Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"It is a shame in one respect, but it is health and safety, child protection"

I know the dangers about sounding off on the basis of newspaper stories. But as this one is reported with quotes by both the BBC and the Yorkshire Post, it is safe to assume there is something in it.

It seems that a junior football club in Ripon has stopped boys having showers after a game because of child protection concerns. (If you can hear a strange rumbling noise, it is a thousand PE teachers turning in their graves.)

The Yorkshire Post quotes the club's welfare officer as saying:
"What we don't want is someone taking a picture as a joke. Before you know it will be on 300 phones and – God forbid – it could end up in the wrong hands."
While the BBC quotes its voluntary recruitment officer, who more accurately reflects our confusion at the bizarre world we find ourselves in:
"It is a shame in one respect, but it is health and safety, child protection. You have got to be on the ball all the time."
Our concern for protecting children has reduced us to a state where we are unable to cater for their most basic needs.

And the first step to getting out of this mess must be to admit that a situation where decent people like these feel themselves obliged to make such a ridiculous decision.

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