You’ve been a naughty boy! Now go write an essay.

The King’s School, Parramatta, is possibly the most elitist of the elite Sydney private schools. A school that parents might expect to imbue students with a strong sense of right and wrong, in addition to the fine academic training they receive.

Apparently not.

After students were discovered posting racist comments about Aborigines on a Facebook page, headmaster Tim Hawkes claimed that he was “appalled” and “horrified”, and that those involved would “be punished”.

The extent of this punishment: ”From an educative point of view, we have the boys doing essays on stereotyping, on the appropriate use of Facebook. And they are having to research why it is that people would have been offended by the comments.”

Umm, right.

I like to think that an essay on stereotyping would be an appropriate learning experience for all students, a lesson that allows students to reflect on their own social interactions and to increase social harmony. The King’s School, however, believe that it should be a punishment that students begrudge and further ridicule amongst their bovver boy mates.

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