25th March 2021
From the Principal's Newsletter, March 2021
Townsville Grammar School is a school that can be described as one that is conservative in the sense that we place considerable emphasis on maintaining traditional values, while at the same time possessing a progressive spirit in the way that we approach our academic and co-curricular programs. One of the traditional values central to maintaining a strong school community at TGS is respect.
Too often, in what could be considered an increasingly egocentric society, we are reminded of a diminishing lack of respect whether it be for one’s self, other people or their property, and in many cases a lack of regard for acceptable societal norms.
Respect, as a value, continues to be an important component of a TGS education as we aim to assist each student:
• to develop their self-respect, have a sense of their own personal worth and develop an understanding of their
own strengths and weaknesses.
• by fostering the development of their character through all the activities of school life, with emphasis upon
honesty, integrity and respect for truth.
• through the development of social relationships based on courtesy, consideration and respect for all
members of our community.
What is respect?
According to Farid (2005), respect means “to have a regard for other peoples’ feelings, listening to people and hearing them, that is giving them one’s full attention. It means being treated with consideration and esteem and to be willing to treat people similarly. More importantly, respect means treating one with dignity.”
As William Ury (2000) wrote in his book, The Third Side, “human beings have a host of emotional needs - for love and recognition, for belonging and identity, for purpose and meaning to lives. If all these needs had to be subsumed in one word, it might be respect.”
Why is respect so important?
Laurence Sterne answers this question well. Sterne, a 17th century novelist and clergyman, wrote, “respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.” It is our moral framework and consideration of others (manners) that help us to construct our own social identity. Treating people with respect makes our world a better place to live, whether it be at home, at school, or in our community. In the end, it is a matter of treating people the way you like to have them treat you.
I recently outlined some pointers for the students, most of which are simply the demonstration of common sense and decency, to assist them in ensuring they respected others.
My advice to them was:
• Don’t insult people or make fun of them.
• Listen to others when they speak.
• Value other people’s opinions.
• Be considerate of people’s likes and dislikes.
• Don’t mock or tease people.
• Don’t talk about people behind their backs.
• Be sensitive to other people’s feelings.
• Don’t pressure someone to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, ever.
• Try to learn something from the other person.
• Never stereotype people.
• Show interest and appreciation for other people’s cultures and backgrounds.
• Don’t go along with prejudices and pre-conceived attitudes.
As always, we seek the support of parents in discussing these issues as a family to affirm these as ‘life’ lessons and not just ‘school’ lessons.
Timothy Kelly - Principal