Is it safe to read this?

A good friend of mine is going into work to teach online. That’s right. This is a teacher, being asked to go into a school, to teach online, because the kids are not in school. The children are not in school, because most of the teachers are not in school. The teachers in the UK are on strike. Teachers who do not strike have to go in, to teach children who are still at home.

Teachers in England do more unpaid overtime than anyone, it seems. Of course, they also get a lot of holiday. Spread the extra hours across the year, factor in the statutory leave that most other people get, and teachers do not work much more than anyone else; they work differently. But they can hardly complain about overtime. They also get pay above the average — before you factor in the pensions, too.

This school needs to get its staff to come in to work online, because it cannot trust its staff to work at home. Nor can it predict in advance who will strike. So we end up with most of the staff and the students at home, but teachers in school policing teachers who teach.

Meanwhile in Florida (according to Motherboard) teachers are stripping the books out of schools, rather than the students. If books cannot be removed, then libraries are being made inaccessible to students. There is a danger (it seems) that an art book may contain nudity, and it appears that the Florida Board of Education has been successfully captured by a group called Moms for Liberty — who sound like helpful parents.

Teachers who ‘knowingly or unknowingly’ allowed a minor to be exposed to this perceived harm would be charged with third degree felony. Motherboard story

Now that would never happen, you might say. The ruling from the Schools Board specifically exempts books with ‘value’, as long as it is ‘serious’ value, whether ‘literary, artistic, political, or scientific’, although not (what’s the word?), you know: ‘educational’. So you could defend a decision to leave Margaret Wade’s book Carnal Knowing on your shelf on the grounds that it makes ‘serious’ feminist points about Kenneth Clark’s The Nude. No reasonable person could object, you’d think.

Of course, by the time you made that defence, you’d have been charged. Some ‘reasonable person’ would have reported you and another ‘reasonable person’ would have charged you for unknowingly exposing minors to the ‘harm’ of feminist art critique. Sensibly, therefore, the teachers are evacuating the classrooms of books.

Presumably, in the UK, the problem would be solved, by keeping the students at home, where they could range the internet without difficulty.

Perhaps, in a perfect world, schools in both the UK and America will consist of uncomplaining teachers sitting in empty rooms. In Florida, however, it is reported that teachers are looking to work in another profession.

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