Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Single sex schools.

Interesting case this morning in the newspapers, a 12 year old girl, Megan Lynch has won her battle to get into Nagle Community College in Mahon Cork. The 'news' part is based on the fact that NCC is an all-boys school of 400-pupils, run by the Cork City Vocational Education Committee. This now forces hundreds of single-sex schools to review their admissions policies.
Strange that her mother Gillian would be so adamant her girl is the only girl to attend this school-I am assuming there are plenty of schools for girls in the area.
I don't have a problem with single sex school I have to say. I went to one, so did the Paramour. (For that matter I don't have a problem with single sex clubs in general. If a private golf club wants to have a men only policy or ladies only day I think they should be allowed to do so.)
There are many people on the radio now giving out stink about single sex schools and how it 'stunts' children socially, but I don't think does. Children find ways and means to play with other children and as they get older children male and female alike, seek each other out. If there is a touch of awkwardness it is soon over ridden in a wave of hormones.
No this is about choice and while I understand that, what about the choice of the 400 parents who made the choice to send their sons to a single sex school? Not that having a girl in their mix will do them any damage- of course not. But why are their wishes and expectations over ridden?
Brave child, I would have hated being the only girl in an all boys school at 12. I hope this stand doesn't back fire.



Blogger morgor said...

I'm going to start a campaign to be allowed into womens changing rooms.

9:16 a.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

I find it strange that nobody's reported why she's so keen to go there.

Maybe she hates girls.

I completely disagree with you on single sex education - probably because I went co-ed all the way.

I think it's an unhealthy and unnatural split to create. We live in a world of men and women, why spend your formative years separated from working along with the opposite sex, developing apart as opposed to beside them?

I think there's a time and a place for haveing seperate male and female space, alright, but from 4 - 17? No.

9:24 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It probably is a bit daft Jo, but I don't think it does any harm either, as a youth I had male and female friends outside of school and if a school is single sex then it's single sex, demanding entry strikes me as odd.

9:30 a.m.  
Blogger PI said...

It was co-ed all the way for me. It gave us a healthy disregard for boys - they would have to be fit as a butcher's dog to arouse any interest and I think the girls had a chastening effect on the boys.
I worry about my grand-daughters who are both 16 and haven't really had the opportunity to get to know boys.

9:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The mother of the girl, who has learning difficulties, appealed the decision to the Department of Education, claiming that it restricted her right to choose the school which her child should attend. She said the nearest girls’ second-level school, the Ursuline Convent in Blackrock, is a 35-minute walk from her home and is not on the bus route from Mahon.

She expressed delight and relief at the department’s decision in her favour last night, and now hopes the school will be open to other girls in future.

“My daughter has been in a mixed primary school all her life, so half of her pals are boys who will be in Nagle College anyway. It’s crazy in this day and age that parents can’t have a choice of schools in their own community because of gender,” she said."

That seems fair enough, plus the little dudette has pals there so she be ok. I went to mixed secondarey school, the carry on of some was outrageous, in a funny way off course. I finished when I was 15 so can't say it adversly affected my life. I think mixed is probably bette,r boys and girls don't feel that different plus they would have opportunties not available in single sex schools like mental work for girls or home ec for boys.


10:03 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I don't seem to be expressing myself clearly this morning at all.
I'm not against co-ed schools at all. What I'm raising my eyebrow about this morning is the idea that a girl can demand access to an all boys school, and vice versa, if a boy demanded access to an all girls school. Surely it's up to parents where they send their children?
Either way, new changes now force schools to state whether they are single sex or not.

10:05 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Maybe if the school was private it wouldn't have happened.

I'm with you though, why would she want to go there? Plus she has learning difficulties so is probably some kind of capper. The piss taking will be mighty.

10:28 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

plus they would have opportunties not available in single sex schools like mental work for girls or home ec for boys.

It took me a while to get that!

I was thinking mental work for girls? what's she on about?

why would she want to go there? Plus she has learning difficulties so is probably some kind of capper. The piss taking will be mighty.


10:31 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

It has been proven over and over that girls perform better academically in single sex schools. Conversely boys actually do better in mixed schools. So if you have a daughter, single sex school is best as she won't be too embarrassed to appear to be an egg head; but stick the son in with girls, it'll civilise him and he'll try harder to impress the girls academically. I went to single sex schools until uni and I managed to acquire a few male friends! (See my good word for today - conversely!)

10:38 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

Why single sex schools in the first place?
I can't see any point or benefits whatsoever with that? I would have hated to go to one.
As for this kid being the only girl there, as long as she's happy with it..?

10:40 a.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

"It has been proven over and over that girls perform better academically in single sex schools".

What about socially? Which I personally think is an equally important part.

10:42 a.m.  
Blogger laughykate said...

I went to a single sex girls' school and then for my last year came home to go to the local co-ed high school. It was really obvious that in my last year I was plainly going to get up to a whole lot of hijinx and I was going to do very little work (after being at an incredibly strict school for four years). I performed well academically at the single sex school, wouldn't have at the co-ed cause it was really obvious I would have spent very little time in the classroom (you didn't get suspended for bunking). However a bad back sent me into hospital for long periods of time in my last year, so ended up doing only eighteen days there.

My brother, on the other hand, at a single sex boys boarding school HATED it. Didn't subscribe to the school of thought and got through being average. In his last year, came home to go to the co-ed local school and was a complete star - (athletics champion, top rugby team)and did really well academically - basically he decided he gave a shit.

So I suppose we just prove what Shebah says.

I think single sex schools are only okay as long as you have lots of interaction with the opposite sex along the way. I flatted with a guy who only had brothers, only went to boys' schools, then went to a male agricultural college. I used to want to head-butt him on a weekly basis.

11:22 a.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I've read good things aout single sex education for girls.

12:14 p.m.  
Anonymous lightup said...

I went to a mixed primary school, a single sex secondary and then, by a strange turn of events, ended up one of only 5 girls in a school of 400+ boys, so I guess I have seen it from all angles!

I think a mixed primary school is a great idea, it de-mystifies to opposite sex and teaches you how to interact.
In secondary school I think girls in particular benefit from the lack of distraction single sex schools provide.
I was 16 when I was in my final year, so a bit more able to handle it than the girl in question but I think she will definitely find it difficult being the only girl.

1:10 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

I know that this is probably beside the point, but this ruling will cost about 500 trillion Euro. It will mean that every school will have to install and retrofit new toilet facilities, new changing facilities in the gym, new codes of conduct that will take a trillion meetings with parents to draw up, etc. And I'll have to pay for it....well, along with the other tax payers. Sigh.

1:14 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

this ruling will cost about 500 trillion Euro

But as long as one little girl doesn't have to walk the extra 15 minutes to school, it's all worth it. isn't it?

1:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good James and whilst they are at it perhaps they will up date the damp poorly heated shacks that kids are forced to endure. I'd much prefer my tax be spent on kid’s facilities than tribunals, TD's salaries and those lovely roads that escalate out of control and cost squillians of euro's.


1:30 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

My point, Nonny, is not that they should stop spending money on children's facilities, but that this is now an additional resource requirement, in addition to the other requirements that were in existence last week. The real cost will probably be something like 50 million (top of my head estimate), but this is _in addition_ to whatever other costs would be necessary.

Indeed, it is like the tribunals. Everybody was in favour of them until it was clear how much they would cost.

As far as I can see (I went to two different all-boys schools), nobody has had their human/civil rights infringed by having same-sex schools and this ruling is a heap of "right-on" nonsense.

2:01 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Like I say, it will be interesting to see what the outcome of this will be. I suppose schools will have to stipulate whether they are single sex or co-ed to protect themselves in the future. Personally I think there is plenty of room for both.

2:20 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

It is a rather silly ruling that, as the doc said, will set a precedent and cost the taxpayer more money for what is essentially a parent taking the piss out've the system.

2:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it is not nonsense. Why should boys and girls be segregated? Are we not equals? As I already pointed out there are many subjects which boys schools offer and girls schools don’t (and vice versa).

Boarding schools don’t count, they are just a cop out for people who don’t want to rear their children themselves.


2:30 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

What should the special needs child and her parents have done instead?

2:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Eve said "What about socially?Which I personally think is an equally important part." I think single sex schools for girls makes them social stars (she said modestly!)- their confidence is high as they have not had to go through the ugly, spotty years sharing classrooms with fit boys and being judged and/or rejected on the size of their boobs in school - and they come out stronger and more sassy. Haven't you heard, boys go mad for convent girls as once they let us out we go wild. Har! This girl will end up feeling isolated. Her mother is a mad crazy bint.

2:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Does she have special needs?

2:47 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

"Why should boys and girls be segregated?" Why not, if it's what the parents choose? The general perception is that single-sex schools achieve better grades.

2:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

Does a learning difficulty constitute a special need – I’m assuming it does and is part of the mix here. Could be wrong though. But let’s answer the question with and without a learning difficulty- special need, or would that muddy the water too much.

2:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about equality, are they not entitled to equal opportunuities?

And Mrs Cat she has mild learning difficulties.


2:57 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learning difficulties is not a big deal. Main stream school would bring her on. Most kids like her would go to main stream school. So that is not an issue at all.


2:59 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Don't they have a girls' school in the town? If you want equality-and I do- then you must accept that being equal sometimes means accepting that some schools are for boys and some for girls and some are mixed.

3:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

The ruling mentioned learning difficulty and the 35 minute walk to Blackrock from Mahon. I’m assuming it was made on one or a combination of these issues.

3:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No the nearest one is 35 mins away.

Some schools are different, in much the same way women can't play football with the lads and as a result girls sport is undervalued. You could have a really good female football player but she will never make the money the lads do as she cannot play on their team. So if an all boys school has a better reputaion or better facilities than a girls school she can't go because of her gender. That is not equal.


3:10 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Maybe they should just improve the facilities at the girls school then.

3:14 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

The ruling mentioned learning difficulty and the 35 minute walk to Blackrock from Mahon. I’m assuming it was made on one or a combination of these issues.

A learning difficulty is something like dyslexia or something isn't it?
That's not a valid reason i think.
A 35 minute walk is not far.

Some schools are different, in much the same way women can't play football with the lads and as a result girls sport is undervalued. You could have a really good female football player but she will never make the money the lads do as she cannot play on their team.

I disagree with you wholesale there nonny.Women can play with lads but not at a professional level because they can't keep up.
I don't think it's unfair to say that men push their bodies harder ie run longer distances, run faster, lift heavier weights.

So at a professional level women can't compete. Although I'm open to be convinced otherwise, that is what I understood to be the reason.

3:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I hate the expression "special needs" - every child is an individual and has special needs. And "learning difficulties" - WTF - learning is difficult for most kids. Why do people single children out and give them labels when they are young - kids all develop at different rates and a good teacher can teach a class of all abilities. Why blight a kid for life with a silly label.

3:21 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

She's autistic.

The whole point about girls doing better academically in single sex schools, will, I believe, soon be no longer an issue (excuse the syntax).

I really think it came from the whole 'boys' subjects/girls' subjects' divide, which is changing rapidly. When I was in school, I grant you, none of the girls did physics or metal work. In a girls' school those subjects would have been much less loaded, gender wise. But I 'd be interested to see the take up for those subjects in my school now, I bet there's a much better ratio. Soon it won't be an issue, mark my words.

Of course it's also an issue that boys do better in co ed schools because of the civilising influence. I also believe girls need the influence of boys. I wouldn't send my daughter to the loal convent if there was nowhere else to go. The girls may be confident, but the bitching is ungodly.

I met a woman who told me about her anorexic daughter, who had to eat her lunch in the VPs office as she took so long and wouldn't eat around others. Her classmates usedto go jeer and shout in the window and throw bits of food at her.

Evil little bitches.

3:22 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Let's not move the goalposts on this one. The issue is the school and the child attending. The ruling has been made, so be it, I just find it a strange precedent.

3:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus Morgor and their I was thing soccer was about skill. I completley disagree with you. If their was an equal amount of women on each team it would be fair game. Sport is male dominated.

I agree Shebah, As for the schools 35 mins for a 12 year old is a bit much. If their is a school closer her to her she should be able to attend. Also 12 other girls applied to this school.

I agree with the learning difficulties Shebah. It is all over exaggerated bollox.


3:27 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Jesus Jo, we crossed, that's nasty. You'd imagine teenage girls would be more accepting.

3:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Let's not move the goalposts on this one"

Was their any need for that, tut tut.


3:29 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I was talking to Morgor. I don't want this to turn into a waffle on who is better at what sport and why.

Where does it say she's autistic?

3:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Big Al said...

"If their was an equal amount of women on each team it would be fair game. "

yeah but nobody wants to see girls playing soccer because they look like spas when they try and kick. It's a genetic flaw.

3:36 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

In the Irish Times? On the weekend, that's where I read it.

3:37 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

And see this is what I mean...
lets stick to the subject at hand.

3:38 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Sorry Jo, I didn't see that. Hmm I'm not sure sending an autistic girl to boy's school is a good idea at all.

3:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

Hey FMC, now that we know that she has special needs and fuck it, I know what that means, and that there’s also a 35 minute walk, well my question is valid. What were the child and the parent meant to do, what were the alternatives?

3:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Don't know S&C, send her to the girl's school? Walk/drive her there in the morning? Put her on a bus? What does any parent do when they're trying to get their kids to school?

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Sport is male dominated
and males tend to be sport fixated.

Anyway, sorry FMC , not trying to turn this into a gender war thing.
She started it.

*points at nonny*

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

I don't think you can dismiss all learning difficulties as 'silly labels'. People with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and I believe ADD type disorders have struggled and suffered through school, been punished, ridiculed and humiliated and have failed, and been crushed by the lack of understanding or efforts to adapt to their learning styles.

Naming disorders means something is done to help people keep up. Not enough in this country, but presumably it will keep growing all the time.

Assuming I read it right, and the girl is autistic, a thirty five minute walk by herself could be quite a big deal. I did 'special needs' classes with an autistic girl who wouldn't have managed without her assistant, and special treatment and wouldn't have had her assistant without being labelled.

They had names for people like this in the old days before 'special needs' were invented too. Far less constructive ones.

Hmm, that sounds pompous and melodramatic. But you know what I mean.

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Aye, slow learners if I remember correctly. Right, I'm going to the gym. I don't mind anyone agreeing or disagreeing on the blog, but no nah nah ni nah-ism or strange leaps of unrelated logic.

3:48 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

I know, FMC, I actually thought I'd said that initially - but I must have just said it when I read it.

The autistic girl I taught used to go round giving eveyone BIG HUGS and lifting them up and stuff.

And her parents had given her no sex ed at all, I don't think, and she was going to be menstruating soon. She's the only yardstick I have for comparison, and the thought of her being sent to school with a thousand boys?? Christ!

3:50 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

But why the ruling then? Is there ever a time when we should make allowances for a 12 year old autistic girl with a 35 minute school walk? I’m genuinely interested now is as to what the alternatives might have been. Putting her on a bus unaccompanied might not be viable, or the parent might not be able to do a school run. But you’re also correct in that the other people selected this school as single sex. But the girl’s extenuating circumstances may have overruled the other parent’s preference. In some legal way, cause I’m sorta thinking the single sex thing is shaky legally. And that’s what the world seems to be about these days, the legality thing.

3:54 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

As I understand it Jo, she's "mildly autistic" which could mean any number of things. And I understand your point about labelling, but it can be used as an excuse for an undisciplined child - "ah he's got ADHD" - no he doesn't, he's just a spoilt wee shite. And the treatments for many of these conditions are not exactly wholesome.
Sorry, drifting off-topic again.

3:54 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Boarding schools don’t count, they are just a cop out for people who don’t want to rear their children themselves.

OK, Nonny, I've held my tongue and often I've thought that others were being a bit heavy handed when they called you a wind-up merchant, but this kind of absolutist, tar-all-with-the-one-brush, righteous nonsense gets on my goat.

I went to a boarding school and it was NOT because my parents didn't want to look after me. I have no intention of getting into why I had to (repeat, had to) and indeed wanted to go to boarding school and it is none of your business, however, for absolute certainty it was not because of the stupid bollox of a reason you just vomited into your comment.

It's insulting and wrong.

You're just having a general rant today, aren't you? Schools, roads, segregation, sport, bolloxes of parents that shouldn't have children. Blah, blah, blah.

4:01 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

Sorry for using bad language. Didn't mean to.

4:02 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

You swine James.

4:09 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Picture the scene. The girl is 12 years, an extremely difficult age emotionally, probably just started menstruating - drop her into a class full of boys, same age, raging hormones. She is autistic, whatever that means (some of the greatest minds and most brilliant creatives in the world have been thought to be autistic, including James Joyce and Kant) - if it means in this case she is behind for her age,or has some socialising difficulties, that makes her situation in a boys class worse. If she is incapable of coping with a bus journey to school 35 minutes away, how on earth can she cope with in an all male environment? It could wreck the poor kid.

4:14 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

Yeah, James, you're a cad and a bounder.

Morgor you should challenge him to a duel and uphold Nonny's honour.


4:15 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ADD is a figment of the lazy parent’s imagination. Message to the masses if I may, If your child “has” ADD try saying “no”. If you are still having difficulties please incorporate one of the following sentences into your dialog, “No little Mary, it doesn’t matter how much you scream and shout you will not your own way” or “until you learn to behave yourself you can grow accustomed to your bedroom as you’ll be spending quite some time there”. Or pehaphs the parents of these ADD delinquents might start to read a little, you know like books and grown up papers not Heat magazine or the Sun mind. The “real” stuff. In turn you may want to read to the sproglet and I am pretty sure that mean old ADD will go right away.

Also my school tried to tell my mam I had dyslexia or dyspraxia, can’t remember now. Anyway they tried to keep me back, I protested violently and refused to speak to my mother until she relented. I started my LC the day I turned 16 and got the most points in my school. I’ve two degrees/masters/professional exams. So mild learning difficulties can fuck off as can people who make kids with them feel different.


4:23 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

See if you only had mixed schools you wouldn't need to debate this whole thing.
Simple ;)

4:25 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

Sheep worrier, there's a big difference between autistic spectrum, even the mild end, and plain old bad behaviour.

And while there are brilliant autistic minds, like Temple Grandin, there are plenty of people who don't become geniuses.

MY student was the mild end of the spectrum, she could talk without a problem and even joke, to a point, she was great, and exceeded my expectations. But the was only managing with highly manufactured support. The girls weren't that freindly either. And she wasn't really safe left alone at home.

At this stage it's pretty clear what 'autistic' means - it's well documented, both by autistic people and the people who study and diagnose it.

Leaving people undiagnosed is no favour to them at this stage of our understanding of the condition.

4:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

and JotheMama said "People with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and I believe ADD type disorders have struggled and suffered through school, been punished, ridiculed and humiliated and have failed" so where were the teachers when all this was happening? It is their job to keep control and nip it in the bud, otherwise they are not up to the job. I know a very good teacher and out of her class of 30 she said 11 - eleven - children have "labels" most "attention deficit disorder" and similar. she thinks it is a convenient, politically correct, attention seeking device for bad parents. When she incentivises these kids,the "conditions" seem to disappear. Its called good teaching. Sorry, FMC, off topic slightly.

4:27 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

Oh my god Nonny. Oh my god.

4:28 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

I know a dyslexic guy who said that it's due to neither eye being dominant so when he tries to read one eye will be dominant for a second then the other and they continually battle.

So to him it looks like the words are moving around the page making it very hard to read.

Tempted to agree with the ADHD thing though, i know one kid with that and it's just cos his Mam never says no to him, and if she does he just ignores her and she doesn't do anything.

4:31 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Jo, I was referring to ADHD not autism, tho my views on that are not quite as vitriolic as Nonny's little diatribe there.

4:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I went to a boarding school and it was NOT because my parents didn't want to look after me."

What on earth is the point in having a child if you are going to send them away for much of their childhood. To learn independence perhaphs? Yes, because clearly independence is more important for a 12 or 13 year old than your parents handing you your dinner each evening or helping you with your homework or yapping to you about your day. I could go on! A better education perhaphs? Nope, this also proves a false assumption. To be a snob? Probably. To carry on with your normal life? emm hmm.

If you don't want to spend each night with your children, don't have any. Also if it is none of my business don't tell me. I did not ask you to justify your life to me.


4:33 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

I do agree that ADD is probably over diagnosed, Shebah and that medication of it is a bad idea.

However, I don't believe it doesn't exist, and I worry for kids who do suffer from it and are tarred with Nonny's ridiculous-brush.

Steve Bidulph writes really well on the subject - he calls that easy diagnosis 'Dad deficit disorder' and feels it can be sorted with a lot more attention etc, as you say.

I think it's damaging to lump all these very different conditions in together though. That's what used to get people with dislocated hips shut up in aslums with emotionally disturbed people!

You have to differentiate beween different conditions and the type of education that suits the kids.

If the clinics are really over diagnosing that badly, it's scary and there needs to be an investigation.

4:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"repeat, had to"

What would they have done if they were poor? Ohh I know this, they would have "managed".


4:35 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Nonny, Ive got to say, you are being a complete arsehole today. Ranting and attacking other commenters like this doesn't help whatever remnants of an argument you may have had.

4:39 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Nonny, Ive got to say, you are being a complete arsehole today.

Plus ça change

4:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

So the journey between Mahon and Blackrock, the kid couldn’t make it alone cause she’s just not able, and the parent couldn’t support a school run. And that’s probably the reason for the ruling. And I’m sorta okay with it on that basis, as I think most would be.

4:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why because I think people that send their children to boarding schools are dickheads?

I agree with the ADHD bit but because I am opposed to boarding schools I am a dickhead. What is that about?


4:44 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Nonny, Ive got to say, you are being a complete arsehole today. Ranting and attacking other commenters like this doesn't help whatever remnants of an argument you may have had.

entertaining though.

that’s probably the reason for the ruling. And I’m sorta okay with it on that basis, as I think most would be.

Yup, originally found it a bit ridiculoous, but with the extra details i guess it makes sense. ish.

4:45 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Ranting and attacking other commenters.

4:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here comes Twenty, in he struts eh. Who's the man? I can imagine your little fan club rooting for you in the back round. It’s like tag team wrestling all the usually suspects in the afternoon then you wade in as evening approaches.

I'll just sit by here and wait for the voice of reason, "Ye know Nonny we all make mistakes..."

Come on now I just disagree with you. That is it.


4:52 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

I'm sorry Nonny but today you're really asking for it ;)
Can't wait to see what Docky says next.
The suspense is killing me.

4:54 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

I like the fact though you're not afraid to speak your mind - good for you!

4:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you all looking for a fight, the gas part is I bet most people here think boarding schools are ridiculous but are hanging tight for a fight. Silly carry on altoghther.


4:57 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

seems i'm a bit late to the dialogue - but here's a go.

regarding ADD - my brother was diagnosed at an early age (3), and it's real. did my parents over-medicate him? yes. did he then start selling ritalin to get money for pot, acid, and heroin? yes. did my parents teach him to use his ADD as an excuse? yes.

at an older age, i was diagnosed with ADD - but, because i relied on my teachers and school counselors more than my parents, i was taught coping mechanisms throughout my life.

as for separate schools - here in the states most places draw "districts". there should be a public school within a certain radius of a child's home - and if it's too far a distance to walk, the child is bussed in. any same-sex schools are private, and do offer programs/fee waivers for students who cannot afford them.

i'm of the opinion that there should be separate schools - but also the option of mixed. i don't think that an all-boys school should have better resources, etc than an all-girls school (and vice versa). and what of private music schools (we've got them at the younger levels). if a child doesn't play an instrument, doesn't want to play an instrument, does that mean they have a right to enter a music school?

in this case, if the closest school is an all-boys school, and it can meet the child's needs, and there is no other viable alternative, i think the all-boys school should be a temporary place for the girl until means of getting to a mixed or all girls school can be obtained.

it seems to me like the mother is the one getting her rocks off on getting her daughter into an all boys school - and that maybe it's to prove a point rather than to better the opportunities for her child.

4:59 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

For someone with two degrees and the highest points in your school you really are fucking illiterate.

5:00 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Nonny, you kind of remind me of Wolf from Gladiators.


5:01 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

Compliments on the sound effect Morgor

5:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

Nonny, you must have a very very boring job.

5:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"For someone with two degrees and the highest points in your school you really are fucking illiterate."

Shut the fuck up I read your less than an hour!

And I don't have a boring job I am just shit hot at it.

Nonny (the fantastic)

5:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

When I grow up I wanna be like you.

5:23 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Hey ho Docky, I went to bearding school too.
Nonny, just because people DON"T do things the way you'd do them neither means you are right or they don't care for their children. Docky's right, very insulting. Another of your sweeping generalisations you -once again -can't back up.

Daisy, sorry to hear about your brother, I hope he came out the other aside of it.

I think ADD exists, but much rarer cases than people think. I think children are being over prescribed medications on a regular basis to get them to conform to a certain standard of behaviour, but not every child can be molded into a well behaved classmate. I have a friend with three boys, and two of them are what she describes as 'lunatics' and one, the youngest, is a very passive little chap altogether. But she and her husband 'run the legs 'off them and they are very careful what types of food they get- Smarties can actually trigger them to go wild, and no, ABSOLUTELY no soft drinks- and as a result the older they get the more even and easy going they are, but at one stage just about EVERYONE was suggesting she put them on medication.

6:30 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Snarf, bearding, what kind of school than might be I don't know, 'boarding' I meant boarding.

6:31 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

i agree FMC - parents depend too much on medication for a child with ADD. diet modification and running them into the ground with activity are much healthier ways to help them adjust to the world.

6:36 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I often wonder what happens when the child ceases to take their medication, like say in their teenage years. How can they be expected to cope with every day trials and tribulations if their every emotion have been muted for so long. it must be so confusing for them. Teenage years are bad enough sometimes.

6:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

But the topic FMC, the school thing and the 35 minute walk for the autistic girl child, is there an alternative or should she be allowed to the nearer all boys school ( which I’m presuming has the appropriate staff for her learning difficulty)

6:43 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I suppose if her parents feel they have no other option then they've got to do what they can. But it's a pretty tough option sending an autistic girl on the cusp of puberty to an all boys school in my opinion. ( I did't actually realise she was autistic when I wrote the original post.)

6:46 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

And you're right, I wonder are they equipped for her.

6:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nonny, just because people DON"T do things the way you'd do them neither means you are right or they don't care for their children. Docky's right, very insulting. Another of your sweeping generalisations you -once again -can't back up. "

What can't I back up? My point is simple, what is the point in bringing a child into the world if you are going to send him or her away? It just builds solitary hard people.

As for ADD I don't buy that. Tom Cruise is a big supporter of the campaign to stop administering drugs to supposed ADD kids.


6:48 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Do you know everyone who went to boarding school?

7:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Here's the thing Nonny, by suggesting that parents who send their children to boarding don't care about them you have offended people here whose parents did just that. You seem to think you know more about how, say Docky's parents- who I'm sure sat down and talked amongst themselves how best to educate their son- think than he might. You make a baseless comment and when you're called on it you react in your usual way, playing then 'everyone is out to disagree with me' card when in fact most reasonable people don't hold your stringent views. Life isn't black and white, it is many varying shades of grey, and being dogmatic is tedious in the extreme.

7:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Any chance of you answer my question now. What is the point in having children if you are going to send them away? Also from you experience would you send your own child?


7:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry we crossed. I told you before I don't mind people disagreeing with me. All I want to know is, why you'd have kids if you don't want to rear them? Thats all.


7:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

You can say you find it strange. You are after all entitled to your opinion, but what you can't say is that the people who chose to educate their children in a different way to you don't 'care for' their children.
What I would and wouldn't do with any child I might have is none of anyone's business unless I wish to make it so.

7:12 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

not all boarding schools are strict places of doom and gloom. if a child's parents/family sit down, discuss the matter, and decide that their child will receive the best possible education they can get at a boarding school - i think that it is a decision made out of love and respect for a child's development.

it's not like the child goes to boarding school and is cut off from their family completely. but it gives a child the chance to develop into an individual, assume responsibilities, and grow intellectually in a diverse environment that can't be provided at home.

sending your child to boarding school has nothing to do with not loving your child. instead it's a decision made by parents to provide the best opportunities for their child.

7:12 p.m.  
Anonymous madnessburgers said...

Revelation from Morgor! I never realised that eye dominance affects dyslexia and ADHD. I was schooled before these terms were used on kids and was tested at an early age for learning difficulties because I never paid attention in class. Turns out I had no learning difficulties just attention span problems that have never really affected my life (ended up with a PhD). But I have definitely recognised in later years that I have no dominant eye. Great for science bad for looking people in the eye.
As for schools single sex or otherwise I dont think it affects peoples interpersonal relations. I did primary mixed and secondary all girls. I dont even think it affected how well the girls did. Looking back mostly everyone has seemed to fulfil their potential regardless of where they went to school. But I am from a well off area.
As for medicating ADHD I would try all alternatives first. I have an american friend here in SF who was given drugs as a teenager for ADHD and she felt she never needed them. Her stories of coming off the drugs at 16 are harrowing. But I realise all cases are different. In an ideal world all education would be tailored to the individual. But obviously it costs money and is a very emotive issue.

7:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That didn't answer my question. Not to worry.

"What I would and wouldn't do with any child I might have is none of anyone's business unless I wish to make it so."

And I did not mean it like that do what you like with your daughter I just meant what reason would you have to ship a child off. Snobbery is all I can think off.


7:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Who know what reason anyone has, thats the whole bloody point. But you can be damn sure 'not caring' isn't one of them.

Evening Mads, "As for medicating ADHD I would try all alternatives first. I have an american friend here in SF who was given drugs as a teenager for ADHD and she felt she never needed them. Her stories of coming off the drugs at 16 are harrowing."
I read a story of a young chap a few years back who went through the same and it almost made me cry. He found so tough and he was suicidal for years while he strugled to cop. Horrible.

7:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe there is no logical reason. Em hmm Snobbery em hmm.

Trust me.


7:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Whatever Nonny, I'm bored talking about it now. You know best, you can see into the hearts and minds of everyone.

7:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't go that far but thanks anyway.

Here, something that might interest you suppose the Nonalator's other half proposed and after she stopped laughing herself and himself wanna get the show on the road before the Mammy's get their handbags and noses in, you'd think that was a fairly simple affair. Well you have to do a farking marriage course now, a catholic marriage course I might add. And the shortest one is a weekend. What on earth is that about?


Also, you know you love me.

7:39 p.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

Ritalin is basically cocaine - but when it hits the system of someone with ADD their system reacts differently and it slows them down.

However, last I heard, it was still experimental, and only was meant to be used for 6 months.

But parents didn't know how else to mamage their kids and just kept them on - I taught in the UK for my first teaching job, and 45% of the kids had special needs, many of them behavioural issues.

I completely disagree with the medication of children for behavioural issues, I think there are far better ways to sort problems like that - essential fatty acid oil is a significant one.

I read that it takes three generations for an EFA deficit to reveal its effects. \Nutrician is so significant. Breastfeeding included.

7:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

Nonny, your charachter seems to be getting more and more snappy terrier like, it's very unbecoming of you and EXTREMELY insulting to alot of people....evidently... from the reactions you seem to enjoy provoking on this amongst other pages. People send their kids to boarding school for a variety of different reasons and sadly in some cases there may be no other alternative. Think about it. Everything isn't always as rosy as you calculate it out to be in your seemingly very narrow mind. I'll admit, sometimes, you do make a good point but most of the time I feel like you are just sitting at your desk at work bored and looking for an adrenalin rush so you make some stupid off the wall adolescent comment to piss someone off and revel in the backlash. I'm sorry but you went too far on this one.

8:01 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop saying I am bored at work will you, as I work for myself I find it quite insulting.

Also I don't start fights on purpose. Nobody has given me one valid reason why you might send your little dude to a boarding school not one. Also, you need money to send kids to boarding school, quite a bit of money, if you can afford to do that you can afford to look after them yourself and thats that. Parent who do it are cop outs. There is always another solution. Everybody is full of excuses.

On that note I bid good evening to one and all!


8:13 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's all courthouse fun and games until this girl gets a boyfriend and gets pregnant.

I wonder, will the mom sue the school for "letting her daughter develop hormones and start liking boys"??

This country is so fucked up when it comes to taking Personal Responsibility.

8:25 p.m.  
Anonymous madnessburgers said...

Re Nonny: I cant help myself...

Two old roomates of mine back in Dublin went to boarding school and became lifelong friends. One's father was an economist that travelled frequently between europe and Africa and the others father was a diplomat. Rather than wrenching the girls from one country to the next several times a year and preventing them from forming stable childhood friendships, their parents gave them a stable single location in which to grow up and make friends that have since formed part of their extended family. Perhaps different from the regular meat and potatoes textbook nuclear family, but it worked for them. Both girls were well adjusted, lovely people.

I suppose I just want to say that different isnt necessarily wrong, just different.

9:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Betty said...

Good evening FMC! The original article I read about this mentioned that the girl was affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder.I got the impression that the mum had not had a huge amount of success in getting her daughter into any other schools in the nearby locality and that she believed that the VEC would in the end supply a more positive/welcoming environment for her daughter than other schools. Think VEC charter may also stipulate equality of access etc. and the mother's central argument in going to court was that these tenets of equality should be enforced. I don't know how things will work out for this girl but I do know that equal access to education in this country is woefully under-resourced and unfortunately until educational facilities are provided for all children, parents will have to keep on going to the courts to fight for basic educational access for their children.

Nonny, you have been unusually obnoxious today. From personal experience I know parents who have sent their children to boarding schools because of awful family tragedies. To say that these parents don't care for their children is really malicious. You note that parents who send their children to boarding school must be very wealthy. Many of these parents will have scrimped and saved and made personal sacrifices to ensure their children have a good education.

10:02 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the few things clearly & defineably different, both psycologically and physically, and intrinsically part of every living things entire life is it's gender.

I'm for mixed primary, single to the inter and mixed to the leaving.

10:22 p.m.  
Blogger laughykate said...

'Snobbery is all I can think off.'


10:42 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

Didn't go to boarding school and without a compelling reason i won't send my kids. But to Nonny's question why would parents do so:

Very easy. I'll bet most times it's because the local school is shit and they can afford to given their kids a better opportunity.

And then there's this:

"As for ADD I don't buy that. Tom Cruise is a big supporter of the campaign to stop administering drugs to supposed ADD kids. "

Well if someone as sane and balanced as Tom Cruise is against medicating ADD, we really should all stand chastened for holding contrary positions.

10:47 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

Not that it matters or is even that pertinent, when I was a child I used to dream of going to boarding school. I'd read the Chalet School books and others, and it all sounded like an enormous adventure. I wanted all my real friends to come to boarding school with me too, of course, so at night we could all scamper about some big old spooky house somewhere and have midnight feasts and intrigues, and a common room and nemesis teachers and solve crimes the adults couldn't so that each term would be called "The Case Of The Moving Staircase" or something, and it all sounded excellent, parent-free fun.

10:56 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evening folks, before I go to bed I'd just like to say I do hope this arrangement works out for the girl in question. It can't be easy to find adequate help for troubled children in this country. We seem to be capable of spending money on the most ridiculous things but not on things like the health service and education.

Sam, I went to boarding school like Docky and I rather liked it. Except for hockey, but you can't have everything your way.

11:05 p.m.  
Blogger orlaith said...

Nonny, What really puts me in a funk is the way you use words like dude and dudette. That sticks in my craw more than any of your loopy ideas. And the Nonalator? WTF

11:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

off topic - saw Mamma Mia last night, utterly fantabulous! Loved every kitchy, pastichy second of it. Have to go again as I didn't get all the film references and parodies, and missed a couple of the hidden jokes (totally missed Benny and Bjorn on the cloud at the end!). Thought Julie Walters was the real star, but Meryl Streep fantastic and loved Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan acting against type - in these days of big Hollywood egos it was a pleasure to see big stars taking the piss out of themselves.

9:17 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

When they came out in the outfits at the end I burst out laughing. I told you it was feel good. Hard to hate on that.

9:27 a.m.  
Blogger jothemama said...

This converation has been on my mind.

Firstly the willingness to demonise the mother in this case as an attention seeker - while knowing no real information about the facts, or the motivation, I think is just plain ugly.

And I have to say, I find it quite scary that in rejecting the prevalence of ADD diagnosis as an excuse for bad behaviour or inefective parenting, all other conditions such as dyslexia and autism have got lumped into one category, 'learning difficulties', that many reject as real or worth diagnosis.

I mean 'she has mild learning difficulties' and 'mild autism - whatever that is' - I can't imagine the difficulty of raising an autistic child, and how helpful a diagnosis and all the research about their behaviour and management of their education etc would be. Also, parents with autistic children have to fight against the odds every step of the way. This woman has probably learned to make demands and take court cases because if you ahve a disabled child in this country, hte only way to get support form the govt is to take your case to court. Most parents of autistic kids spend a huge amount their care and education, and sacrifice enormously to look after them.

Challenging the response to ADD type behaviour is great. But as to the other, I really think people need to find out more about what they're rejecting before they make pronouncements about it.

9:33 a.m.  
Anonymous DeeDee Ramona said...

I'm wondering if this story is less about a girl being sent to a boys' school, and more about the state, via the VEC, doing a shite job of looking after the educational needs of children with disabilities.

Let's say the girl had a disability that meant she needed to use crutches or a zimmer frame to walk, and the VEC told her the nearest school was 35 mins' walk away, and the mother can't take her there and the bus doesn't do the route. I think the mother is well within her rights to insist that in this case, there is a perfectly good school nearby the daughter could attend, and send her to the lads' school as a special case.

Now, let's assume the autism has the same effect as not being able to walk, on making that 35 minute trip.

And "mild" autism isn't mild in the colloquial sense. It means she is able to talk, and read, and live an independent existence. Severe autism tends to involve 24 hour care and school is just not in the picture. "Mild" autism is still pretty disabled.

I get fed up when I see the amount of official and institutional crap the parents of disabled children have to put up with, so I would reckon the mum was at the end of her tether before taking that action.

11:13 p.m.  
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