|The Nightingale Society|
|Newsletter||1 July 2014|
Dear Nightingale Society member,
Report from Lynn McDonald, 1 July 2014
I am back in Toronto after an excellent four weeks in the U.K., mainly in London, working at the British Library, and meeting with other Nightingale Society members.
BBC Horrible Histories Appeal
More than a year ago a complaint was submitted to the BBC about the gross inaccuracies and false accusations against Nightingale in its Horrible Histories segment. The “historical consultant” appointed to investigate it, in fact a Seacole advocate himself! found nothing wrong in the BBC’s nasty treatment of Nightingale, because the whole idea was to be amusing (apparently accusations of racism can be fun). I appealed his decision, but again at this stage the treatment of Nightingale was considered to be within the BBC’s guidelines for accuracy.
One further appeal is possible in this complicated process, and this time the person dealing with it found several grounds she considered appropriate to take to the BBC Trustees. They will review the case on July 3, so let us wish them all clear heads.
The process is confidential, so I cannot amuse you with the astonishing excuses the various people along the way raised to justify this nasty item, which is listed as a documentary resource on school websites!
Judge for yourselves! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBF3X2vkK7w
See also my YouTube of complaint.
Science Museum, London
The website of the Science Museum, London, is one of the many that have erroneous information on Mary Seacole on it. One might indeed wonder why she is included there at all, since she made no contribution to science. The answer, an official of the Science Museum explained, is that Seacole is included in the National Curriculum, although why that qualifies her to be treated as a contributor to science still eludes me, at least. However, this official helpfully did give some guidance about the next steps we need to take. Clearly ending the fallacious instruction on Seacole in English schools must be a prime goal.
The Nightingale Society has accordingly contacted the Oxford Cambridge board which authorizes curriculum and will be submitting a full complaint to it.
Anyone with contacts with teachers in English schools, or academics who work in Education (especially Curriculum) would be helpful. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask if you are in touch with teachers (Year 2 or History GCSE) if Seacole is taught at their school. The fact that she is on the curriculum does not mean that she is necessarily taught, or how, so one has to fish around to find out where and how she is taught.