Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Samuel Paty did not deserve to die but if, as it is being alleged, he has, for many years, been showing thirteen-year-old schoolchildren pictures of the prophet, Mohammed with no clothes on, then he at least deserved to be sacked. The right to offend is an important one but not as important, in my opinion, as the right of children to expect to be protected from extreme offence when they are at school, in the playground and in the classroom. Freedom of speech can and should be addressed in schools but in an age-appropriate manner. Offering children the opportunity to exclude themselves from the class, as I believe Paty did, is not realistic protection when peer-pressure is as strong as it is among young teenagers.

I would suggest that such shock-tactics should not be employed in any classroom setting where the students are under sixteen years of age and, even then, a lot of care should be taken in making sure the students are willing and informed participants.

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