BBC History Magazine - - Letters -

What you’ve been say­ing on Twit­ter and Face­book

The his­to­rian Dan Snow re­vealed that he told his daugh­ters that women flew Spit­fires in com­bat dur­ing World War Two . Is it ever right to al­ter his­tory for chil­dren?

Joseph Fer­ri­era I teach mod­ern his­tory at a high school. I send home per­mis­sion slips when tack­ling top­ics with bru­tal images (eg the Holo­caust), but I refuse to shield stu­dents from them, as they need to learn how to deal with them.

James Ben­nett No and yes... there are some parts of his­tory which are too grim for a young au­di­ence. War is a hard sub­ject to tackle and my five-year- old strug­gles to un­der­stand why war hap­pens.

John Scan­lon If you pa­per over some­thing, or paint a nice gloss on his­tor­i­cal truth with the best of in­ten­tions, it’ll lead to a nasty shock down the line when it comes to light.

Zoë Mor­gan As a mother of an 11-year- old daugh­ter, I think it’s wrong. If you teach girls that women were not val­ued in the past – and that, even to­day, be­ing a woman is harder than a man – it cre­ates strong and con­fi­dent women.

Robert Cains Keep it factual, as far as one can, and keep it ac­cu­rate. There’s enough fake his­tory around with­out air­brush­ing it.

Mau­reen Per­melia I have younger kids so I’m vague about cer­tain top­ics but I never flat out lie.

@ OldRoberts953 No. It’s an un­der­es­ti­ma­tion of the intelligence of chil­dren; they re­quire cor­rect in­for­ma­tion to ori­en­tate them­selves in the world; it’s vi­tal for them to un­der­stand that life is chal­leng­ing.

@ Carphey­denim I read about the hor­rors of the Nazi and Soviet camps as a child. Omit­ting in­for­ma­tion will al­low th­ese hor­ri­ble acts to be re­peated.

Bar­bara Ayres I would avoid telling any­thing to my child I didn’t think they were ready for.

@ Char­lieBona2 His­tory is writ­ten by the vic­tors and is not al­ways a true re­flec­tion of events. Some his­to­ries are for adults only as the re­al­i­ties are too much for chil­dren.

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