Manners maketh man

22 10 2009

A headmaster at Macclesfield High in Cheshire has been trying to instill a bit of old-school discipline in his kids by requesting them to stand up when he enters the room. Now I remember when I was at school that we had to get up whenever any member of staff entered the room. It was a bit of a hassle but it was part of developing manners and self-discipline. After all, when at work I have to get up from my desk to meet new clients or when an important person is visiting. It is part of being courteous and showing respect for another person.


One child at the school has made a point of refusing to get up when the Head enters the room. I’m pretty sure quite a few kids over the years have tried to be mini-revolutionaries and stand up to these kind of rules. Normally, their parents get called in and after a few words, the child falls into line. However, in this instance the boy’s father has decided to support his son, claiming that the head hasn’t “earned his son’s respect yet”.

The father of three has no job and has also defended his daughter’s flouting of the no make-up rule recently introduced, stating “If they tell her to take off her make-up, she will get her coat.”

Now, the father pays no taxes and makes no contribution to the financing of the school so I do not know why he is questioning an essentially free service that educates his children. It is also ludicrous to encourage his son to believe that the Head is not deserving of respect. Given the head has completed his education and contributes to the education of others, he is definitely deserving of respect.

As far as I can see, the only people who will lose out if his children ‘get their coats’ and leave the school are them. Good luck trying to get a job with no GCSEs. Oh yes but of course, they’ll just claim benefits like their Dad.




2 responses

23 10 2009

Hmmm. Why am I not surprised about this? My Mum was a teacher, retired now, and she would never go into it now. A thankless task for the most part, facing classes of demotivated, uninterested youth, with an angsty knowledge of “their rights” and aggressive parents behind them, ready to pounce.
My daughter has just qualified, wisely opting for primary, but now thinking maybe nursery. Far less confrontational.
Parents should have to have a license to have a child, to prove they know how to bring them up.
Incidentally, here in France there is less of this, as when the kids get to school they always shake hands, kiss etc, and this includes the teachers! They show far more respect for their elders. Not to say it never happens, because it obviously still does, but here in rural Brittany there is next to nothing. I worked for 7 months in two schools with zero levels of truancy, by the way, in a rural town, a poor population, parents poorly educated, working in factories. But the kids all stayed in school and were respectful.
One was a college, years 7 to 10, the othere a Lycée Professionel, for kids learning trades etc, years 11 upwards to age 21+.
The boys could be a bit of a handful, but nevertheless, they were angels compared with the UK, and I was teaching them English, which they really didn’t want to learn.

23 10 2009

I think Tamarind Tree’s reminding us of the old adage ‘manners maketh man’ is a very good thing. I, for one, strongly believe in this adage. It is hard, though, when so many others take advantage of one’s impeccable manners or see manners as a sign of weakness in their hideous will to be rude and assert the absolute nothingness they have to offer. The father that the article talks about ought to be ashamed of himself – he has no moral core and is instilling in his children attitudes that will not serve them well. I am sure the teachers breathe a sigh of relief when this mans offspring ‘grab their coats’. Makes you feel so sorry for the children at their school who do genuinely want a good education and their lesson time in interfered with by badly brought up children. Look at the father – he looks like a paragon of self-discipline, drive and virtue doesn’t he? And look where it’s got him! His children should look and learn and change their ways while they still can.

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