Your article ‘Fairy Tale Fallout’ (2/8/14) reminds me of the Christchurch Civic Crèche witch hunt. The article was full of the opinions of group of seemingly disgruntled parents whose research seems to consist of googling Steiner + racism. They sound as if they have been caught up in some sort of collective hysteria. Perhaps your reporter could have brought some balance to the article by quoting the relative excerpts from Rudolph Steiner’s writings relating to their accusations. It would have also have been of assistance to have had interviewed some of the parents at Te Ra to give some sense as to why they have remained there.
Apart from Rosie Simpson I know none of the individuals interviewed in the story. My experience as a parent at Taikura in Hastings differs substantially from that of those raised in the article. We have always had free and unfettered access to a library of books on anthroposophy, and have been encouraged to read them. I have many pictures drawn by my children at kindergarten which used black or brown crayon. My children are very proud of demonstrating their ability in both Te Reo and Spanish. I cried during the excellent play put on by staff as part of our mid-winter festival this year which told the story of Matarki.
It is absurd to think that the philosophies of Steiner are taken as gospel. They are used as a guide. To liken Steiner’s teachings to that of a cult is frankly outrageous. One of the things I encourage all new parents to do is to look at the projects done by the high schools graduating class. The critical and independent thinking demonstrated by these projects year after year are indicative of what I believe to be one of the key outcome of being educated in the Steiner system. Hardly cultist behaviour.