A friend from an urban comprehensive – who, for the sake of his continuing employment, we shall not name – says there are days when you need the patience of Mother Teresa and the wisdom of Solomon. Everyone demands respect. They don't always deserve it.Things here are compounded by the fact that the schools are not the best on the planet. But, of course, pulling your kids out because of socio-political or religious reasons means pulling them out for science reasons as well. Baby? Bathwater?
"Fancy a row?" he tells me. "Try teaching evolution, based on hard evidence, when the Muslim parents and the evangelical Africans would rather you taught one of the variants of creationism. That's to spend a less than enjoyable day between a rock and a hard place. I'll say sorry, I just can't teach something that has no scientific basis. If it's religious belief you're interested in, the subject for that is RE. They'll say, 'Well if that's your final word, we'll have to withdraw our children. Then the children lose out. We can't have that either. Tricky."
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