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Are Our Schools Becoming Too Politically Correct?

A Sydney primary school has banned clapping to respect students who are ‘sensitive to noise’.

Elanora Heights Public School, announced in their school newsletter that pupils were encouraged to conduct a silent cheer if prompted by the teachers, instead of clapping.

The July 18 newsletter read, “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).

“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.

“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.

“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.”

elanora school newsletter

Teachers at Elanora State School have been in favour of the change as it was a great way to ‘expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.’

This latest change has us questioning whether schools are becoming too politically correct?

In recent years, some Australian schools have banned hugging, singing Christmas Carols, celebrating Australia day and singing ‘black’ in baa baa black sheep.

After the announcement of Elanora State School banning clapping, another exclusive girl’s school banned teachers using the words ‘ladies’ or ‘women’ in favour of ‘gender-neutral’ terms.

The gender neutral terms were introduced at Cheltenham Girls High School in northwest Sydney as a way to avoid teachers being accused of discrimination. The action was also to support LGBTI students attending the school.

cheltenham state school

Teachers at the exclusive school were told they would be deemed homophobic and breaking the law if they did not comply with the new terminology.

In a bid to help all students feel equal at the school, they hold gender equality events such as Wear it Purple Day. They also have a ‘Queer-Straight alliance’ club.

Earlier in the year, St Patricks Primary School in Geelong told students that hugging was banned and they had to find other ways of showing affection.

st patricks school

The Principal, John Grant, explained nothing in particular had prompted the new rule, however, it was important for children to be cautious about their personal safety.

“But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.
“There’s a range of methods including a high five or a particular knuckle handshake where they clunk knuckles as a simple way of saying ‘well done’,” Mr Grant said. “There are also verbal affirmations and acknowledgments.”

“We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”

With the banning of hugging (which most parents can understand) to clapping and using gender equality terminology, it almost feels like our schools are going too far to be politically correct.

We’d love to know your thoughts as a parent? Would you be happy if your school adopted these new practices?

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard

Rebecca Senyard is a plumber by day and stylist by night but these days she changes more nappies than washers. She is a happily married mum to three young daughters who she styles on a regular basis. Rebecca is not only an award winning plumber, she also writes an award winning blog called The Plumbette where she shares her life experiences as a plumber and mother. Rebecca also blogs at Styled by Bec believing a girl can be both practical and stylish. Links to the blogs are http://www.theplumbette.com.au and http://www.styledbybec.com.au/blog

One comment

  1. My son is sensitive to crowds and noises. School assemblies are hard but the school deals with him and others with similar needs in the most perfect way. They sit at the edge of the crowd, can stand at the side with the teachers, can walk a little distance away and even take a short walk to the “toilets” if needed. Like any skill, dealing with the noise that makes you very uncomfortable takes practice. Removing it altogether teaches the child nothing. Life can be load and crowded and bloody awful, I’d like to now that he won’t react in any dangerous way to an unexpected noise as eventually he will be out in that world unassisted.

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