Ben Newmark


There’s an episode in Peep Show in which Jeremy does Jury Service. Excited about the opportunity to redress societal injustice he blurts out “It’s probably some young black kid who’s been accused of stealing a bun, and I’m going to set him free.”

The trial is, of course, about something entirely different. The defendant, with which Jeremy predictably becomes romantically involved, is a violent serial fraudster who steals from his friends at a party. Jeremy’s assumptions about the reasons for and impacts of serious crime results in him making awful mistakes.

Sensationalist media coverage about fixed-term and permanent exclusions often make the same mistake Jeremy did; those writing such stories, who typically have little experience of working in a school bring their own assumptions about the reasons for and the impact of exclusions. We also see this in political acts like this one, which in confusing correlation with causation…

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