Students at a primary school in Melbourne’s outer east will no longer be allowed to have a personality. The surprising ban comes just one day after it was revealed that a Mornington Peninsula school had banned their students from all forms of physical contact. But the Principal of Outer East Primary School, Donna Haynes, says the Mornington school didn’t go far enough.
“Too many kids are getting hurt simply because they’re displaying individuality. Last week alone we had five personality-related incidents. In one case, a student’s characteristic overconfidence led him to disappointment when he lost a tennis match. In another, a grade six student’s trademark quirky jokes were found to be slightly annoying. She’s still coming to terms with that set-back”.
“Parents are always saying ‘my little Johnny’s got such a great personality’. Reality is, that personality is causing Johnny harm.”
Vice Principal John Coates agreed. “We’d much rather them be safe than have any sort of character”.
A group of students at the school staged a protest by sitting on the school oval and being themselves. They were later disciplined. One student – who is known for being overly emotional – broke down in tears. She was expelled.
Principal Haynes said parents were made aware of the policy earlier this week. “Lots of parents are pleased with the action because they can’t stand their children,” she said. “This will help at home as well as in the school yard”.