Our expert says:
Any teacher or Head who tolerates let alone encourages hazing or initiation of any form should be sacked promptly. There is no possible excuse for it, no possible benefit for anyone, and potential significant harm to the victims of it.
The degree to which teachers apparently encourage this primitive practice in the examples you quote is disgraceful. I'd firstly approach the head and say this contradicts the assurances you were given, and is a definite breach of the basic human rights of all the children involved, encouraging bullying and other bad practices, and that unless it is immediately and permanently banned, you will approach the Human Rights Commission, the local MEC for Education and the media, to expose this thoroughly bad practice.
There is nothing whatsoever funny about such sanctioned bullying, and it fails my traditional test - if the person it's aimed at isn't spontaneously laughing with genuine and spontaneous enjoyment, then it isn't a joke.
And what I'd insist on isn't simply an exemptipon for my own child ( which could lead to further teasing and embarrassment, etc ) but a firm and final end to the pathetic practice altogether.
I disagree with Jenna on this - it is NEVER EVER beneficial to ANY child, and there is no possible justification for it.
And it is NOT "character building" a feeble excuse too often used to justify all sorts of bad practices, including bullying, bad food and compulsory sports. There isn't a shred of proper evidence of any benefits, these claims are invented to justify a process that satisfies far darker and uglier human instincts.
The mere fact that most kids survive, and SOME kids might come to enjoy it, is no justification. The only "life lesson" it teaches is that people with power are allowed to abuse it to bully people with less power, and that the embarrassment and discomfort of an individual is irrelevant even to the institution ( such as the school ) which is supposed to be protecting them. It teaches a child that she must ignore her own feelings and wishes as irrelevant, to fit in and beg acceptance from the stronger and more powerful people around her.
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