Saturday, May 28, 2005

Sex in UK primary schools; crime and cash obsessed youth; the culture of fear

http://education.independent.co.uk/news/story.jsp?story=642340

According to Linda Jones and Richard Garner in the UK's Independent newspaper, 29 May 2005, the sexual behaviour of pre-teen children is starting to copy that of teenagers.

Primary school children have sexual behaviour once associated with teenagers, according to parents and teachers.

Primary schools are complaining of playground sex games.

One mother spoke about how seven-year-old Alex asked a family guest for sex.

"Alex then tried to explain to this poor girl how 'sex' was done - all in very childish terms - stuff he had obviously picked up at school."

Recently it was reported that a 12 year-old in Derby had become pregnant.

More than 8,000 girls under 16 became pregnant in England and Wales in 2003, an increase of 2.5 per cent. Sexually transmitted diseases are at record levels among the young.

Alex's mother: "Children are being exposed to stuff I never dreamed possible. I wonder about how Alex will think about girls and women as he gets older, when they have a T-shirt on which says 'Babe' in big letters, at the age of eight.

"It's a no-win situation for schools. How can they stop the children talking about what they see every day? Computer games, DVDs, pop music, fashion, children's magazines, advertising and television programmes are all so obviously influenced by sex. They are being bombarded with images. You try explaining to an eight-year-old why everyone has FCUK on their T-shirts."

Letter to the Independent:

I became a supply teacher in the early 1990s after ceasing to be head of modern languages at an independent boys' school. The change of scene was terrifying! A boy kicked my car as I left school, and a group of boys stood in a circle round a girl in an English lesson pretending to have a "blow job". I was once given a German class of three pupils from year 11. Each had their own social worker and the mother of one used foul language in all her conversations with the school.

~~~

http://www.sundayherald.com/50011

Sylvia Patterson reports in the UK's Sunday Herald :'Under a ‘scary’ hooded top is something even scarier. A wasted boy.'

Lee is 17 and wears a hoodie ... he likes cannabis, cocaine and petty crime... Lee is unemployed and wants to be a DJ in a hip hop group. “Everyone’s spending their money on drugs,” he says.

He makes money through petty crime; stealing mobile phones, cigarettes, lap-tops.

“I never intend to have a job, never,” he announces, “because I can’t work underneath someone. I’d have to be a boss. I can’t handle anyone telling me what to do, anyone.”

Lee's Mum has a heroin habit. Dad was gone when Lee was two.

"Parental absence in his friends, is the norm; whether through work, divorce, drugs, depression or disinterest."

"His male role models are the hip-hop “players” on MTV, the most crime ’n’ cash obsessed youth culture in history."

"Lee believes 'poverty' is the root of estate-life chaos. 'Society, politicians, the top, is to blame.'"

~~~

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2088-1632100,00.html

Simon Jenkins wrote in the UK's Sunday Times, 29 May 2005, that we have nothing to fear but the culture of fear itself.

In the UK, according to Jenkins:

1. the rate for under-16 (illegal) pregnancies has risen
2. the rate is five times that of the Netherlands. It is three times that of France and double Germany ’s.

Jenkins points out: "Not a day passes without some new “social control” descending on the British people. From ID cards to Asbos, from curfews to dispersal zones, from control orders to lie detectors to community service order uniforms..."

Jenkins makes some points about ID cards:

1. Facial recognition does not work because, according to the National Physical Laboratory, people’s faces keep changing every few months.

2. Even iris and fingerprint recognition is vulnerable to a 5% mistake rate.

3. The cards are not fraud proof.

Jenkins reminds us that bad behaviour is not new and that in Victorian times "smart dinner parties had to escort guests home and the Old Vic offered a bodyguard with each ticket."

Jenkins argues that in the rest of Europe there is less of a problem because:

1. Communities remain strong.

2. Central government has not dismantled the institutions of respect, such as schools and unions and parish councils, and disempowered those who lead them.

Blair has weakened local democracy.

Jenkins writes: "Destroy such community leadership and you can say goodbye to social control. You have a police state."

Blair wants his terror laws.

Jenkins writes that the people pressing for the terror laws are:

1.the government security services

2. the mostly American high-tech security firms.

Jenkins: "It is incredible that anyone still employs the American firm EDS, responsible for one Whitehall computer fiasco after another. Yet the defence ministry is about to give it a staggering £4 billion, having been sold on 'digitisation' by a passing snake-oil salesman. ID cards are to be run by the Passport Service, whose susceptibility to dud computer selling is notorious. The British government spends 40% more on IT than Germany or France. To learn how much of this is wasted you have only to read the computing press."

Jenkins reminds us that in 1961 Eisenhower warned us about 'military/industrial complex'.

Jenkins states that today we have a 'security/industrial complex' out to "exploit fear of terrorism and enrich itself at public expense."

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