Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Poem Dropped

A poem about a knife carrying violent loner has been dropped from the GCSE curriculum in England after concerns about the subject matter given the rise in knife crime.

You can read the whole story here.

"The exam board said the poem had been a "popular choice" for pupils - allowing GCSE English students to debate issues about the state of mind of the poem's narrator.

But a spokeswoman said the board had received a complaint and against a background of fears over teenage knife crime had now decided to drop it from the anthology.

"People will have different views on this - but we have to make a decision in the light of what is currently happening," she said.

The exam board said the decision had not been taken lightly but that the selection of poems had to respond to current "social issues and public concern".

The poem is quite dark, but would it turn a young person into an axe wielding homocidal maniac? Actually I don't think so. I do agree with the exam board that it had allowed students to debate issues about the state of mind of the narrator. It would also allow debate about knife crime and mental health in general.

Strangely, when I was obliged to read Oedipus, I did not go out and kill my Father and marry my Mother. I don't think any of my class mates did either. Surely the principle is the same?


BenefitScroungingScum said...

I quite agree its the same principle. More worryingly this reflects the wider problem in Britain at the moment, if one group says they don't like something the response is to ban it. Like that will make it go away! How ridiculous

Jim said...

I couldn't agree more BG, and the sad thing is it only takes one or two people shouting the loudest and everyone else has to suffer the consequences.

Surreptitious Evil said...

But surely you must think of the children, the little children?

And with that rabid mantra, all common-sense, reasoning and concepts of proportional response must be immediately excised from public life.

Never mind that, by the GCSE point, we should be actively encouraging legal minors to the levels of responsibility and discernment that they will need as adults.

S-E said...

Oh, sorry, "proportionate" not "proportional".

Fox In Detox said...

In response to a statement made by a distraught parent that a rock group should be incarcerated, because their teenage daughter, who listened to the bands music constantly, committed suicide... someone once said, "If this is where the blame lies, then when are the Beatles going on trial for Tate-La Bianca murders."

This thought process never works.