Section 28 hysteria

28th January 2000 at 00:00
THE increasingly frenzied arguments about Section 28, which started when the Scottish School Board Association objected to its planned removal by the Parliament, have shown no one in a good light. If this is to be the approach to any controversial issue under devolution, we are in danger of making fools of ourselves. The Prime Minister, instead of allowing himself to be dragged into the controversy, should have left it to the Scots to sort out. By intervening he gave it greater dignity than it merited.

Some lessons can be learned. The SSBA has been shown to be amateurish and unrepresentative. Churchmen would do well nt to insult the intelligence and professionalism of teachers. Businessmen and public relations consultants can destroy a good image faster than they can promote it. Secondary pupils tend to be more levelheaded than their elders.

We try to teach children tolerance and rational ways of confronting problems. Philosophy is part of the tradition in higher education. Yet supposedly sensible people, aided and abetted by sensationalist media, opt for hysteria. I shudder to think of the effect on young people of future moral controversies in our devolved system.

Colin Thomson

Royal Park Terrace, Edinburgh


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now