Like the smallpox virus we believed it to have been eradicated but here we are once more facing a 12-week term. Just like the old days.

Ah, the old days! When a bloke (or a sheila indeed) could raid the bickie jar of adolescent sexuality and not be branded a pervert.

Of course with yet another teacher up before the beak on a charge of inappropriate f-cking, those who did partake of Hymen’s feast will likely be lying (or laying as sports reporters will insist) awake at nights ruing deeply the day.

The ongoing panic about pedagogaphilia makes the push for student drug testing that much more interesting. ‘Now, Tarquin, I will just need to check that that is in fact your own urine, freshly squeezed, and not some pristine supply harvested from the school swot. So, kiddo, spread ‘em.’ The mind reels.

The question that appears not to have been begged in all this is the further attempt to offload on to the teaching profession responsibilities which rightly belong to parents. The problem, of course, is the issue of cool. Mum and Dad these days seem to want to eschew the titles and become Betty and Bob, their children’s best buddies.

To achieve this they foist contraceptives on their bewildered offspring at primary school age (‘I get the sex bit, Mum, but what’s with the carrot?’) and encourage them to document in unsparing detail their adventures in adolescent sex.

And there they are at their kids’ teen bashes (literally when word gets out on MySpace) dispensing the alcopops dressed in low-rise denim and sweetly tolerating all the talk of ho’s and motherf-ckers and faggots in their children’s choice of rap.

With such a gruesome reality, it is no wonder kids are taking drugs.

Meanwhile, back in the homeroom, teachers are trying to convince their charges that life is more than shopping and sexual success. That cool is an illusion no less. It is a sleeveless errand the hopelessness of which can require dedicated self-medication.

Mark ye, there will drug testing for teachers before you know it. In every sense, it threatens to be a long term.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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