Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

TEENAGE rebellion is widely accepted as a natural stage in the evolution of the individual. But then again it might simply be a reaction to the authoritarianism of those who run modern education. The proposed ban on musical chairs, put forward last week in a pamphlet by the Forum on Children and Violence, recalls numerous acts of bossiness on the part of educationists in recent years.

There is the case of St Andrew's School in Burnham on Sea, Somerset, which has banned football on the grounds that it encourages that root of all evil (and success outside the rarefied air of the classroom), competitiveness. Boys and girls alike are being encouraged to play hopscotch instead, a game which has the added advantage of not discriminating against one-legged pupils.

At Trinity School in Aspley, Nottinghamshire, it is Brylcreem which has been banned: a pupil was banned from gelling his hair on the grounds that he constituted a fire risk. One would have thought that fire-safety rules ought to be more concerned with getting pupils out of the school faster than the speed at which they would burn if they didn't get out. …

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