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Education, Education, Indoctrination

Written June 2023

If the Covid years have taught us anything, it is surely that huge swathes of people are primed to accept whatever they are told, and behave accordingly, without engaging in any level of critical or free thought. ‘Group Think’ has become something to which people refer in a positive sense. Local social media groups are awash with posts requesting the opinion of the ‘hive mind’, almost as if the poster is so unsure of their own ability to make a decision, or interpret a situation, that they must gather others’ opinions and simply go with the majority.

The situation has become so dire, that now teachers in classrooms across the West feel emboldened to challenge biological reality, furnishing students with information garnered from their peculiar arsenal of LGBTQ+ (full disclosure, I don’t know all the new ones) tropes. It is an extraordinary new brand of idiocy. In a recent classroom altercation, which took place at Rye College, a school in the UK, some female students argued back to a teacher who told them that it was “despicable” of them to reject the notion that there are more than two genders. The teacher, who has done about as much for the trans movement as Alf Garnett would have done for BLM, proceeded to quiz the students about where they “got the idea that there are only two genders?” As if the notion of biological reality, male and female, were some kind of ridiculous conspiracy, dreamt up by some radicals, rather than the other way around.

On the one hand, I pity them, these people who are so frightened of saying the wrong thing or expressing the wrong opinion, that they will quite literally spout utter lies to avoid the scorn of the rainbow mafia. The teacher in the case of the classroom at Rye College sounded terrified, and not because the students felt the way they did, but because her own rebuttals clearly did not cut the mustard with her charges, and she instead sounded nothing short of ludicrous. It was as if an internal battle was going on in the teacher’s own mind, in which she knew she must hold the line of ‘acceptable’ opinion, while trying to reason the unreasonable against students who were running rings around her, since her argument was so vacuous.

But on the other hand, I am furious. Teachers have a responsibility to teach children in a rational and reasoned manner, and to teach them biological facts and truths. It is frankly an appalling over-reach from our educational institutions, that they should see it as their place to bypass parents, and ‘teach’ children the most ridiculous untruths, which could leave more vulnerable children open to enormous confusion. Apparently ignorant that her manner and language fit the modus operandi of many a past fascist regime, the teacher at Rye further informs her students that their opinion is “not an opinion that is ok”, a stunning admission. And in yet another astonishing denouncement, the students were told that “cisgender is not necessarily the way to be”.

If I were a parent of one of the girls who were treated with such incredulity by this absurd teacher, I would be very proud of her. One of the teacher’s final dogmatic statements to the girls was that they “need to have a proper educational conversation about equality, diversity and inclusion” – this sounds awfully like a call for ‘re-education’, as one might face in North Korea should your opinion fall outside the one deemed acceptable. Education should be about furnishing our children with the skills to think freely and critically, and teachers should welcome challenges in the spirit of debate with their students. Sadly, our schools and universities operate instead as factories of indoctrination, apparently attempting to mould our children into compliant puppets, ripe for a life of obedience. The episode at Rye College fills me with hope that the factories are failing. Common sense must prevail.

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