When being right can be so wrong!

 In Educational Leadership

A male teenager was in a dire situation. He was disengaged from school, he was a regular truant, and he was drawn to those who had been in trouble with the law.

His public school couldn’t help him. His independent school couldn’t help him. His alternative school couldn’t help him.

Despite the different approaches and offerings of the schools he attended, one thing was the same: they all lacked the structures necessary to teach this teenager discipline.

His teen years at school coincided with the implementation of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, published in 2008. This declaration considered it absolutely necessary for schools to be involved in the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual, and aesthetic areas of every child’s life (note ‘child’, not ‘student’)

It didn’t work.

Australian schooling failed this young person. He didn’t survive school. He didn’t survive at all. He is dead. His life ended last week. He was 22.

Schools are very good at talking up their alleged capabilities. They are masterful at gaining public sympathy when performance levels are low.

They take no responsibility for the consequences, when they fail to achieve their declared goals.

I loved this young man. His death cannot go unnoticed.

Australian schools are places of learning for ‘students’. They are not homes for ‘children’.

And they certainly do not offer solutions for a male teenager in a dire situation.

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