The Telegraph has an interview with Kate Chisholm, the primary school head who made headlines around the world this week after asking parents not to do the school run in their slippers and pyjamas.
It wasn’t just Australia who wanted to talk. She also had requests from Nairobi to New York, where breakfast television studios were even willing to bump Donald Trump off the news agenda in favour of this well-spoken primary school head teacher from Darlington in County Durham.
The letter in question was a four-sentence missive Miss Chisholm sent out in the school bags of her 450 pupils at Skerne Park Academy on Monday evening.
…Since it was sent (and posted on Facebook, where it went viral) she has received “hundreds” of emails in support. Some fellow teachers have also expressed horror at slipping standards not just at the school gates but in parenting in general. Most have applauded Miss Chisholm, 36, for speaking out.
But the support has not been universal. Some parents have seen the letter and as a personal attack.
Miss Chisholm says: “In every school there are always some parents, regardless of what type of school it is, who are either anti-establishment or think they know better. I am sure every head teacher in the country can name parents who don’t agree with them when it comes to education. But these parents have been very vocal about their dislikes. That letter gave them their chance to voice an opinion.”
A hardcore group of parents decided to attack the messenger, turning up the following morning in full nightwear to make their point. Others took to social media to brand Miss Chisholm as ‘snobbish’.
One mother, Kim Daniel, threatening to take her children out of school, said she had seen Miss Chisholm “dressed in a low-cut top, wearing high heels…. What example is she setting the kids?”
“…I’ve been called an overpaid prostitute and a failed fat supermodel. Both times this was parents saying this to me in front of their kids. If I want to have a word with the parent about a discipline issue, say, some parents have shouted at me, they’ve sworn at me, they’ve told me that I don’t know what I am talking about.”
She insists she has a thick skin and is able to laugh it off — even when one parent said she hoped she was barren “because if you have children, they’ll be the spawn of the devil”…
She insists her objections to Pyjamas are not because she is being “snooty”, it is because she thinks the children will suffer…
It’s well worth reading the full interview for an idea of what Kate Chisholm is up against from some parents.
How do you feel about this? Is it fine and proper for parents to see things differently (not, obviously, to the point of abuse), or is there a more fundamental issue here with a basic disregard amongst many for the kind of standards we might want to instil in children?
Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…
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