Climbing Aboard The Media Tiger (Pt I)

A teacher at the Ashcombe School has been criticised for comparing a deprived region of Romania to a Dorking housing estate.


Pupils were watching a video about the school’s charity work, which includes sending Christmas shoeboxes full of gifts to impoverished children in Romania, when the comments were made.

Well, do tell us what was said, won’t you?

Michelle and Kevin Miller, who live in Chart Downs, told the Advertiser their 15-year-old son was in the class when the “indefensible” remarks were made.

Mrs Miller said: “They were watching the Romanian shoe appeal and the teacher said ‘If you think Chart Downs and Goodwyns are rough, this is much worse‘, and of course with that all the kids started laughing because they know our son is the only one from the estate.”

Ah. I see. A tasteless remark? Perhaps. But worth complaining about? Well…

Mr and Mrs Miller made an official complaint to the school and met with the head teacher, David Blow.

Mr Blow apologised for the comments, but the couple say he asked them to retract a letter they had already sent to the Advertiser.

Ah. They’re those sort of people, are they?

Mr Miller said: “As soon as I mentioned that I had gone to the papers he sent our son out of the room and said it would be worse for him (if we pursued the story).”I don’t see how, as the damage had already been done.”

You really don’t see how?

You mean, you fail to recognise how getting your names (and therefore, the identity of your son) into the paper before you’ve even complained to the school itself makes you look..?

Mr Miller says he then received a phone call from councillor Derrick Burt (Lib Dem, Dorking North), also urging him to retract the complaint.

Which then merely served to fuel his desire to BE HEARD, damn it!

He said: “I feel very stronglyabout this.”Just because we are ordinary common-sense people they think they can just brush it under the table.

“What the teacher said was outrageous. The teachers have said sorry but it is indefensible.”

So, what do you want? If an apology isn’t enough, what will satisfy you?

The couple say they have accepted the school’s apology following the incident on October 31, but they are concerned about the underlying prejudice it showed.

Ah. They have concerns. *rolls eyes*

You can’t go round saying things like that. I would usually let it go but this time it did annoy me because it’s not a rough estate, it’s a nice place to live.

Clearly, it’s a ‘nice place to live’ where the residents are so utterly dim that they make a song and dance over a remark that offended them, go running to the newspapers, probably get their kid mercilessly teased far more than would otherwise happen, and will probably join in the inevitable comment thread to even greater hilarity…

Do people really think the media is their friend in these sort of disputes?

To be continued…

6 comments for “Climbing Aboard The Media Tiger (Pt I)

  1. Ian
    December 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Chart Downs really IS a dump, according to Surry Police –

    “At the Goodwyns panel meeting we had 11 attendees…..sporadic incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area occurring in the later hours…….damage to motor vehicles… mess on King George V playing field…..the estates are littered with mess…..people are being abusive……”

    • December 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Sounds like…Tilbury! 😀

  2. December 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    To be continued on p94, I presume.

    • December 3, 2011 at 7:59 am

      At least!

  3. Dave G
    December 2, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    awwww come on….. the word ‘indefensible’ is council estate slang for ‘compensayshun’.

  4. December 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    There’s some vintage local news reporting here, or at least punctuation, in Derrick Burt’s comment about the estate:

    ‘Mr Burt said: “I live in Chart Downs and I don’t like Chart Downs, compared to the worst areas of Romania.” ‘[sic]

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