‘Our two boys attend a grammar school in Devon (every possible Ofsted accolade) where they were told in assembly that with the construction of a new block they were not to speak to any builder, and that no builder must speak to them or he will face dismissal. How can we possibly hope to build any kind of better (or 'big') society with such an frightening lack of trust, not to mention courtesy? The school's instructions sound like something out of a 1950s sci-fi nightmare.’Indeed.
This is something I've experienced first hand, or at least Mrs P has, and I sincerely feel for the kids who are forced to suffer the filthy-minded fears of petrified adults.
A few weeks ago, Mrs P was driving home in the rain, and saw one of the little Ps (the girl) walking back from school with her two friends. She stopped and offered them a lift the short distance back to our house and theirs, we're talking three quarters of a mile at most.
Little P jumped in, as did one of her friends, but the third declined. Mrs P pointed out that she was getting drenched and that it was no problem, but the girl refused by explaining that her parents had told her she wasn't allowed to get into a stranger's car.
Now, that's good advice usually, but only if coupled with common sense. Her friend getting in with her Mum - a woman she sees every morning when she knocks at the door for little P - should surely not set alarm bells ringing very loudly at all.
Now, one could say that she's just a bit thick, but when an 11 year old is surrounded by constant hysterical warnings of imminent danger - despite the almost negligible chance of it actually happening - who can truly blame her for being so confused?
The case above is hideous for the awful grounding it gives the adults of our future, as Josie rightly conveys.
And the fact that this Devon school prohibits any interaction between contractors and kids – even a ‘hello’, which is surely just good manners! – shows how ordinary interaction between adults and children has become contaminated.More than that, it shows that those who worry to the extreme about dangers that are largely in their own mind, are actively harming the development of their own children.
And that's the very evil part of this. That because of the parents' entirely selfish approach of eliminating all possible risk - for their own peace of mind - their kids must be scared at every turn and instructed that the world, and everyone in it, is just out to abuse them.
The school in question should be educating children that, you know, not all adults are potential child molesters (in fact, a negligible minority are), and that speaking with strangers is a common aspect of everyday life which one must learn at some point. It should also be part of their remit to teach that manners are extremely important, and that ignoring - or even not being allowed to hear - a friendly hello, is rude and anti-social.
Why should our kids grow up fearful of the world at large because of the selfish risk-terrified minority who see sex and molestation in even the most innocent of interactions.