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    What the hell is being taught in schools now??

    I just thought i would run this by you folks to get a kind of straw poll opinion.
    Our daughter is just starting on her A level English, and one of the books they are studying is called The Kite Runner. The latest homework they have been set, is to write a double sided A4 sheet written as a diary entry of the 12 year old boy in Afghanistan who has just seen his friend (male) being raped.
    Does anyone else think that is unnecessary to have this book as a set piece for an exam. Apparently lots of the class were quite disturbed by the associated part of the book, but the teacher just said that although it was upsetting, it was a pertinent part of the story.
    Are we being too sensitive, or is there really a need to force students to study and read such graphic images?

    64 Comments

    Banned

    I'd complain to the school, if you are not happy.

    is it graphically written..the rape part?

    yep id make an appointment to go and see some one at the school:thumbsup:

    Original Poster

    magicbeans;3092289

    is it graphically written..the rape part?



    Well put it like this - her Dad is a squaddie, and it shocked him...

    Have you read the whole book or seen the movie?
    The raping scene is indeed a vital one but that is NOT the central story. The story itself is about how war, conflict and racism can ruin a (beautiful) friendship and equality between a boy and his servant's boy. The servant's boy turns out to be his step brothers i.e. his father's other son from the same servant's wife.

    anyway..
    I agree that by referring exclusively to raping scene, the homework may be not appropriate for a 12 year old.

    By the way, if im not mistaken the kite runner movie won the oscar for the best forraign movie in 2002 or 2003

    sorry 2007: en.wikipedia.org/wik…ilm)

    I’ve been told it’s a good book, though I’ve never read it.
    If your daughter is reading A Level English then she has to be able to understand all literature [just wait until she gets to Brett Easton Ellis or Kurt Vonnegut].
    We are far too sensitive and reactionary to themes we find uncomfortable.

    I agree with other posters, go to the school in person (rather than phone).

    Ask to speak to Head because s/he might not know that this book is being used.

    Ask Head for school's policy on consulting parents if there are to be contentious texts used. If school has no policy, complain to Boards of Governors and to Director of Education.

    Who decided on this book? Is it compulsory in the curriculum or is it just the whim of some 'with it' maverick English teacher?

    Banned

    nuabdi;3092315

    anyway..I agree that by referring exclusively to raping scene, the … anyway..I agree that by referring exclusively to raping scene, the homework may be not appropriate for a 12 year old.



    A level = 16-17 :thumbsup:

    I would say stay out of it, 16-17 is old enough to put your own foot down and refuse to do something because it offends you, get your daughter to ask the teacher to reconsider or give her an alternative assignment. Only if she is offended though.

    I saw this at the cinema a few months ago, it was very good film.

    I agree it is quite a sensitive issue but these things happen in the world and at the end of the day you hear about worse things happening in the news everyday.

    It is also an A level course so the students will be over 16 and i'm sure they're all quite aware things like this happen in the big wide world and need to face up to this fact, rather than being blinkered into thinking it doesn't.

    I find this completely horrifying & quite frankly unbelievable that this is being taught in schools !! whatever next?!! I wouldn't wish to read about this subject either.
    I would most certainly complain about this to the head teacher if it was my son or daughter.

    If shes doing her Alevels that makes her 16 not 12 nuabdi, a difficult subject i feel as these things are a part of life and are on the tv/radion everyday obviously not in great detail tho. as far as im aware there is a set list of books and the teachers decide individually which titles they read.

    id as other posters have said talk to the teacher in question and even other parents to see if they are of the same oppinion and take it from there, i had a similar problem a couple of weeks ago with my lil boy who had been told to pick a book from the school libary for me to read to him and it was totally inappropriate i just took it back and told the teacher my thoughts she was fine said she would watch what he was picking in future

    This is A level work ?? For 16 to 18 year olds.

    With respect I would have thought it was acceptable for that age group. They will read and see and hear the same in the media these days and I would have thought at some stage most young adults of this age will have discussed the same or worse amongst themselves ?

    All becomes hazy when shows depicting scenes of violence and rape are aired on tv after the watershed which most 16-17 year olds are deemed old enough to watch. It is quite an upsetting part of the book but a truly well written and inspiring read. The film is also quite good.

    It all depends on the individual, so go to the school if you are unhappy with this. I was quite comfortable explaining this to my nieces/nephews who are of a similar age and have watched the movie.

    snowtiger;3092351

    I find this completely horrifying & quite frankly unbelievable that this … I find this completely horrifying & quite frankly unbelievable that this is being taught in schools !! whatever next?!! I wouldn't wish to read about this subject either.I would most certainly complain about this to the head teacher if it was my son or daughter.



    It's 16 to 18 year olds we're talking about not little children.

    snowtiger;3092351

    I find this completely horrifying & quite frankly unbelievable that this … I find this completely horrifying & quite frankly unbelievable that this is being taught in schools !! whatever next?!! .



    I concur next thing they'll be telling the kids that people die, wars are real, famines happen and the outside world can be a very nasty place.

    keep this stuff away from our 16 and 17 year olds and lets keep teaching them about sparkly kittens, fluffy teddies and the tooth fairy.

    Down with the real world.

    o sorry... i've mis-took the OP statement "... diary entry of the 12 year old boy in Afghanistan... "

    BTW in the movie, the rape scene is by another boy age 14-15, not by the soldier..
    the first part of the movie showing friendship is very touching. the second part is not too good IMO

    ants97;3092396

    I concur next thing they'll be telling the kids that people die, wars are … I concur next thing they'll be telling the kids that people die, wars are real, famines happen and the outside world can be a very nasty place. keep this stuff away from our 16 and 17 year olds and lets keep teaching them about sparkly kittens, fluffy teddies and the tooth fairy. Down with the real world.



    You forgot Santa! :santa:

    Absolutely acceptable for this age group. As hottoshop says, these issues are aired freely in the media, so surely it's better to raise them in a educational environment than on a TV soap? In schools, sensitive issues can be examined from all angles and are open for rational discussion in a controlled environment.

    And I've just had another thought, it's certainly better she gets to confront the issues in school rather than on an internet forum like HUKD Misc. Imagine how warped her views of the world would be if she was educated on here!! :lol:

    Things like this happen (not just in fiction)- unfortuantely all too often. I hear about it and feel sick. Why anyone wants to focus on that gruesome act of violence is pretty sick. I gather the book is about friendship no matter what-so why are the set pieces of work not focussing on that. I would see the teacher and ask what the relevance of the homework is with regards to the book as a whole.

    Pandamania;3092465

    Where else are they going to learn about the horrors of rape?




    Duh.......Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks :whistling:

    calmacuk;3092393

    It's 16 to 18 year olds we're talking about not little children.


    They're not quite 'grown up' either at that age are they? !!!!!.
    Not just at 16-18 but at any age why is there a need to be reading about this awful occurance?
    We all know about the obscenities that sadly take place in the 'real world' but having them forced down our throats at school is another story!
    There are literally 1,000 of novels & texts for youngsters to study, this topic is just not needed.. If later in life an individual CHOOSES to read about such happenings then that is their choice.

    Banned

    choc1969;3092484

    Duh.......Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks :whistling:



    What about Corrie :thumbsup:

    DLM;3092521

    What about Corrie :thumbsup:



    Don't allow them to watch Corrie.....too shocking

    Banned

    choc1969;3092530

    Don't allow them to watch Corrie.....too shocking



    I'm disappointed in you, Corrie is the only comedy, i watch :roll:

    snowtiger;3092510

    They're not quite 'grown up' either at that age are they? !!!!!. Not just … They're not quite 'grown up' either at that age are they? !!!!!. Not just at 16-18 but at any age why is there a need to be reading about this awful occurance? We all know about the obscenities that sadly take place in the 'real world' but having them forced down our throats at school is another story! There are literally 1,000 of novels & texts for youngsters to study, this topic is just not needed.. If later in life an individual CHOOSES to read about such happenings then that is their choice.



    So by studying literature they best forget about reading Dickens and Shakespeare then :whistling:

    I'm with Hotto and Liddle on this one. I'm sure an English teacher would be able to explain why this book is chosen as part of the syllabus and there is a review on Amazon from an A level student raving about the book. Crtics tend to give the books good reviews so thats probably the main reason for covering it.

    Nice to see to back posting Jelli - thought I hadn't seen you post for a little while.....

    DLM;3092548

    I'm disappointed in you, Corrie is the only comedy, i watch :roll:



    With Betty's hotpot of sin.....:oops:, oh DLM!!!

    choc1969;3092549

    So by studying literature they best forget about reading Dickens and … So by studying literature they best forget about reading Dickens and Shakespeare then :whistling:


    why would this be ?

    nuabdi;3092405

    BTW in the movie, the rape scene is by another boy age 14-15, not by the … BTW in the movie, the rape scene is by another boy age 14-15, not by the soldier..IMO



    Was just about to say this^^

    The book is a superb bit of literature in my opinion and one of the best books I have ever read (1000 Splendid Suns by same author is also fantastic). The rape is a very small part of it and is not graphically described in any way. I agree with other posters that it is about war, conflict, relationships and to a degree, racist perception.

    There are two issues here as far as I am concerned. First, is it fundamentally reasonable to get into the mindset of a 12 yr old child rape victim to write a diary entry. That is certainly not what the book is about in any way. How on earth do you expect other children to write about such a horriffic indcident, when (heaven forbid) they have not been exposed to that. What is the teaching system trying to get out of them? Creative writing?? Far too an immotive subject.

    Secondly, at A level (16-17 yrs I presume) I would not have any problems with my children reading this book and the way it is written, in particular to the rape scene. They should be mature enough to cope with the subject matter (again re-iterating the way it is written) as they are presumably not naieve. I would not want my kids to be exposed to this kind of stuff any more than anyone else, but unfortunately times are changing. Sex Ed and all the stuff that goes with it are being taught at younger and younger ages - as is (unfortunately) the awareness of the down side(rape/Voilence/STD's).

    I agree though Jelli - If you are concerned you possibly should have a word with the school as personally, I would be more concerned about asking 16 yr old to get into the mind set of a 12 yr old rape victim, than the general use of the specific text itself. I cannot see how that can possibly represent a legitimate piece of coursework.


    p.s - Lovely to see you Jelli - not caught you in ages!!

    I think you've overreacting. Your child isn't, well, a child anymore! A-Level aged students are quite capable of comprehending these things and I think the assignment is more about how the students will portray their character's emotions and feelings rather than for them to study rape in detail.

    I studied The Color Purple for A-Level and that's by no means a 'pleasant' book in what it deals with, but I enjoyed studying it and was able to think about the issues it dealt with in a mature way. I also read The Cement Garden when I was even younger and that has quite a disturbing plotline but it hasn't had any adverse effect on me now that I'm older.

    People need to learn to deal with these things and literature deals as much with issues like rape and murder as much as tv/film does, but I bet you wouldn't stop your daughter watching a film involving shooting and killing etc.

    snowtiger;3092573

    why would this be ?



    There are several rape scenes, incest, murder depicted in these. It's been written about since the first books were printed.

    i Studied Jude The Obscure for GCSE coursework year 10. dirty book and movie

    To me, your being over sensitive.

    16+ year olds who have chosen to do english should be open to such stories and writing. They are studying English, and if the story is written in a interesting or good way then why not. IMO they are also old enough to cope with reading of such events too, but obviously may effect some individuals more than others.

    Banned

    This is an absolute peach of a book, you should be happy your child has the opportunity to study it. This rape scene isnt that graphic but is central to the whole story.

    At 16-17 they have prob learnt about these subjects on hollyoaks etc.

    Whilst not trying to sound to harsh, did you actually read the book in full before complaining and posting about it on here?

    well it happens in real life you cant protecet her forever im in school and herd alot worse thatn that youd be suprised what we talk about

    ajay87;3092661

    To me, your being over sensitive.16+ year olds who have chosen to do … To me, your being over sensitive.16+ year olds who have chosen to do english should be open to such stories and writing. They are studying English, and if the story is written in a interesting or good way then why not. IMO they are also old enough to cope with reading of such events too, but obviously may effect some individuals more than others.



    Some people have different family values so would be wrong to say this.

    I was taught sex ed at an early age by my mum who is a nurse and was pretty much given free reign about what I could read/watch.

    There are still children/young teens out there who are not brought up exposed to the media and computer games depicting violence so OP can judge how this would affect her child not us.

    Banned

    calmacuk;3092433

    You forgot Santa! :santa:



    What about Santa?! :x

    choc1969;3092592

    There are several rape scenes, incest, murder depicted in these. It's … There are several rape scenes, incest, murder depicted in these. It's been written about since the first books were printed.


    No choc not at all, I don't feel 16 - 18 year olds should be wrapped up in cotton wool but ............... refering to the original words from the OP :
    [COLOR=red]They latest homework they have been set, is to write a double sided A4 sheet written as a diary entry of the 12 year old boy in Afghanistan who has just seen his friend (male) being raped by a native soldier. [/COLOR]

    I feel is way below the belt!

    hankmarvin4;3092669

    Whilst not trying to sound to harsh, did you actually read the book in … Whilst not trying to sound to harsh, did you actually read the book in full before complaining and posting about it on here?



    Yes, that's a good point. I know many parents complain about curriculum matters based on their own prejudices about particular issues instead of taking the time to find out more about the context, purpose of the task, etc. This might be one of those cases - sorry OP, the title of the thread kind of suggests it too. In my experience, "What the hell...?" questions are often an immediate emotional reaction to something rather than a thoughtful response based on evidence. Maybe I'm wrong here though.

    snowtiger;3092723

    No choc not at all, I don't feel 16 - 18 year olds should be wrapped up … No choc not at all, I don't feel 16 - 18 year olds should be wrapped up in cotton wool but ............... refering to the original words from the OP :[COLOR=red]They latest homework they have been set, is to write a double sided A4 sheet written as a diary entry of the 12 year old boy in Afghanistan who has just seen his friend (male) being raped by a native soldier. [/COLOR]I feel is way below the belt!



    I've overheard my 10 year old nephew and his mates talking about rape and murder. I think we'd all be surprised if we read our children's messenger logs.

    They write about worse stuff and this is in an educational setting as already mentioned. Children's magazine agony aunts deal with this subject matter and I know as an adult I've imagined myself in certain horrific situations.
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