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Advice on politics student

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by literarybore10, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. literarybore10

    literarybore10 New commenter

    I am new here and I really need some advice on this particular issue. Please if any moderator etc thinks this is in the wrong place / incorrectly worded do remove.


    I am a teacher of Government and Politics at A Level at a State Secondary School. My class is relatively small and they all get on, however one student has become I think radical and has been talking a lot of Enoch Powell and Oswald Mosley and has been promoting racist views in lessons like saying that England should be for English people and that England must leave the UK. He argues his points well and backs them up with facts (I have checked) but they still I think are offensive and I’m worried that next year his arguments might get even more extreme. Could anyone please give me some advice on how to stop this? He does stop when I tell him to but it continues out of lessons, with him distributing books on fascism amongst friends.

    Thank you
  2. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    You should have done your prevent training each year, this is an issue that you should refer to the relevant designated person in the school, safeguarding. Refer it on first thing tomorrow, do not delay.
    I also suggest you think about your own views and values? If this person had been promoting radical Islamic views and was actively promoting Islamic state, would you have felt the need to hesitate?
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Follow your Prevent training. This is exactly what it is for.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Exactly right. My only question is why your Prevent training hasn't provided the answer already.
  5. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    It sounds like your more interested in thought control than engaging in a discussion with the student.

    Learning is a dialogical process and this means engaging with views that we do not agree with or find offensive. You say he argues his points well and backs them up with facts, yet as the teacher, you should do the same to set a good example. Otherwise all you are doing is confirming the belief of the student that his teacher is an ideologue who resorts to authoritarianism rather than argument, and demonstrating your lack of mastery in your field.

    The use of the term "racism" in this context is essentially authoritarian, since once it is used on an individual or argument, no further discussion is tolerated. This is why I despise the relentless overuse of the term. Even if he is "racist" (does he really believe in human hierachy based on inheritance? Have you asked him?) your role should be to engage in a discussion with him and present counter arguments; dispatching Mosley shouldn't be to hard!

    You say he is racist, but you have not given any examples other , than the view that England should leave the UK. This is no more racist than saying that Scotalnd should leave the UK. He may be arguing that the idea England should be for the English is an expression of national self-determnation, enshirned in the UN charter, for example. South Korea, for example is 96% ethnic Korean. How usefull or grown-up would it be to use the term "racist" when discribing this context, for example?

    Talking about race does not equate to racism.
  6. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    You make some good points, but if I were the OP, the mention of some sort of admiration for the likes of Enoch Powell and Oswald Mosley and 'England for the English' would raise red flags...
  7. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    But this student is not promoting radical views, is he, so this is a completely asymetrical and inappropriate comparison.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Expressing an interest in the views of Enoch Powell/Oswald Mosley or Bin Laden...what's the basic difference (apart from the ideologies)?
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Do you think that Scottish people who think that Scotland should leave the UK are racist?

    But the fascism bit is worrying.
  10. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    And that's exactly the type of question that the OP should be asking in the student in the classroom.
  11. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    The OP states that the student is distributing literature about fascism - this clearly requires further investigation.
    Prevent training covers all forms of extremism, which does include fascism.
    Oswald Moseley was an admirer of both Hitler and Mussolini.and supported their views and actions.
    Yes this student has the right to their opinions, but that does not mean that they should not be reported to prevent. I would not hesitate to report a member of the extreme left if they were promoting hatred and bigotry.
    If you think that fascist views are different or less unacceptable than radical Islamic views that is your opinion but I think the victims of both these philosophies might disagree with you.
  12. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    The OP has already demonstrated a willingness to conflate Racism with non-racist matters, for example, national self determination, so it would be important to qualify what this "facist literature" is rather than take it at face value.

    He was also a committed member of the Labour party, a Fabian, and a member of the 1929 Labour government. The left pathologically project that Facism and Nazism are not vectors of socialism.

    Having a right to an opinion means having an opinion without fear of reprisals.

    The OP has stated that the student makes coherent arguments and backs it up with facts, so it does not sound as if he is indoctrinated or brainwashed. OP has not given specific examples of where the student has advocated racial superiority or ethnic cleansing, but you would expect to see statements of this nature from someone about to run of and join Islamic State.

    Has this ever happened?

    University lecturers can be admirers or apologists fro Lenin, Stalin or Mao and keep their jobs, whereas academics can be hounded out of their jobs for doing the "wrong" research https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah_Carl There was even an attempt to no-platform Trevor Philips for merely attempting to discuss multiculturalism. If a student distributed literature on the benefits of Stalinism, would he reported to prevent or given a pat on the back by left leaning teachers?
    There are some serious double standards going on here.

    How far are we as teachers responsible generation of people that cannot debate, argue a point and just resort to calling people they disagree with racists or phobes?

    I did not say that.
    Think about what your saying here, prevent was not put in place to police opinions, it's there to look for signs of radicalisation, and I don't see what the OP has posted looks anything like that.
  13. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Mosley left the Labour party and formed the New Party, then the BUF. Mussolini, his great hero (upon whose fascist party he based much of his own policies) was a former socialist leader in Italy...Mussolini wasn't, however, as anti-Semitic as Hitler and Mosley copied that aspect of his policies from the German leader. All of that will be taught & studied by anyone covering the inter-war years of British history.

    That's why anyone showing a keen interest and possible admiration for Mosley and his polices needs to be considered as seriously as anyone expressing similar interest in Bin Laden...
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  14. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    Direct it to the person in charge of Safeguarding at your school. As others have said, this comes under the Prevent Training.
  15. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    Absoloutly not, no way.

    One could discuss how much ideological ground they share in the same way one could draw comparisons to any extremism in history, but to deal with the contempoary situation like this is a very skewed way of looking at the matter, even taking into account the likes of Andreas Brevik. There is simply no comparisson to the scale and depth of Islamist terrorism throughout the world.
  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    That's your point of view. I'd agree that in this century there have been far more attacks by Islamic terrorists than right wing ones.

    But that's irrelevant - the point is whether there are concerns about a pupil being influenced towards extremism...or any sort. If a pupil is showing interest in historic figures such as Mosley or Enoch Powell, then alarm bells should be ringing, just as if they praised the 9/11 terrorists.
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  17. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I tend to steer clear of these political discussions, but I think that comparing a British cabinet minister who made some rather alarming predictions with the leader of a terrorist group of murderers is rather pushing it too far.
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  18. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    From little acorns ...etc.etc.
  19. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    Sure, but what if I showed in interest in Attila the Hun? It’s irrelevant now but as an historical figure would be relevant to Aryani in Nazi Germany, for example.
  20. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Give us a few insights (with supporting , fully referenced, evidence) to Attila's ideology will you? ;)

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