Two stories this week have had a profound impact on me and I thought I’d take a moment to explain why.
Those stories are:
- the 4 Corners report on the St.Kevin’s College saga, specifically the conviction of an athletics coach and former teacher on child grooming charges and the comments by Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson in it’s wake. I wrote a little more about this here.
- the murder of Hannah Baxter and her three children, almost certainly at the hands of her estanged husband.
My observations are my own and I don’t profess to know all of the answers. That said, some things have simply become unavoidably obvious:
- If the St.Kevin’s boys think it’s ok to chant as they did on a public train, then there’s something wrong with the way we’re raising our boys.
- If the people growing these boys at schools such as St.Kevin’s are grooming them, then there’s something wrong with the way we pick those who have access to them.
- If a Principal can write a character reference for convicted child groomer for the purpose of sentence reduction, then there’s something wrong with what some School Leaders value.
- If women are continued to be viewed as currency to be gained or lost, then there’s something wrong with the way boys/men are seeing women.
- If so many of the online comments about Hannah Baxter’s murder can refer to her being ‘gorgeous’, then perhaps we all see women as objects to some extent.
- If men are almost exclusively responsible for murder/suicides such as that inflicted upon Hannah Baxter and her kids, then there’s something seriously broken about the men that our boys are becoming.
- If men are so ill-equipped to build intimate relationships outside seeing it as an asset acquisition, then there’s something wrong with what we’re teaching them about relationships – including the flawed notion that we can fix them with an inspirational guest speaker, a Wednesday afternoon program, via unmodelled instruction or without detailed examination of the culture they are growing in.
- If schools are responsible for even a small part of shaping boys into valuable citizens – and I reckon we’re more than small – then perhaps the change can start with us.