This is the sort of thing that makes me worry about a generation of over-protected, molly-coddled, intensely paranoid children that we seem to be bringing up.
Parents banned from sports day over paedophile fears.
(Yes, I know it's the Telegraph. But there are enough direct quotes in there from those concerned to make it seem genuine.)
It was one of those sports days where several primary schools travelled to a central secondary school to compete. Molly recently did something very similar at her district sports day. Loads of parents came along, kids running all over the place, no problems, no abductions, no stalking paedophile's that we noticed. But we live in Yorkshire, where things are a little more civilised and sensible than Bedfordshire.
Because in Bedfordshire, the East Beds School Sports Partnership Athletics Day took place without parents. Because the organisers decided, in their infinite wisdom, that all grown ups are potential paedophiles or child abductors. Guilty until proven innocent indeed. Far be it for common sense to get in the way of this terrible fear mongering attitude.
Paul Blunt, development manager at the East Beds School Sports Partnership, said the "ultimate fear" was that a child could be abducted.
"If we let parents into the school they would have been free to roam the grounds. All unsupervised adults must be kept away from children.
"An unsavoury character could have come in and we just can't put the children in the event or the students at the host school at risk like that. The ultimate fear is that a child is hurt or abuducted, and we must take all measures possible to prevent that."
"None of the children taking part attend the host school so it would've been really hard to police. We did a risk assessment and concluded that we couldn't guarantee the children's safety."
Just how many children have been abducted from School Sports Days anyway? It's the ongoing problem of ridiculously paranoid parents and authorities attempting to completely remove any risk whatsoever from their child's lives. Any sane and sensible soul will tell you that life is a risk. Attempt to take all risk away and you take so much of what makes it so wonderful.
There's an update to this post here.