Is teaching children ‘how to spot a jihadist’ necessary? 292



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Reading, writing, arithmetic … jihadi spotting. It sounds strange but it could be coming to a school near your grandchildren.

As the threat from Islamic State moves closer to Australia, the Federal Government is exploring the introduction of a ‘jihadi-watch’ scheme to the school curriculum.

According to media reports, teachers and students would be taught how to spot potential extremists in the classroom.

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis told the Sunday Herald Sun the Government is working with community organisations and other governments around Australia to develop education materials and deliver training to identify and steer individuals away from ideologies of hate.

“Just as parents and families have gained greater understanding of the dangers posed by online sexual predators, there also needs to be increased awareness of the threat from online terrorist propaganda,” Mr Brandis said.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne will reportedly ask State Education Ministers to sign off on a plan to have a Federal Committee develop a de-radicalisation in schools strategy.

The Council of Education Ministers, which meets in Brisbane on Friday, would have to sign off on any curriculum changes.

The Sunday Herald Sun reports that under the ‘jihadi-watch’ scheme, teachers and students would be taught to watch for shifts in behaviour such as students drifting away from their friends, running into minor trouble with the law and arguing with those who have different ideological views to their own.

Greg Barton from the Global Terrorism Research Centre seems to be in favour of the proposal saying that detecting a young person’s slide towards radicalisation was not as simple as checking social media, nor could it be done by authorities alone.

“It falls back on family and friends because they see what’s happening,” Professor Barton told the newspaper.

“Things said out in the schoolyard or at the local McDonalds are things that are not going to get picked up by expensive technology.

The scheme, known as the ‘radicalisation indicators model’, aimed to keep tabs on student welfare rather than stigmatise troubled teens,” he said.

Our Education Ministers will get the final say, but that doesn’t stop you having your say too. How do you feel about your grandchildren being taught ways to identify potential extremists in the classroom?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Might be better to focus on life skills and learning. Also,teach meditation too that might help disaffected youngsters find inner peace

  2. Not enough information provided. It could potentially be very dangerous, echoes of young fascist groups encouraged to report on friends, family and the wider community. Who these classmates report their suspicions too, how they filter out those kids just having difficulty with their teenage years from those becoming radicalised. False information provided on the ‘different’ student, or former friend just for spite.

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  3. No I don’t like the sound of this, our poor teachers are expected to do so much in schools, what with, strange danger, sex education, bullying, drug & alcohol education, leave them to do what they do best, I think the government & Pine have got this wrong, I could see problems arise from this, our kids have enough to deal with, keep them out of this.

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    • Great idea – Islam is responsible for Jihad. All Jihadists are Muslims. Islam teaches Jihad. Teach our children the dangers of Jihad and the causes, being Islam.

  4. It’s sad but we have to teach our kids that there are bad people out there. We teach them about stranger Danger maybe this is a good thing also. Whatever we have to do to keep them safe ,

  5. Not a teachers job, they have enough to do already. Government so out of touch

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    • If we gave teachers the chance to discipline kids more often, instead of having their hands tied by Union, schools would be better places. So many parents complain the same children disrupt class and they just get sent to principals office for the day, to play games.

  6. This government is causing the trouble. Fighting in wars we have no right to be in. Turning away boats of people, people, men, woman and children with a nip, nup, nup. I wouldn’t blame other countries despising Australia, but indoctorating our children, this is going too far. Bullying in the playground will escalate to new levels. Let our children be children.

    14 REPLY
    • I think that you should read up on what is going on overseas and reassess your opinion of “boatpeople” turning away these welfare suckers and why do other countries despise us? Most of what I read say good on ya we should have done what you are doing and we would not be in the mess we are now, east and west will never mix especially if from middle east and african nations.

    • Let our children be children, but the threat from these muslim terrorists IS REAL, many countries are finding this out now much to their detriment!!!

    • Sally I have both worked with refugees OS and in Australia, get closer and meet a few or better still live their life and stop making I’ll formed comments. You are just so selfish, like your friends, that you can’t bear the thought of sharing even a tiny bit of your space. Get a life.

    • I don’t think he meant primary school kids here. More like the older ones that see, hear and understand and are to frightened to do anything about. Like Sally said, we are praised by people in Europe for closing our borders. They only wish their stupid government would do something now to stop the boats instead of useless politically correct garble.
      Bleeding hearts are NOT what we need in this country now, if we are to pass on to our grandchildren the free Australia that we had the privilege of growing up with.

    • When you read what is happening in other countries ,it is frightening . Sweden has been extremely generous to all refugees for years , now these ” people ” have taken over and natives are terrified what will happen,

    • My son has just returned from a holiday in Thailand and in a local news paper printed in English the Thai government is praising Tony Abbott for his stand on this latest “boat people” drama. As a matter of fact they agree with him 100% and won’t take any either. So good for you Tony, you are not maligned by other countries, as others would have us believe.

    • I agree with you and the Netherlands, France and some of the other Scandinavian countries. We give them hospitality, housing, pensions, education and medicine and they turn on you. So it’s best to be wary. Solution, send them back from where they came from. Teach high school kids to watch for signs….it could be them that are stabbed by conflicting ideology from radical students indoctrinated by their parents Be aware not Scared and do something about it!

    • Seeking asylum is not illegal Carmel. This government deliberately use the word ‘illegals’ to convince the uneducated that these fellow human beings have no rights

    • Thank you Sue you are the only one who is prepared to share and show compassion. How desperately sad that our country has stooped so low. Not a fair go for anyone, only white Australians.

    • Sue Todd. Wasting your breath explaining that seeking asylum is not illegal. They just do NOT understand.

    • Joan Spittle I have also worked overseas with persecuted people, have a look at what’s going on in West Papua,see what Indonesia is doing to Men Women and Children and this is being done by a government that hates Australia just like the radicals you say are ok,go to the UK and see what’s going on there,we have space for people here but only those who live by Australian law not by Sharia Law and are willing to work and make us strong.

    • WRONG, for me, Joan Spittle. I have several nationalities within my family. Different coloured skins – pale and freckled, very white, brown, dark brown, very dark brown – of about eight originally different nationalities. Beautiful people.

      Grew up and went to school with MANY various
      ‘New Australians’ in the 1950’s to 1960, about 6 klms. from the city. Same at workplace IN the city.

      However, MOST of those immigrants worked SO HARD at learning English (if they didn’t already), at their jobs, at school, etc.
      NEVER demanded that we Australians change for THEM, so, with mutual respect, we shared our tastes and got on MOSTLY very well. The had their clubs, Italian, German, Dutch, Greek, etc. and still mixed and lived among us happily. Well, I certainly did!!

      They did NOT threaten us with what our country now faces!

      No use only blaming the recent Iraq Wars, either. Many of those countries are SO tribal over there, they don’t – and won’t – EVER get along. Been the same for MANY, MANY centuries. Take their fights between themselves wherever they go.

      Now, in countries nearer to home, differing tribal and religious brutalities are occurring. Australia just CANNOT solve all refugee problems. European countries have helped, probably too much, but to their utter detriment.

      We now practically have ghettos, in areas that have not seen their like before.
      Not enough jobs. Several cases already of men with one wife, but, cunningly, procreating with two or three others, as well. England is having Sharia Law thrust in her face!

      Oh, AUSTRALIA, it is NOT RACIST to say ‘BEWARE!’

      Rudd drove us into frightful debt. Labour governments in Victoria, over a long time, have CAUSED the depletion of our ‘sold-off’ assets. (Kennett got the blame!) I’m ashamed to say that I voted Kennett out – first and LAST time I EVER voted Labor. BIG MISTAKE BY ME! I like Jeff Kennett – and I’m more savvy these days.

      God bless Tony Abbott and help his mistakes to be few, as ALL POLITICIANS make the odd mistake – they’re human, after all – but Labor gives in to every noisy, minority – for the votes!

    • Joan putting your head in sand will not defend our country. Every citizen has a responsibility to defend our culture by not turn their back to allow other poeple to do the job. Children need to be aware of the world we live in. Your suggestion to about illegal boat people into AUSTRALIA is completely wrong and damaging to our country and our culture.

  7. Not enough information it fosters a culture of fear. Great timing given this is Diversity Week .

  8. Let our kids be kids, turning them into police to spy on other kids is not a good idea, and could be dangerous Our youth have enough responsibility just making sure they learn enough and get good grades to have a good future. Teachers can’t be the do all end all of everything either. As it stands now they are even babysitting before and after school. It is the Governments responsibility, not our grand childrens

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  9. It could b very dangerous to the children who do they convey their suspicions to and would it b jeapodising their safety l think no

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