There are important reasons why we need to learn history in school, chief among them is to educate future generations about the significance of important moments and learning from past mistakes so we’re not doomed to repeat them. But if you’re 22-year-old Instagram influencer Freddie Bentley, then you’re in the camp of “let’s stop teaching kids about WWII because it’s, like, way too intense”.
This whole saga began when Freddie decided to appear on Good Morning Britain to debate the topic “do millennials need to know about WWII” with former British chief inspectorate of schools, Michael Wilshaw, following a bunch of Apprentice contestants admitting they didn’t know when the war began.
While the Instagram influencer says he understands the importance of WWII. he also says he wished he learned less because it was *checks notes* so “intense” and not as educational as “other problems going on in the world at the moment” that aren’t taught in school, like Brexit and climate change.
Freddie was met with a staunch rebuttal from Wilshaw, who said that it is important for students to remember the war, the people who sacrificed themselves and the mistakes that were made. Trying to explain his reasoning further, Freddie says teaching WWII to kids will have a toll on their mental health:
“Mentally, in their mental health, to be told that this certain amount of people died for you.
“Mental health is completely on the rise now. I don’t think encouraging death and telling people how many people died in a world war is going to help someone in the future.”
Great point, Freddie. We should definitely stop learning about WWII, a historical event in which a charismatic yet stupid fascist rose to power in a democratic society and enacted horrendously racist policies that led to the death of countless people.
To be fair, ol’ mate has a fair point about schools needing to focus more on topics that affect people today, such as climate change, Brexit and taxes, as those are incredibly important. But to teach those lessons at the expense of learning one of the most important events in history?
Nah mate. If you think learning about WWII is so intense that it’ll be detrimental to the mental health of kids, wait until they start learning about biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and geography. Oh and let’s not forget about sports.
When you’ve dug yourself a hole with no dignified way of digging yourself out, the only option is to double down hard and boy did Freddie Bentley go all in on his position.
In the wake of widespread criticism of his comments, ol’ mate shared a post in Instagram where he stood behind his opinion before sheepishly backtracking a bit, writing that WWII “needs to be taught in moderation to promote mental health and focus on teaching young people real life skills.”
Look, credit to Freddie Bentley for having the balls to go on television and putting up a staunch defence for an indefensible viewpoint because there’s no possible way to come out of that looking good.
His ideas on education reform will likely fall through because they’re, well, dumb but his appearance on Good Morning Britain did prove one thing: stay in school and learn as much as you can, kids, or you’ll end up being an under-educated influencer whose lack of intelligence gets brutally exposed to millions on TV.