Family breakdown

Family breakdown

Peter Gilet

I think that we are at last seeing the full effects of the breakdown of the Australian family. After 21 years away from teaching, I returned to casual, relief teaching last year in WA.

Students are no longer just disruptive. Some are incapable of any communication at all and begin shouting and hooning around before the teacher has finished his or her first sentence. They are, above all, aggressive. Unbelievably so. Partly, perhaps, because they are angry and fatherless, the products of that serial polygamy masquerading as the Australian family.

This is partly so because teachers are absolutely powerless. The cane went, then detention, then the time-out room. That the authorities have flooded teaching with overseas teachers, putting some 700 WA teachers out of the classroom, does not help. Yet teachers are not admitting to this state of affairs; or are not allowed to by those over them.

The only way out would be more monetary incentives for private schools, for family businesses and farms, and creating more jobs for the men at the lower end of the economy, who are the natural heads of the traditional family and who have been neutered by their poverty. Affirming the traditional family in law would help too.

Belmont, WA

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