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Feminism: chat

Girls missing lessons due to boys behaviour

53 replies

Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 11:47

Wondering what the wise women of Mumsnet think of this. A secondary school which is known to have issues with boys behaviour towards girls (which school doesn’t?). So the decision is to have girl specific sessions (I assume to learn how to deal with this) which take place during timetabled day - meaning girls taken out of normal lessons. Weekly. Result is that girls miss out on learning in order to speak about “girl” issues while the males continue to benefit from all mainstream learning and don’t have to miss any timetabled lessons. Am I being over sensitive or shouldn’t the boys also have some equivalent gender based lessons on appropriate behaviour towards female fellow students? And miss out on their lessons too? I’m despairing a bit.

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YellowFish12 · 19/06/2021 11:48

Surely they could do that during PSHE or form time?

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 11:49

Thanks yes that’s what I was thinking. But apparently it doesn’t work that way.

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 11:51

WtF? I would complain.

Also what are they hoping to teach in the girl-specific lessons? How best to ignore and block boys behaviour? I'm genuinely baffled.

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CoffeeandCakeEqualsLove · 19/06/2021 11:52

What are the boys doing during this? Presumably they are having a boy-specific session to learn how to not act inappropriately - so the girls aren't missing an academic lesson that the boys are getting?

Not that I think this is the correct way to deal with this sort of issue, mind you.

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Gizlotsmum · 19/06/2021 11:53

Aren’t the girl specific session subject specific ( so a girls only science lesson?)

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 11:53

It is some sort of "counselling" type shit?

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 11:56

Thanks Grellbunt I’m truly baffled too. It’s just not sitting right with me on any level. And doesn’t seem to address the root of the issue of male entitlement and privilege …if anything I felt this could compound/reinforce the (male) problem. Also my DD loves learning and I hate for her to be missing any lessons even if they are “non core” which is how this is being justified by the school.

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 12:00

I'd go in hard citing that "the school is leaving itself vulnerable to accusations of sex discrimination by depriving female pupils of their full timetable and failing to adequately address the behaviour with the male perpetrators rather than the female victims" and ask them to explain themselves pronto.

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 12:01

I need to step away from Mumsnet I think. I am ABSOLUTELY RAGING on your behalf!!!

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 12:02

Please let us know how you get on.

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MouseyTheVampireSlayer · 19/06/2021 12:02

Is it happening in tutor group time? More information needed op but if happening as you describe it's wrong because not only are the girls missing out, but the boys behaviour is not getting addressed.
Pshe would be another lesson it could happen in without missing out but it's over a decade since I worked in secondary and I don't even know if they do it as a subject anymore.

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Dozer · 19/06/2021 12:03

WTF!

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midgemagneto · 19/06/2021 12:04

They know who are girls and who are boys when it suits them

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 12:15

Yes it’s counselling style shit for sure. Teaching girls how to deal with male behaviour rather than going to the source.

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 12:22

Thanks everyone it’s good to know I’m not over reacting no it’s not in tutor time. It’s in what they call non core lessons ie as long as they don’t miss English maths science, no problem.

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Jellycatspyjamas · 19/06/2021 12:26

No, that’s rubbish - I’d be complaining strongly. What a way to reinforce the idea that it’s women’s responsibility to temper male bad behaviour. FFS.

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 12:27

I'm concerned if this approach is replicated throughout schools as a consequence of the recent publicity around sexual harassment etc ie Ofsted and Everyone's Invited etc?

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 12:31

Grellbunt I think it’s for sure linked to that no doubt. But I’m my mind they should do parallel single sex lessons around consent, respect, boundaries etc etc. Rather than give the girls a “space” to talk about it…..that’s good too as an aside but not at the expense of their education. I think I’m going to have to address this.

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Grellbunt · 19/06/2021 12:32

Lots of parents won't have the skills to address it so yeah - you'd be doing all the girls a favour

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 12:47

Agreed

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MouseyTheVampireSlayer · 19/06/2021 13:04

That's ridiculous. Some points to help your enquiry:

Non core subjects like art and history are important for the self esteem of those who are good at them.

Depending on which year group DD is in schools are still obligated to offer non core subjects up to GCSE.

The girls will be taking GCSEs in some of these subjects- them missing learning is not good for the school or the girls.

Schools have to show they are not discriminating by sex, anything offered to one sex needs to have an appropriate equivalent offered to the others.

Some girls may find the content distressing due to past experience so making such talks compulsory is problematic.

They are encouraging victim blaming, minimising harm and blame culture.

I'd be a little more understanding if it was self defense classes or practice interviews, something to address the balance weighted in the boys favour. But this is clearly dumping sexual abuse responsibility on the girls.

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Babymamamama · 19/06/2021 13:11

@MouseyTheVampireSlayer Thankyou I appreciate all those points they make perfect sense. I’m going to see where I get with this. Might canvas views of couple other parents in real life too. And I will have to do this without DD knowing she hates me “interfering”.

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RadandMad · 19/06/2021 13:14

@midgemagneto

They know who are girls and who are boys when it suits them

Just what I was thinking. eyeroll
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SchrodingersUnicorn · 19/06/2021 13:22

The school knows the girls take GCSEs in those 'non-core' subjects right? Languages, humanities... all very important! They might want to go on to study them at A level, university etc. Just because league tables focus on core subjects doesn't mean the others don't matter! And the boys are getting the full timetable of subjects?
I'd hit the roof.

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WellRightOKThen · 19/06/2021 13:23

FFS. This is one of those things that I'm sure is done with the best of intentions, and I can see that it may well be useful to take girls aside and essentially get the message across that they don't have to take this shit and the school will robustly support them when they don't.

But failing to also pull the boys aside is pathetic and very much gives the message "boys will be boys. Let's teach the females how to carefully manager men's behaviour, as is their lifelong responsibility."

I would suggest that the overarching message - to the boys - should in fact be, "FYI, x, y and z is a crime and we'll be reporting all such behaviour not only to your parents but also to the police. Even if you are not prosecuted, you could end up with a record that will significantly impact your chances in life because of this behaviour. So stop it. Last warning. Fuckity-bye." And then follow through.

Said, if it matters, as a mother of sons and no daughters.

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