Editor’s Comment: We must keep a level head in our politically correct world

Roger Hawes

Roger Hawes


We all at some time in our lives have to face up to those awkward situations which, through no fault of our own, can engulf us, often causing public embarrassment.

And I have to say I really feel for Aylesbury Grammar School headteacher Stephen Lehec who, like it or not, found himself victim of our increasingly over sensitive PC world.

I know the feeling through first-hand experience having been caught in the headlights several times throughout my career.

I also know that history will judge him not on what necessarily happened but on how he chose to deal with it.

Mr Lehec was dealt a double whammy after tweeting a picture of some of his schoolboys, ‘blacked up’ at a charity fund raising event at the school, an action which reportedly caused offence and had to be taken down..

The ill-advised action led to the head at one of Aylesbury’s best schools issuing a statement about the incident and apologising, unreservedly for the ‘inappropriate actions of pupils stating the school accepts it ‘exercised poor judgement.’

I am sure that a majority of us would have taken the celebrations of the exuberant teenagers and the accompanying picture, which for legal reasons cannot be published, in good faith. It showed a group of year 13s celebrating their leavers’ day dressing up as film characters as the Jamaican bobsleigh team from the film Cool Running.

But alas once that picture left the school gates and entered the unpredictable world of social media it was pounced upon by those who thrive on such indiscretions.

When it comes to race creed, colour, religion or sexuality there are, we know plenty of takers to fight the cause, so Mr Lehec did the right thing by issuing an apology and statement on the issue. And this paper did its duty by reporting the facts of the case.

I of course fully support real challenges to prejudices in society and many good changes have taken place over a generation to kick the bigots into touch.

But I do often feel that some of these incidents should be viewed with a little more restraint and most definitely thought through and put into perspective.




Back to the top of the page