A senior teacher from Cornwall has issued a warning about the effects of social media influencer Andrew Tate on young male pupils, especially those who are more vulnerable.
Tate, 36, been idolised by many, but there is no doubt he has split a generation, with some young adults defending his actions like he is a hero, and others seeing him as one of the biggest villains of our time.
The British-American former kickboxer gained notability from social media with 4.5 million followers on Twitter alone. He was banned from the social media platform for saying women should “bear responsibility” for being sexually assaulted but his account was later reinstated.
He has also been banned from TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and was recently been detained in Romania over a rape and human trafficking case.
Many schools in the UK are struggling to get a hold of the conversations around Tate, and some are focusing on other role models students could look up to. It’s clear schools play a vital role in helping young people to understand Tates rhetoric and viewpoints that are so readily available online.
Andy Taylor, Head of English at TPlus centres school in Cornwall, spoke on the matter in relation to his students, who have trauma based background that have been failed by mainstream education.
His students are more vulnerable to be targeted by public figures like Tate due to their backgrounds, therefore schools like TPlus must be vigilant to conversations surrounding these types of influencers.
He said: “Most boys in my school idolise him and think all the bad press is fake and driven by jealousy. I think he’s the Trump for disenfranchised young men.
“They see fast cars and the women he surrounds himself with, and that everything else is fake news, they feel society is victimising him in much the same way they’ve been treated by society.”
Mr Taylor added: “He (Tate) says he’s been misquoted, and undoubtedly that is going to have an effect on young men. I think they see him as a voice.
“They don’t have strong male role models at home, which perhaps is another key thing, that we need more positive, strong male role models. They need to be prominent in the media, like Marcus Rashford, for example.”
Mr Taylor believes social media is the biggest issue, and “the fact that these kinds of people have a massive audience.”
He added: “Teachers, especially is a school like ours, are the frontline dealing with things like this. Teaching functional skills, we do a whole thing on fact and opinion… and having conversations about what is true.”
Andy Taylor, Head of English at TPlus Centres Cornwall
The Department of education says it has published guidance for schools in England on how to be alert to issues such as misogyny and gender stereotypes.
When asked by labour on how schools should tackle pupils being “brainwashed” by Tate, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pointed to the Online safety Bill, designed to ensure enforced age limits within tech firms to protect children from haremful online material.
Will Geach, 24, and a recent graduate from Plymouth University, shared his opinions of Tate. He said: “His business decisions are clearly very smart, which has led to his success and wealth, but there are question marks over the legitimacy of his success if he did shady deals with human trafficking. He’s also in the public eye and very much trying to be an alpha male.”
He added: “Young men find him so appealing because that’s what they deem to be successful, he’s rich and powerful. He gives off an alpha male demeanour because he tries to control every situation he is in.”
Dylan Ramsay, a student from Plymouth Marjon University, said: “The man took a very susceptible group of people and made a load of money off a captive market which although smart, makes you a terrible person when it’s promoting violent and hateful crime to (largely) men who think that the world and women owe them something.”
A Plymouth Marjon alumni said: “I do think he has split people, and in a bad way. He has incredibly polarising views that are truly bringing out the worst in some people.
“To promote the level of misogyny that he does is beyond harmful, especially to younger generations, those who find themselves almost chronically online.
“The more information that is revealed about him in this court case the more abhorrent he appears to the majority of the population, and the sooner social platforms do something about limiting people’s exposure, the better.”
There are many conversations happening, in and outside of schools, about Tate, and these conversations are set to continue as prosecutors are currently seeking to extend his current 30 day detention period to 180 days.
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