Thursday, June 24, 2010

What next? Hermetically sealed children released at 18?

I despair. I really do. Increasingly I find myself shaking my head in horror and frustration at the insanity of modern living. Where the default position appears to be "everyone is under suspicion" and the shrill, paranoid cry rings around of "who will protect the children?"

All of those helicopter parents, worried about any adult, especially any man who goes anywhere near their child. Suddenly no one trusts anyone, and everyone is a potential paedophile, everyone is out to hurt or harm their child. And we end up with a shrill, media driven, mass of hysteria that has no basis in reality. The sort of child protection that ends up creating a generation of children who can't actually function amongst their peers, don't know how to be independent or cope on their own.

I'm trying not to harp on too much about it. But the mass hysteria over the safety of our children is ridiculous. Children are far more at risk from injury or death on the roads, but I don't see many Daily Mail covers screaming how we're all potential child murderers because we drive. And in the majority of those horrible cases of child abuse, abduction or murder it's far more likely to be at the hands of family members or by adults known to the family.

Reason for the little rant? It transpires that a new ruling is likely to come down that anyone in a care environment will be banned from using their own cameras or cameraphones. Presumably all down to the terrible case of Vanessa George, the nursery worker who abused children and took cameraphone images to spread to friends on Facebook. So because of one hideous, unusual crime committed by a twisted abuser everyone who works in a care environment has another rule imposed upon them that tells them that they're not trusted to look after children at all.

It may not seem that serious and too be honest the actual practicalities of it aren't. I take my camera into school sometimes when I want good photos for the website or know that all of the cameras will be in use. Other people do the same. Not being able to do this will be a pain, but not terribly serious. Except it's simply a small part of an ongoing regime of distrust and blame that's crippling our children. They aren't being allowed to live life and they're being denied a childhood because of a fear of something that mercifully is incredibly rare.

And as usual, the imposition of this new regulation will not help solve the problem at all. Anyone able to hide her terrible crimes from her workmates would probably be able to figure out a way to hide a mobile phone - maybe in her pocket?

But never mind, the fact that the new rules wont solve any problems doesn't matter to the knee jerk reactionaries. Maybe we should just turn our nurseries and schools into barbed wire covered, 24 hour CCTV coverage and where our children aren't actually allowed to do anything -all in the cause of "keeping them safe".

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