leg-iron (leg_iron) wrote,

The Dawn of the Righteous. Part 1. School.

When I was at school, we had no visible Righteous. We had no racism either - apart from the National Front and similar, who everyone was scared of because although they spouted 'white power', they didn't really care much about skin colour when it came to kicking the crap out of someone. At school, there was no racism.

There was only 'bullying'. The colour of the bully's skin and the colour of the victim's skin was irrelevant. Bullying was bullying. There were no subcategories. There were none who were more deserving of protection than others. Insults were insults, bullying was bullying, and the perpetrator was punished the same way, no matter what.

I don't recall any politically correct teachers. I don't recall any political correctness at all. If a white kid called a black kid a name now defined as racist, the white kid would get a smack. It wasn't for 'being racist'. It was for 'being an inconsiderate, insulting little shit'. There was no mention of 'potential Nazi' or 'he'll grow up just like Hitler if he's not reconditioned'. The kid would be told he can't expect to insult people and get away with it, and if he did it again it would be the cane. The odd thing is, I seem to remember it used to also work when a black kid did it to a white kid. They've dropped that part now.

The teachers were in charge, we all knew it. Sure, we did things we shouldn't but we were careful not to get caught. Even the hardest thug in the school would not dare answer a teacher back. The position of 'teacher' carried with it automatic respect. The headmaster had the authority to cane us, the teachers had the authority to administer a swift slap, and although they rarely used it, we knew they could. We also knew that to go home and complain we'd been hit by a teacher would have resulted in a griliing to find out what we had done, and another smack when we admitted it. So, when teachers were around, we behaved ourselves. Heck, when adults were around we behaved ourselves. We couldn't make an accusation that would destroy an adult's life, just for the hell of it.

There was peace, mostly. Nobody was ever stabbed. Most of us carried penknives but nobody ever threatened anybody with one. If there was a fight, it was fists only. If a teacher caught the fighters, they were separated, given a clip across the ear and sent on their way. To get into the headmaster's office for fighting took dedication. Nobody called in social workers or police for any playground incident, ever. No child was ever sent for counselling or psychiatric evaluation (although I can name a few who maybe should have been). Nobody died. There were always a few with black eyes and most of us had bruises and grazes, most of the time. We were not carted off to give evidence of abuse, because there had been none. Those marks were obtained through play. We learned how to get hurt, we learned how to deal with it and we learned how to avoid getting hurt again. Important lessons, now denied.

I experienced no Righteousness at school. None. So university came as a bit of a shock.
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