Children hear, children sayComments Off on Children hear, children say

There has been a lot in the news recently about Alan Jones.  He is what Australians call a ‘shock jock’ –  says things on the radio that are racist and misogynist – and often just plain nasty.  I was indeed shocked when I first heard him speak (not on his program – I do not listen to it) and wondered if his comments would have been illegal in the UK.  He is on the far right of politics and as such is embraced by some in the Liberal (read Republican or Conservative) party.  He is now in big trouble because at a Young Liberals function he said that the Prime Minister’s father had just died of shame.  At last he has gone too far.
Alan Jones makes nastiness acceptable, he demeans, belittles, stereotypes and puts down others all the time. Free speech must come with responsibility – and that responsibility extends to each and every child who happens to hear him or hear his views repeated by adults around them. If kids bully, dehumanise or think its cool to be cruel, one reason will be that people like Jones have made such behaviour mainstream. If he does it so can others. Is this what we want our kids to learn?