October 26, 2006 | Graham

Catholic school and teachers union flunk education test

A book in a Catholic school library which labels Robert Menzies a tyrant in the company of Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein ought to be withdrawn – see report of incident here.
I’m no friend of George Brandis’s (although I have been), but my old school debating colleague is right on the money when he wants “100 Greatest Tyrants” taken from the library. Rubbish like that has no place in any school.
What is most striking about this is not that State Premier Beattie labelled Brandis a “drama queen” for his stand – the decay of state education systems and a lack of dedication to academic rigour under largely Labor governments is the major reason why private school enrolments are booming, so what else would you expect him to say?
Nor is it the reflex action of the teachers union to defend the book – the defence of teachers by teachers unions against any type of oversight is the greatest bar to teaching being regarded as a real profession.
No, it is the fact that the principal of a private school – one of the supposed refuges from debased public school teaching – should defend the book. Principal Bernard Durie says the school isn’t “into censorship in a big way yet”, but the basis of education is selection. Presumably this is a school which also files the Bible under Science alongside creationist text books. And if it doesn’t then Bernard Durie has some serious self-examination to do.
But not everything goes the government’s way on this issue – Brandis’s discovery was probably a by-product of him searching for the Maoist tomes that Julie Bishop asserts exist in the bowels of school curricula. They are as yet as elusive as WMD in a Babylonian desert.

Posted by Graham at 10:06 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Education


  1. Grouping the arrogant old sod with tyrants is silly. But, how did Brandis know the book was there. He must have searched the library for hours to find it, unless he was tipped off by someone in the school.
    Anyway, would the kids of Mt. Isa really be interested in reading such a crappy book?
    But, no. The book should not be in a school library. The principal is a pig-headed fool for not removing such rubbish.

    Comment by Leigh — October 26, 2006 @ 8:29 pm

  2. “I’m no friend of George Brandis’s (although I have been)” – LOL, Spoken like a true disgraced small-l liberal.

    Comment by Benno — November 1, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  3. Graham,
    Somewhere in that little school library we might find a book that proclaims that John Winston Howard is the greatest Primeminister we have ever had.
    Would I want to remove it?
    Of course not.
    I’d leave it right where it is, especially if I was a teacher and wanted to use it to teach students the usefulness of comedic irony.

    Comment by Jackobeen — November 5, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

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