Posted by: Witch Doctor | January 29, 2011

I hate this stuff!


Long post.


I thought long and hard before putting up this horrible picture (not the apples) but decided no children were ever likely to read this blog. It illustrates the kind of thing I hate so much and I hope it helps make the point about the sort of things our children might be exposed to.

“Many years ago I remember coming across one of my small children, who was ill at the time, sitting on the floor watching the AIDS advert of a gravestone that flashed up on the TV screens umpteen times a day and night. OK I was a bad mother, I should have confiscated the TV from the children .. permanently till all these “Health-ads” disappeared.

Remember, this child was ill at the time. She asked me if she had AIDS and if she would die.

I said “no” and a few other things and I suppose she was reassured.

Years later, long after it would have been appropriate to confiscate a television, at the time of the BSE outbreak, the same child, much older now, watched cows in the slaughterhouse and loathed what she saw. She has never eaten red meat since. Why? Because red meat makes her vomit. It didn’t before.

Some may say turning her back on meat is a good thing, but that is not the point.

Those of you reading this blog will know that The Witch Doctor is a life long non-smoker. She hopes her children will be too. At the moment none of them smoke and they are probably unlikely to start now.

However, she remembers hearing stories of how the harms of smoking were being taught in schools and this concerned her greatly. Children were becoming anxious that their smoking parents might die.

Now we have role-playing schools. The role-playing is becoming more mentally and emotionally intrusive, is not owned by the pupils, but imposed on them by their teachers.

“What a spiffing idea,” says one of WD’s readers who pointed out a recent report.

This is what she really said:

“I’ve got to the stage where I am going to ask my youngest’s headteacher if they have any such “exercises” planned. These spiffing ideas don’t just come from nowhere, do they?”


“A primary school head has apologised after telling pupils Britain was under attack during a project to study the Second World War.

Some children at St Mary’s RC School in Bacup, Lancashire, were left distressed and unable to sleep following the re-enactment in which an air-raid siren was sounded and they were led to a mocked-up bomb-shelter.
Headteacher Mike Richards began the role-play at assembly where a recording of Neville Chamberlain’s eve of war address was played. The children were told about evacuation and a firework was detonated to simulate a bomb.

Mr Richards said many of the pupils – particularly the boys – enjoyed the experience. “The idea of it was to get the children to empathise with what it was like. The big concern we had was that the children wouldn’t believe it. Unfortunately we made it too real. We spent the rest of the afternoon explaining to them that it wasn’t.”

What is even more worrying is the number of commenters who approved of this role play. I wonder who these people are. Do they forget the emotions of childhood? Or have the been wheeled out in disproportionate numbers to support this kind of trash?

Here is another one reported recently:


“Bottoms up: far from encouraging children to drink to excess in later life, educationists believe adult role play will leave them less susceptible to peer pressure.”

“But neither adults nor teenagers are involved. This is a controversial new role-playing method about the dangers of alcohol that has gone on trial in primary schools in Scotland. 

The scheme, called Alcohol Interactive, encourages ten- and 11-year-olds to act out drunken roles in an attempt to educate them about acceptable levels of drinking. The students use scenarios such as adults drinking at a dinner party, a family enjoying alcohol at a wedding, drinking games at a nightclub and teens getting drunk in the park.

Supporters claim the initiative has been a success in the seven East Lothian primaries in which it has been pioneered and there are now plans to roll it out to another 40 schools across Scotland. But some campaign groups say they remain to be convinced that the technique will be effective….”

Here are another two incidents highlighted previously:


“A council spokesman said: “Schools commonly engage in drama-based exercises which encourage children to use their imagination and act out a character.

“These role play situations are designed to help children understand diversity and develop empathy for the victims of prejudice and are usually very well received by pupils.

“The activity was designed to develop the children’s understanding of unfairness and inequality.

“We are sorry that the lesson had this effect on some pupils.”


“When one child asked if that meant they might have to go to an orphanage, they were told that might be a possibility. At that point many of the children became very distressed. One boy kicked his chair over, one was angry and demanded to speak to someone in charge but most were crying on a scale ranging from mildly to severely.”

Their ordeal lasted between 12 and 15 minutes before the children were informed that it was all an act but that the role play would continue until lunchtime.

The mum contacted headteacher Mrs Stewart to ask if her daughter’s account was accurate.

She added: “When I asked why on earth they thought it was appropriate to deliver a role play situation to the children in this way, Mrs Stewart informed me that they didn’t inform the children beforehand because they wanted the children to experience an ‘accurate emotional response’ to this scenario in order for it to be reflected in their story writing.”

And more:


“Schoolchildren suffered panic attacks and were left crying after a role-play event in which one of their teachers was “shot dead” in the playground.

The children, aged 10 to 13, were traumatised by the stunt, which was part of a science lesson, and were not told that it was a stunt for ten minutes.

The exercise at Blackminster Middle School in Evesham, Worcestershire, began when pupils heard that there was a gun in the school. Five minutes later the alarm bell sounded and more than 300 were sent outside and saw three teachers running across the field.”

I hate this stuff. And this is what I think about it:

Children role play all the time but they should be the ones in charge of it, hence their own scary games are not scary at all. I think it’s a form of child abuse to emotionally scare children like this. Similarly I don’t think they should be going into schools telling them to celebrate death.* Parents may be ill, grandparents may just have died. These teachers and other “do-gooders” with their own agendas want to get a grip.

* I’m referring, of course to “Death Matters” and their crazy notion of infiltrating schools to teach kids how to celebrate death.



redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





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  1. Hi Witch Doctor.

    I am in complete agreement with you in that this game playing is a form of emotional child abuse and also an abuse of trust. Why should children trust their teacher again as they sit on edge waiting for the next role playing experience – which they did not have the option of playing or not? In a sense it is not role play at all it is REAL (with all the fear and horror) play.

    When the sons were first/middle school age, they were filled with horror stories re smoking and feared that death was imminent re their mum and dad. Sometimes I would find cigarettes broken in half as they fought to ‘save our lives.’

    Now they both smoke and when I have asked them why when they first commenced the habit – responses were of the ilk that ‘You’re not dead – so we were lied too.’ Too much information at an early age is wrong and destructive – children should be allowed to be children and be happy in their ignorance of the ills of the world.

    Anna :o]

    PS Apologies for my absence of late.

  2. What a bunch of idiots. They don’t understand children at all, nor how they regard adults as telling the truth all the time. Children can play scary games; I know one couple whose children used to do a re-enactment of when their grandad collapsed and was taken to hospital (they used to borrow his ventolin mask for realistic effect) but as you say they know when they’re role playing. They don’t if the teacher does it. It’s nuts.

  3. The study taking place in Scotland with children acting drunk is said to be a “success” and is going to be rolled out further.

    In this instance the children were informed, but how can they possibly say this is a success until the children are followed up for a suficient number of years and compared with peers who did not participate?

    No. This is an experiment. This being the case was there an ethics committee involved and did the children and parents give informed consent for such a controversial experiment?

  4. It’s a student project i.e. An experiment involving hundreds of children it seems.

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