Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's a Jungle in Here

Now as a rule I don't follow politics of any kind. Have had a boycott for several years now.

But as I was waiting on a friend who never showed up (left her phone at the flat), I sat down with my super expensive (you don't want to know how expensive) electronic dictionary and settled down to read some German news. Among the tedious details of Madonna's landing in the city and heading straight for an exclusive private club (Soho House, for those in the know) and how many ways pork fat can't kill you was an actually interesting article about the Green Party Minister, who is a dirty Turk that wants to save the whales and the polar ice caps and all sorts of things people from the second-and-a-half world aren't supposed to care about.

The interviewers had the nerve to ask this guy if he would send his own child to a school full of dirty Turks, which is something the average German attempts to avoid. The claim is that a good German child learns less among dirty Turks, because the Turkish children speak German only as a second language and drag down the pace of the class. Whether there is any merit to this claim is up to the people who know how to use Google to find out. Those of us who don't just form our opinions based on prejudices, like everyone else.

Anyhow. So this Turkish Green Party dude said, yes, of course. My little girl will be entering a Kreuzberg public school in the fall. Kreuzberg public schools are the nightmares of every German parent who wants their kid to grow up and do something other than auto mechanics. The idea is that your precious snowflake will never make it to university if it has to share finger paints with the children of immigrants.

Besides the fact that it would not fit with his politics not to do so, this guy really couldn't go around not sending his kid to a school full of Turkish kids, so, while the headline was all big and obnoxious, like, "KNOWN TURK SENDS HALF-TURKISH CHILD TO TURKISH SCHOOL. SCANDAL?" I was like, "um, of course."

It reminded me, however, of the public school teachers we had who sent their kids to private school. Like, it's good enough for you to come here and earn your paycheck, but not good enough to send your own kids to? I never understood how these teachers could think that they were tough enough to brave the jungle that is public school but that their kids could not hack it.

What kind of message does that send to their own students? To their co-workers who were educated and educate their own children in the public school system?

I have yet to meet a private school kid who was significantly smarter than a public school kid anyway, or one that used his extracurricular time better. Without school-sponsored team sports all a private school kid has to do is steal his parents car and use to do drugs during school hours (like a good friend of mine did whose mother taught at our school).

Usually I attempt to lend a moral to the story but there is none today. Sending your kids to public school will not only not kill them but it is also not news. I wonder if it's too late to get my 75 cents back for the paper.

No comments: