Sarah Hall is a 40 year old mother of two from Newcastle. After reading a school book to her six-year old son Ben she deemed that the book had too much detail about sexual behaviour and felt that it was totally inappropriate in today’s society. She therefore requested that her son’s primary school remove the book form the curriculum due to its “inappropriate sexual message”.
The book in question, in case you also want this filth removed from your children’s school, is Sleeping Beauty.
What do we ban next?
- The story of a child breaking into houses, stealing food and sleeping in other peoples beds. (The three bears)
- Another child who visits a strange land and kills the first person she meets. She then teams up with three strangers and kills again. (Wizard of Oz)
- A young girl enslaved by seven men. (Snow White)
Sorry, but I fail to see how this classic timeless childrens story can be taken as offensive and inappropriate, especially for a six year old who will not understand sexual attitudes. I believe Ms Hall has let her own imagination run away with itself and maybe should take a look at herself.
Interestingly, Ms Hall has her own PR firm in the North East. Here’s a clip from her profile.
Sarah Hall is a pioneer of best practice in the PR industry. The holder of the CIPR’s Sir Stephen Tallents medal 2014 for exceptional achievement in public relations practice, she has established a reputation as an ethics tsar and gender and equality advocate through her work with the Institute.
Obviously she is very good at PR.
As for Ben, this poor lad has another 12 years of this rubbish to put up with before he can escape to a land far away and live happily ever after.
Meanwhile, in the world of gender equality, Natasha Devon MBE published an article claiming ‘I received rape and death threats after I suggested schools use gender-neutral language’. Natasha is a writer and social critic who travels schools and colleges throughout the UK delivering classes and conducting research with teenagers, teachers and parents on mental health, body image and social equality.
In her article (link here) she claims that here comments were wilfully misinterpreted by both mainstream and digital media when she spoke at the Girls School Association Annual Conference. The main thrust of her argument was “a sense of belonging is one of the five fundamental psychological human needs. In making sweeping assumptions about gender, sexuality and identity we can create a culture in which anyone who deviates from the established archetypes feels excluded from the community and therefore doesn’t have this need fulfilled. One way we as educators could help to avoid this is by using gender-neutral language when addressing groups of pupils.” She then went on to praise the City of London Girls’ School which asks speakers specifically to refer to year groups as “students” rather than “girls” or “ladies” because they want to be as inclusive as possible.
Now there is no way I would condone the type of abuse she says that she has received as a result of her comments. However, her example of the City of London Girls School does not really make sense. Its a girls school, who else are they trying to include?