canterbury - A British school has launched a bold idea: an 'unsafe space' at school to debate about controversial topics. The place has to serve as a forum, but some pupils see little benefit. 'You can be as racist, sexist and xenophobic as you want', says student Sarah Cundy to The Guardian.
The 'unsafe space' refers to the word 'safe space' in which people are safe from all forms of discrimination, intimidation and psychological violence. The director of the Simon Langton school wants 'the strangest and most disturbing ideas to be discussed'.
Lectures listen to the titles 'Women versus feminism' and 'Not all cultures are equal'. The very first course is about a Googlemedewerker who once claimed that women are naturally less capable to become an engineer. Pupil Sarah Cundy is displeased: 'Mr. Soderholm said that we would study the memo and get the arguments for and against it', says Sarah Cundy (18). 'To hear a teacher say that there are any arguments before, gave me a particularly uncomfortable feeling,' she says. 'I think that women will get more problems because of the course. '
Oko Connie Kissock (18) is angry: 'As a girl I am worried when I hear male teachers promoting anti-feminist ideas. I am sure that a broad spectrum of ideas can be discussed, but this goes too far. '
According to reports, Aldolf Hitler's book 'Mein Kampf' would also be discussed, but school director Baxter states that it is not on the agenda, although the book may be discussed. He wants to make everything negotiable. 'We will not study that book, but we will take it into a broader debate. '
Last year the school was discredited because it had invited the right-wing extremist Milo Yiannopoulos. The speech was finally canceled by fear of disturbances.