This is the second time around so by now this story deserves a post. I have 4 children. The two eldest are girls. They are 16 and 14. They go to a British School in Madrid. First my 16 year old faced this problem. Now my 14 year old. I call it the 14 year old fascist problem. Because as you will see it is a problem that seems to start and end during the grade at which they are 14 years old. What is the problem? Fascism.

Allow me to explain. Spain was a fascist country. Not anymore. In Spain Fascism was a class issue. The wealthiest people of Spain were Franquistas and while Franquistas are now not even represented in an anti immigrant party as right wingers  they seem to be overepresented at my daughter´s British School. Now the good news is that these fascist sentiment seems to start at 13, develop at 14 and die at 15.   They are not present throughout most of the K to 12 experience.  Basically what happens is that Spanish boys, who make around half of all boys, and only Spanish boys, because girls do not join in, go fascist at the age of 13 and start verbally attacking their non Spanish and especially the non European classmates who are Latin Americans, Africans, Indians, Jewish or Orientals. My daughters sometimes get into trouble because they interfere in favor of the victims. Now what´s unexpected about this problem is that it goes away after 15. At that age, former friends become friends again, they forget the racist incidents and go on partying as if nothing had happened. Still tonight´s dinner conversation had to do with my second daughter´s anxiety over this problem which I find very tough to deal with.  And I worry about my third child, a son,  who will be 13 soon. When this issue first started I wanted to take my eldest daughter away from the school but the problem was mainly a boys problem and she insisted in staying and we agreed. Now with my second daughter same issue again.  I am quite concerned as to what is going to happen to my son if his classmates turn on him on an antisemitic, anti foreigner fit. I would find a year of racism pretty hard to put up with.

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bernard on July 5, 2007  · 

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