The principal of the school is said to have started a ‘woke’ revolution, in which unwelcome opinions are eliminated or censored, critics say.
Eton Director Simon Henderson, previously in the UK Parliament.
Ⓒ Hollandse Heights / PA Media
It all started with a lesson from teacher Will Knowland. At the school – good for 42,500 pounds per grade, and with former pupils like Prince William, Prince Harry and Boris Johnson – during a lesson, he wanted to agitate against radical feminism. That lesson was posted on the teacher’s personal YouTube account, but never became teaching material as Knowland wanted.
According to Eton, the school asked Knowland six times to delete the video on his personal account. He refused, and was fired.
Critics speak of censorship. Director Simon Henderson, aka ‘Trendy Hendy’, is revolutionizing and no longer wants to be ‘a pillar of outdated, social and male elite’, it sounds. Not everyone is happy with that. The staff speaks of a chilly and unfree climate, sources previously told The Daily Telegraph. “A lot of teachers are done with it.” There is talk of ‘an aggressive woke agenda’.
In class, Knowland explained that there are differences between men and women. Men have certain qualities, such as strength and courage, which give them a natural advantage over women, the teacher in The Patriarchy Paradox claimed.
His lesson was to encourage critical thinking, Knowland suggested. But Henderson “felt that some ideas, such as the fact that men and women are psychologically different, were too dangerous for the boys to hear,” the teacher wrote in a letter to the Eton community. A real debate has now arisen there about educational freedom and freedom of expression. A petition against the teacher’s dismissal has been signed a thousand times.
However, the dismissal of teacher Knowland is by no means a ‘matter of freedom of expression’, the school says. Chairman of the board, Lord Waldegrave, told the Daily Mail that Eton will never hold the debate cancellen.
According to him, the teacher’s videos violate equality laws, and would also pose problems with educational laws.
Lord Waldegrave (right) on archive image together with Queen Elizabeth II.
Ⓒ Dutch Height / AFP
“Eton is, now and in the past, a school that prides itself on promoting open-minded, independent critical thinking,” said Lord Waldegrave, a former British minister. “Boys are taught to have discussions. But everyone knows that such freedom can never be infinite. ”