Choice Farm Academy in Tottenham has harnessed the feral energy, anger and deranged sense of entitlement of some of its most challenging male students.
The London riots of 2011 were Tottenham’s darkest hour and, unfortunately, many of Choice Farm Academy’s boys were involved. Headteacher Ken Kennington realised there was a serious issue in need of urgent attention. “Males get angry, it’s what we do, I’m angry right now. The difference between me and these boys is that I have learned to control my anger through a combination of bikram yoga and Jesus. They on the other hand might require sedatives or a good chat.”
Upon their return to school from police custody the boys worked intensively with an art therapist, Jean Fletcher, to get to the root cause of why they were such obnoxious dicks. Many of them produced art work which revealed the lack of a consistent male presence in their lives and a crisis in young masculinity which schools need to tackle.
On this advice Choice Farm Academy has set up BAD (Boys with Absent Dads) a support group for horrible boys who are encouraged to get in touch with their sense of isolation and rejection by covering public buildings with their “anger-graffiti”.
One of the BAD boys Declan Bennet-Frazier described how the programme had helped him. “During the riots yeah, I had a fuckin wicked time yeah. I got an X-box, a foot spa and a fuckin toaster blood. I now know that was disrespectful to Currys and that I only done it cos I aint got a dad”.
To celebrate a successful year of therapy the BAD boys have been asked to design a letterhead for Choice Farm Academy. Photographs of the winning design will appear in the Tottenham News Shopper in July.
|A touching example of the BAD boys' work|