At the end of Class 111 we received what I felt
was a rather upsetting school report from Tom's teacher. It stated that he needed more support from home and less
television. Steiner schools believe that young children should not watch television. While we agreed that there are certainly
a lot of things on television that children should not see and that viewing hours should be restricted, we never believed
that it should be banned totally. We also felt that what our children did at home was our business. The whole thing about
television was another thing that we had not been told about until after we joined the school. The tone of Tom's school report
upset me and I also felt it was not the place to discuss this issue.
Tom had recently been targeted for a lot of teasing
at school. We were not well off, and in order to afford the contributions we had to make great sacrifices. One of these
was clothes. We all wore second hand clothes. I didn't see this as deprivation. I am very much against materialism and believe
in recycling. However, Tom was being taunted at school for looking like a 'poor Gypsy'.
I found this rather shocking in a Waldorf school, with
their accent on non materialism. I also found it racist towards Gypsies. I hadn't complained, however, because Tom didn't
want me to, and he didn't seem unduly upset.
When I received the report about 'support' at home I'm
afraid I saw red and wrote the teacher a letter about him needing more support at school. I spoke of the taunting and also
how shocked I was that this should go on in a Waldorf school. The teacher didn't answer my letter. She did mention on the
first day of the September term that she had received it . I have no way of knowing if my criticism of her was connected
to what happened to Joanna, but I have always wondered.
Joanna was due to move to Class 1 that year and Tom's teacher had been
appointed as the new Class 1 teacher's mentor.