Does this sound like sexual harrassment to you?

Yesterday Jon Gaunt was discussing the subject of a six-year-old girl who was pulled out of school by her mother because a teacher dragged her half-naked into assembly in front of a mixed audience of more than 100 people. The girl had refused to get dressed for some reason and the teacher was unsympathetic.

The mother was interviewed by the presenter, and told him that she was talking to her lawyer. The presenter took the position that the girl was disobedient, that she should have done as she was told, and that her acting up would have kept the teacher from dealing with the other children. Many of the callers were sarcastic, one of them recalling a petty embarrassment at school and asking Gaunt to put him in touch with the mother’s lawyers, so that he could sue the school for the trauma it had caused him. Others came out with the usual platitudes about teaching children “respect” and if you don’t, they’ll end up in jail or in dead end jobs.

I was thinking of sending a text message to the programme, telling them I had enough rough treatment at school and it certainly did not teach me respect, at least not for those people. I thought they were scum then and still do now, and the time when teachers could get away with murder are long gone, and good riddance to them. Only one person pointed out that six-year-olds have some sense of modesty which could have been challenged by dragging the girl out in front of a large mixed audience. A lot of sixteen-year-old girls don’t display much of a sense of modesty these days, but there’s a big difference between a six-year-old and a sixteen-year-old. Go look in the clothes shops for both age groups if you don’t believe me.

Of course, there may have been better ways of sorting this issue out than how it was - and this is a subtlety which, although mentioned, was eventually lost in the volley of tabloid “common sense” (i.e. common idiocy) sentiments encouraged by a presenter who seems to be there to bring out the idiot in everyone.

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