reality what you seem to be blind to is that the governments of the world are corrupt and blatantly are so , hell brussels has not been able to get a accountant to be able to sign it's accounts for the last ten years . don't say someone is anti establishment because they are against corruption , if we want a world in which our children will be free , free in reality not a slave to paying taxes to support some greedy politician to expense cleaning his moat around his personal castle or for watching the porn channel and claiming it on expenses ( apart from being mind numbingly stupid and obvious) , it appears that the reality is that the governments are corrupt almost completely and they believe your so stupid that your going to believe there lies that its all in a good cause and you should pay to support them in every way. If he wants to go to university to better himself perhaps he can come back and do your job , your obviously not fit to do it.
This head teacher is a disgrace to his profession.
His job is to encourage freedom of thought, not to punish it.
And his vindictive action in calling the police demonstrates what a pathetic individual he is.
Obviously not fit to hold the position.
Whether or not the pupil's observations concerning his education were or were not accurate is neither here nor there - he ought to be free to express them.
As to his use of offensive language; what is offensive to one person, in one context, may not be in another.
The Cyberspace Administration of China has announced a policy requiring all comments made to websites to be approved before publication.
Outlined in a document published last Friday and titled "Provisions on the Administration of Internet Thread Commenting Services", the policy is aimed at making China's internet safer, and better represent citizens' interests. The Administration believes this can only happen if comments are reviewed so that only posts that promote socialist values and do not stir dissent make it online.
To stop the nasties being published, the policy outlines requirements for publishers to hire "a review and editing team suitable for the scale of services".
India's tech-related policies continue to create controversy, with fresh objections raised to a pair of proposed regulation packages.
One of those regulations is the infosec reporting and logging requirements introduced by India's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in late April. That package requires VPN, cloud, and numerous other IT services providers to collect customers' personal information and log their activity, then surrender that info to Indian authorities on demand. One VPN provider, ExpressVPN, last week quit India on grounds that its local servers are designed not to record any logs so compliance would be impossible. ExpressVPN will soon route customers' traffic outside India.
On Tuesday, another VPN – Surfshark – announced it would do likewise.
Updated Microsoft search engine Bing censors terms deemed sensitive in China from its autosuggestion feature internationally, according to research from Citizen Lab.
The University of Toronto research organization analyzed the search engine's autosuggestion system for censorship of nearly 100,000 names in the United States, Canada and China in both English letters and Chinese characters. Testing was done by modifying region settings, language setting and IP address geolocation.
Microsoft responded to a notification from Citizen Lab, and called [PDF] the lack of autofill terms a "technical error" and said they'd resolved the issue.
Internet interruption-watcher NetBlocks has reported internet outages across Pakistan on Wednesday, perhaps timed to coincide with large public protests over the ousting of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The watchdog organisation asserted that outages started after 5:00PM and lasted for about two hours. NetBlocks referred to them as “consistent with an intentional disruption to service.”
While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.
Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.
Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.
China’s Ministry of Public Security has revealed the five most prevalent types of fraud perpetrated online or by phone.
The e-commerce scam known as “brushing” topped the list and accounted for around a third of all internet fraud activity in China. Brushing sees victims lured into making payment for goods that may not be delivered, or are only delivered after buyers are asked to perform several other online tasks that may include downloading dodgy apps and/or establishing e-commerce profiles. Victims can find themselves being asked to pay more than the original price for goods, or denied promised rebates.
Brushing has also seen e-commerce providers send victims small items they never ordered, using profiles victims did not create or control. Dodgy vendors use that tactic to then write themselves glowing product reviews that increase their visibility on marketplace platforms.
To the surprise of many users, China's largest Twitter-esque microblogging website, Sina Weibo, announced on Thursday that it will publish users' IP addresses and location data in an effort to keep their content honest and nice.
In a post whose title translates as "IP Territorial Function Upgrade Announcement," the company stated it was taking the action to protect users' rights, and to make the service more pleasant to use.
"In order to reduce undesirable behaviors such as impersonating parties, malicious rumors … as well as to ensure the authenticity and transparency of the disseminated content, the site launched the 'IP Territory' function in March this year," announced the social media platform's official account in Chinese.
China's internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), has taken unusually strong action against a social network that has long been considered a thorn in the side of the nation's elites.
The site in question is Douban: a Reddit-like affair that started life as a forum to discuss books, music, and film. In the years since its 2005 founding, the site has become known for attracting users who express opinions that China's government may well find displeasing. Commenters have, for example, generally been unafraid to share frank opinions of works considered to represent exceptional expressions of Chinese patriotism.
That culture has sparked numerous controversies – most famously when users downvoted the film The Wandering Earth, based on a novel of the same name by Chinese sci-fi author Liu Cixin, whose works are considered seminal contributions to the genre in China. Liu's novel, The Three Body Problem, took the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, and is being adapted for Netflix by the showrunners who made Game of Thrones. Dissing Liu is therefore a big deal.
Toronto-based Citizen Lab has warned that an app required by Beijing law to attend the 2022 Olympics contains vulnerabilities that can leak calls and data to malicious users, as well as the potential to subject the user to scanning for censored keywords.
"To support the successful delivery of the Games and the safety of all Games participants, Beijing 2022 has developed the 'My 2022' application, which includes information provided by the Organising Committee, the City of Beijing and also general information," reads the International Olympic Committee's Beijing 2022 playbooks.
The playbooks [PDF], which are documents that serve as info guides for Olympics-goers, instruct international visitors to download the app and use it to monitor health for 14 days prior to their departure for China.
A datacenter fire resulted in internet outages across Iran for around three hours last Friday, and it appears the cause was the nation's surveillance apparatus.
The fire took place at a building belonging to the Telecom Infrastructure Company (TIC) – the only reseller of connectivity to Iranian internet service providers. The TIC applies content filters so that ISPs receive a feed cleansed of anything Iran's rulers don't want citizens to see – which means religious or political content that disagrees in any way with the views of the revolutionary government.
According to Netblocks, the centralized gateway "allows Iranian authorities to control the flow of information to counter cyberthreats, but has also come under scrutiny for its use to limit the public's access to information and international services."
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