Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Good sense from Shirley Williams

The BBC reports a speech Shirley Williams made at a Social Market Foundation meeting in Brighton today. It seems she was expressing the same concerns that I have been writing about recently:
We get people terrified to volunteer to be leaders of Cub groups or Guide groups because they think everyone will point at them and say, 'ah, of course you know about John and Margaret, they like to get close to young people'."

She said it was a "tragedy" when a teacher is afraid to put their arm around a child who has grazed their knee in the playground for fear of being branded "a potential criminal".

"That's ludicrous. This particular meeting is called loving your neighbour. If you can't love your little neighbour, if you can't show any love to your little neighbour you are already beginning to destroy his or her sense of trust in other human beings.

"We have to address it. We have got to get this particular problem under control."


Glass House said...

Shirley - spot on again

archrights said...

There's the parallel problem that excessive emphasis on child protection is preventing children from doing anything that involves adults.

A few years ago my (then) 14yo son wanted to learn theatre lighting at a local group; he wanted to volunteer at a playgroup; he wanted to go on a weekend course on the Crusades at the CityLit. He was turned down for each one on 'child protection' grounds - even when I offered to accompany him to CityLit with a stout umbrella to fend off the lecturer.

Anonymous said...

As a parent I get very annoyed when I am not allowed to go into my child's class at school, or his cubs group etc to help out because I am not 'CRBed'. I'm the parent,and I want to find out what is going on, I want to make sure the cubs cross the road safely when going to the park and the teacher has discipline control. 'CRB protection' is only one matter - bullying and disruptive behaviour actually worries most parents more. I want my child to be properly cared for, and that means the giving of affection too. Parents are often approached after school by other adults asking for their child to go to tea, and none of us parents are CRBed! We cannot live in a risk-free society. Well done Shirley - but when are we going to have action on this!