Safety in Numbers*

There’s a mounting sense of vexation
About finance in education,
The weighty matter of pressure to Achieve
Perhaps just a little misconceived…
Hasn’t anyone notice the flaw in the plot
That Standards per se are actually not…?
Truth be told, they’ve been composed
By bods at the top who thinks they knows
What it is that one and all should learn
On account of all the money they earn,
Self-absorbed in the righteousness
Of a weird obsession with linear progress,
Looking at learning from their ivory towers,
Seeing no need of hearts or flowers
-Except of the sort one might search on the net.
This, the reality that young folk accept:
Unedited, the diet of an internet glutton
With everything there at the touch of a button.
While there’s no such thing as Absolute Truth,
There’s an infinite resource feeding our youth,
Parents handcuffed, turning blind eyes,
And when it goes wrong, aghast with surprise…
How could they possible not have known
How their Little Precious used a mobile phone
To show a whole other side of herself
For fear of being left on the shelf
While ‘everyone else’ was sharing with glee,
Nervously signalling ‘Look at ME!!’
While struggling to silence a voice inside
That pleaded in vain for protection of pride
But couldn’t make itself be heard
Transpiring in actions so absurd,
So demeaning, with consequences
That felled in one swoop the basic defences
Of a yearning, private, gentle girl
Who wanted to make her mark in the world
And, lacking guidance, followed the pack
Only to find she couldn’t turn back.
But even with everything governed thus
Nobody’s keen to make a fuss:
Would rather see their children chided
Before they openly confided
Feeling uneasy at being complicit
With licensed bullying (-well, really, isn’t it?!)
Securing conformity to peer-led will,
Behaviour that elsewhere would send a chill
Searing through the Hearts And Minds
Of those who cannot confidence find
To raise an eyebrow or ruffle a feather,
Seeking security by standing together.
Or, to be more accurate, hiding behind
The tiny majority that confidence find
By digging deep into their conscience:
A quiet but palpable human defence.




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