Sometimes you just have to wonder what people are thinking when they talk about teenagers and what they get up to in schools.
In this article in the Avondhu newspaper in Fermoy from August 28th, it seems that a formor local councilor thinks that some arson attacks in the area will be solved once students get back to school.
“Maybe it’s because the schools are on holidays” he says. Really, Cllr O’Donovan? Just what does he think happens within the four walls of a school? What does he actually think of young people?
Does he perhaps worry that teachers and other staff need stab-vests in school? Is he hoping that we will install metal detectors and security guards? Maybe the poor man has been watching too much dodgy telly.
It’s also possible that he hasn’t seen the inside of a school in a very long time and just doesn’t know what a challenging, interesting and rewarding place a school is.
No two days are the same, no two class groups are the same. And just as the philosophers debated if the same river passes under a bridge, the group you meet today could generate a totally different dynamic tomorrow.
Schools are great places to be. The chance to see students learn, develop, mature and go on to college or other walks of life is hugely satisfying. And this all happens in the 21st century, not in some kind of Dickensian workhouse.
So whatever our formerly honourable councillor was thinking, he was being thoroughly unfair to students and schools.
Utterances like this make me think it’s just as well that some of the councils were abolished this year.