06-29-2017 07:17 PM
I'm lying on the lounge watching the news. A primary school teacher told their class that they had received a letter from our PM, saying the kids were to be kept at school. The kids were told they would never be returning home to see their parents. The kids became very distressed, many of them crying. Some of the boys were even hatching an escape plan.
This went on for 5 hours until the kids were told it wasn't true. Apparently it was the teacher's way of teaching them about the Stolen Generation!! The teacher has since called all the parents to apologise, and it has been said that it could've been done a lot better.
Personally, I would be/I am! appalled and outraged. What were they thinking??!! For me it shows the lack of understanding in some schools in regards to mental health, particularly in young children. I don't think it's an appropriate method of teaching at all. Learning at school shouldn't involve trauma.
How would you feel if this happened to your child? What are your thoughts in general about this?
06-30-2017 09:24 AM
06-30-2017 10:33 AM - edited 06-30-2017 10:34 AM
I'm not sure what I think about this. When I look at things like 'Blue Eye Brown Eye' which is at least a whole day, sometimes several days, and all experiential learning with the most amazing outcomes. It's one thing to sit a kid down and explain what white privilege is, another thing completely for them to live what it's like not to have it.
But then we know that identifying kids with bullying behaviours and having them bullied does very little to cease their behaviour. A lot also depends on the age, they sound like they might be too young for something like this to work. Little kids are so self-centric that if you tell them they're being taken away all they feel is the terror of losing their parents and then relief at it not being real. They don't have the capacity to transfer that to others and understand 'their' experience. What tends to work better for kids that age is to have it acted out in front of them. When they see a small child being taken from their mum and dad they then relate it to themselves and think "I would be scared and sad." So the learning is achieved.
Whereas older kids need to experience it.
I completely understand your outrage @taokat and @LovingThruBlue because when you think about it from the kids' perspective it's horrible. But I also agree with @Lily17 that this needs to happen more, schools need to get better at letting kids know what really happened and continues to happen to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids.
In my house, I share pretty full on stories with my kids from my work so they understand how incredibly lucky they are.
What about you guys? How do you teach your kids about this stuff?
P.S Here's a Blue Eye Brown Eye clip
Please note - I haven't watched this particular one.
06-30-2017 12:50 PM
Being in my job as well the kids have had it full on. I do not hide much at all. A few yrs ago we were in a not so pleasant environment and some ppl told me to turn the news off.. And that my kids were far too advanced in "life" I refused, it was our contact.
One day I sat down with one of my girls - there were a lot of murders in the US at that time and guns were prominent.
She was 10 and petrified, there were so many guns in the classrooms and why it was reported as so normal and "how do their parents cope mum" why aren't they safe? Why are guns allowed?
She stayed home that day. I got her to draw pictures and as she broke it down and named it she sadly turned to me after we'd discussed guns at length. Mummy, why did they not help him? He needed to read the black dog before he got so sad, nobody listened to him..
Maybe they are too aware but the reality is you cannot protect them all the time, they need to be resilient and able to cope. They know how extremely lucky they are, they give other kids their lunch because they realise it may be the only food they get that day. They use their personal experiences to help others and sometimes it just upsets me that they understand things and know to much.
Bullying for them yes they get it of course but they come home and are upset but the bottom line for them is but what's going on with that kid mum.. then give me a very accurate answer. I neither agree or disagree but their behaviour changes to acceptance and listening.
Wow you may say. I disagree.
06-30-2017 02:43 PM - edited 06-30-2017 04:02 PM
I think that kids that young are too young to traumatise like that. If they had ALL been told it wasn't real, different story, but one class was not this year. @Lily17 I agree that what our white ancestors did with the stolen generation was unforgivable. lt has damaged so, so many, but I don't think threatening to do the same with kids today is an acceptable way to teach them about it. As your daughter said, she was able to move on from it because she knew it wasn't real. This class didn't have that knowledge. If we look at the trauma suffered by all those aboriginal kids, I don't understand why we need to do the same to kids today, for any reason or for any timeframe. It's unacceptable for parents to threaten their kids with these types of threats, and I don't think I'll ever believe it's acceptable for schools to do it. I believe our kids need to be aware of the realities of life, as life is hard, but I think there's a big difference between that and deliberately tricking kids into believing they won't ever see their parents again. Maybe I just feel my daughter has been through enough in her short life?
In previous years all students were made aware it wasn't real, this year one class wasn't and were made to believe it was true. I would never find it acceptable if that was done to my child. I have been unable to protect my daughter from the horridity of the world - she has experienced it first hand, but I would never intentionally try to traumatise her. She recognises as Aboriginal, and being half cast, we have been very open discussing these issues as she has studied the past of her ancestors. She is a sensitive kid and feels herself that there 'are way better ways to teach' about these atrocities.
We used to do role play at school, and I believe we can teach about these horrors without making our kids relive them in that manner. @Ngaio-RO I'll have a look at that clip you provided. I agree with what you say about teaching our kids about the truth of the past and present, and I do think these kids were too young to get the lesson that was attempted to be taught. Nothing is off limits for discussion in our home either, which I'm grateful for, and Ngaio and Lily17, I think all our kids are so lucky to have us as parents they can talk about anything with. I really do. Difference of opinion or not on this particular story, we all share that openness with our kids which is so important.
I know, my posts are too long! I need to work on that!
06-30-2017 04:56 PM
Wow @Ngaio-RO, I found that really full-on, as in emotion and thought provoking. I'll have to watch another episode in a day or two I think. Although curiosity will most likely get the better of me before then. I wouldn't like to bump into Jane in the street I don't think! Lol.
It has shown me that life experience plays such a big role in our opinion forming. I've had good friends based on who they are, some happen to have been Aboriginal. And I've also been abused and outcast by other Aborigines because I'm white. My daughter has been bullied awfully online for being white, by a young African-American girl. She was brutal! I think racism goes all ways, BUT blacks have undeniably had and have it worse looking at the bigger picure.
I need to process...
07-02-2017 08:11 AM
07-02-2017 11:32 AM
Hi @Lidya, thank for contributing to the post. You make an interesting point and I wonder if the school had sought any advice?
The Principal did say they had done it in previous years, but all the students had been aware it wasn't real, and apparently this year was a massive oversight.
Either way, I know at that age, it would have had a major detrimental effect on my daughter if she had thought it was real. I really just hope all the kids are feeling safe and secure again!