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    Liberté, égalité, fraternité

    Although I have reservations about proscription of clothing or jewellery of French Uni students (Let's face it, the whole point of Uni is to dress stupidly), I have seen the banning of visible religious clothing or jewewllery as a good thing in terms of their secualr education and in terms of reducing divisiveness in schools.

    Forgive my ignorance but I always assumed that this was in the context of school uniforms. I have just found that, seemingly, French schools don't have uniforms. This means that students can't wear religious jewellery or clothing but can wear any old branded tat advertising sportswear companies for free that they "choose".

    I realise that the French don't have the same concept as "school as a community" as we do so the idea of a uniform might be hard. I am also certainly not attacking the secular approach of their education but, if you are to ban certain objects that could allow inequality, then surely other that are divisive on social, financial and possibly racial lines should be as well.

    Have I got this wrong and there are a lot of schools with uniforms or there just isn't a culture of wearing logoed clothing or football shirts, for instance?

    #2
    Liberté, égalité, fraternité

    The key concept here isn't liberté, égalité or fraternité but laicité, which is very specifically about a radical separation between religion and the State. It's not about such pragmatic Anglo-Saxon goals as "reducing divisiveness", mon brave, it's about the secular character of la République. It has to be seen in the context of 1789 and all that, and 1848 and all that, and of the fact that not until the Fourth Republic was France really free of the threat of either pietistic royalism or pietistic fascism.

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      #3
      Liberté, égalité, fraternité

      Put that in your pipe and fume it

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        #4
        Liberté, égalité, fraternité

        Plus it will be a cold day in hell when schools in France introduces uniform. The idea that the uniform is some attempte at egalitarianism in the UK leaves me scratching my chin, it sounds more like a mean to instore some kind of, ahem, uniformity, if not completely in minds, then in the aspect of the pupils...

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          #5
          Liberté, égalité, fraternité

          JtS wrote:
          Put that in your pipe and fume it
          Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

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            #6
            Liberté, égalité, fraternité

            Back in my day all the french exchange students had a uniform. Naf Naf jacket, shit jeans, bad trainers, rucksack on both shoulders.

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              #7
              Liberté, égalité, fraternité

              Backpack on both shoulders is the way to identify foreigners, they're all at it....

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                #8
                Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                They need both hands free for rolling up crap cigarettes.
                Apart from of course, Italians, who need both hands free to speak. Allegedly.

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                  #9
                  Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                  EIM wrote:
                  Back in my day all the french exchange students had a uniform. Naf Naf jacket, shit jeans, bad trainers, rucksack on both shoulders.
                  Plus huuuuge glasses and the lads had long hair and the girls had short hair.

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                    #10
                    Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                    There was a French exchange student at my middle school once. His name was Ghee-yome. He was both charming and rustic to us southeast Texas sophisticates. He definitely wore a large backpack over both shoulders. Then one day, he was gone.

                    Later, my family briefly housed a German exchange student called Florian. Florian! I remember proudly introducing him to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They fell short of captivating him, but he was very polite about it.

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                      #11
                      Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                      Why on Earth... wrote:
                      JtS wrote:
                      Put that in your pipe and fume it
                      Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                        I always get Magritte and Maigret confused. Actually, didn't Maigret smoke a pipe? The plot thickens.

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                          #13
                          Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                          The key concept here isn't liberté, égalité or fraternité but laicité, which is very specifically about a radical separation between religion and the State. It's not about such pragmatic Anglo-Saxon goals as "reducing divisiveness", mon brave, it's about the secular character of la République
                          I understand that as the original basis, of course, but I was under the impression, as one of the overarching concepts running through French education is citizenship of the Republic and, as such, there is move to achieve L,E & F by reducing divisiveness.

                          Plus it will be a cold day in hell when schools in France introduces uniform. The idea that the uniform is some attempte at egalitarianism in the UK leaves me scratching my chin, it sounds more like a mean to instore some kind of, ahem, uniformity, if not completely in minds, then in the aspect of the pupils...
                          Again, that wasn't the original concept but I can tell you that the principle now (certainly in state schools) is largely to reduce consumer envy.

                          I brought up recently at school that, if we are to have uniforms then we should, at least make everyone wear them. It was suggested to me by the Head that some of the poorer kids couldn't afford it. I then pointed out that the poorer kids, by and large, did wear uniforms, it was the kids who could afford expensive leisurewear that didn't

                          Anyway, going back to my original point, even though a country has a secular education doesn't mean that other malignant influences aren't in play. American education is, in theory at least, secular but corporate sponsorship and branding is rife as anyone who remembers this story will know

                          In March 1998 Greenbriar high school in Evans, Georgia, US, sponsored a Coke In Education Day, with the whole curriculum built round Coca-Cola, including an economics lecture by the company's executives and lessons on baking a Coca-Cola cake during the home economics class. The climax of the day was a school photograph in which all students pictured wore red and white Coca-Cola T-shirts spelling out the word Coke. At the last moment, however, one student, Mike Cameron, spoilt the fun by pulling off his shirt to reveal a Pepsi-plugging shirt beneath. He was suspended from the school as punishment.

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                            #14
                            Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                            You won't be the least bit surprised, I'm sure, to find me disagreeing completely on French anti-muslim laws. But when I was a lad, and my godmother was still teaching in a lycee, everyone wore what my mother called a "smock" over their clothes while at school.

                            Of course I think uniforms are an appalling idea too.

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                              #15
                              Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                              I had a debate with a class of 9 16-18-year olds here in Spain this week about the benefits or otherwise of school uniforms. It came out 5-4 in favour of them, despite only one of the class having to wear one himself. The main winning argument was about not having to think about what to wear, and the automatic avoidance of 'textile discrimination' based on who wore what cool stuff.

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                                #16
                                Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                Oh, "Textile discrimination" is brilliant. I am going to use that in the next governors' meeting.

                                It came out 5-4 in favour of them, despite only one of the class having to wear one himself
                                You make only one child wear a uniform. That is pretty divisive, to be fair, or do they take turns in wearing the one uniform?

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                                  #17
                                  Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                  No, I work in a language school - they come after school finishes.

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                                    #18
                                    Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                    Moonlight shadow wrote:
                                    Plus it will be a cold day in hell when schools in France introduces uniform. The idea that the uniform is some attempte at egalitarianism in the UK leaves me scratching my chin, it sounds more like a mean to instore some kind of, ahem, uniformity, if not completely in minds, then in the aspect of the pupils...
                                    Utter nonsense. What does the last phrase even mean?

                                    TonTon wrote:
                                    Of course I think uniforms are an appalling idea too.
                                    Why?

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                                      #19
                                      Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                      Probably for much the same reasons as people like the idea, really. It has always struck me as a convenience and a disciplinary device.

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                                        #20
                                        Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                        Down with conveniences!

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                                          #21
                                          Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                          I can't see any great link with discipline. The school near here where kids muck about has a uniform.

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                                            #22
                                            Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                            The convenience is not aimed at those who are subject to the rule.

                                            It certainly doesn't work on its own, Tubby, but it is part of trying to knock the life out of kids.

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                                              #23
                                              Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                              We had a list of things that weren't banned, we just weren't allowed to do them in school uniform, as it would reflect badly on the school. Mind control, man.

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                                                #24
                                                Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                                TonTon wrote:
                                                it is part of trying to knock the life out of kids.
                                                Complete and utter bollocks TonTon. Mind Control EIM? Bullshit.

                                                If you think I work 60 hours a week with the the aim of 'knocking the life out of the kids,' you're due a holiday. I can do that without breaking sweat; getting them to enjoy learning alongside encouraging self-esteem and self-discipline is a bit trickier. Life's not always quite as simple as G2 or Socialist Worker would have you believe.

                                                I back came on here feeling slightly guilty at having posted in a slightly brusque tone earlier on with the intention of editing and softening it a bit, but FFS man.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Liberté, égalité, fraternité

                                                  They've already got to ChrisJ. He's too far gone to be saved.

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