Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School
The following is the transcript of a statement
made by the former administrator of the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School
in Christcurch, New Zealand
Note that the video has been edited.
I am proceeding on the assumption that the editing
is fair and accurate and does not misrepresent David Mollet's views.
If I discover otherwise, I will make the needed corrections.
In the transcript, below, I have put a paragraph break
at each point where some of Mollet's statements apparently have been edited out.
— Roger Rawlings
David Mollet talks about his experiences at the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School, New Zealand
"In that time, in 1985, we’d had a look at the school and found out there were all sorts of different problems going on, and so I mean I just didn't agree with the kind of things that were happening in different relationships between teachers and between teachers and parents and so on.
“And I found that especially one person, and perhaps I should say it, but I mean he'd had, to my knowledge, at least six affairs with different teachers and parents, and here he was teaching children.
“But suddenly they were spreading the most vile rumors about me, that all my qualifications were fraudulent.
“[A]nd [they said that] I'd actually been deported from the USA. I mean, they were all just vile lies.
“That's why I mention the CV [i.e., his curriculum vitae or résumé], because if you want to check it, you can.
“So I left the school.
“I really felt I was dealing, quite honestly, with people who had no integrity, no morality, no conscience. All I could see is they were motivated by self-interest.
“But it had to go up to Wellington [the capital of New Zealand] and in the end I had to fly up and see the head of immigration in Wellington.
“And it is very hard to forgive the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School for causing that amount of distress.
“And sadly I have to say, you know, it was easily the worst experience that I've ever had on this planet."
The things Mollet found at the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner school are shocking, yet various other reports coming out of other Steiner schools — reports by former Waldorf teachers, students, and parents — reflect similar problems. Dishonesty and even ruthlessness may be deemed justified when you think you are acting on the side of the gods and with the sanction of the gods. You are right, your opponents are totally wrong, and anything you do to uphold the right is justified, even if the means you adopt would normally be considered immoral. For you and your holy mission, the end justifies the means.
Then, too, a certain level of hypocrisy is probably to be expected in Waldorf schools. It is easy for humans to formulate high ideals, but it is usually hard for humans to enact these ideals. Waldorf faculties have high, even noble aspirations. We shouldn't be surprised if they prove unable to realize these aspirations. Indeed, failure is built into their system, since the things they believe and aspire to are largely illusory.
Prior to his experiences at the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School,
David Mollet firmly advocated Steiner education.
Perhaps he still does.
But he has probably modified some of the opinions he expressed
in the following exchange he had with Waldorf critic Dan Dugan in 1996.
Dan, why do you believe or what evidence do you have for saying that the charter movement is a disaster etc. etc. Every school in New Zealand is a charter school. The Maoris [aboriginal New Zealanders] have found they are able to found their own schools. There is far more flexibility in the system than previously.
I believe the charter movement is a disaster because it splinters society. Every cockamamie fundamentalist or ethnic group will be bringing up children isolated in their particular culture. To me this is bad news, and I have personal experience of something like that. Two of my kids went to a Christian academy, and the 19-year-old still believes the earth is 6000 years old.
I have seen nothing worse than what happens to children in public schools in California — it was the main reason we left California and went to New Zealand viz. so our children could go to public school and not have to undergo the horrendous experiences that would have occurred if they had gone to public school in California.
I don't believe you have made any survey of schools in California. I don't deny you may have seen bad schools, but there may be some bad examples in NZ too. The Waldorf fundamentalism needs a scapegoat to react against, and that's public schools. I dare you to walk into a group of dedicated California public school teachers and talk about "horrendous experiences."
Meanwhile if you want an objective view on charter schools in California read the Little Hoover Commission report on them. Sincerely, David Mollet