Coming to a school near you

God help us I hope not, but I fear it’s not too far away. Last week we had utter outrage at the school that insists all parents are CRB checked so they can see their own children during school hours. Imagine how those ‘Outraged from Umbrage’ would react if the local infant school sent home the following missive. I picked it up from a fantastic American website called FreeRange Kids. I make no apologies for reproducing the entire letter this school sent to the parents, the phrases in bold were done by them.

Dear Parents;

Yesterday during pick up time at our campus, a stranger walked inside of our building by following one of our parents as she entered our campus. One of our teachers saw him do so and brought it to our attention later.

When looking at the footage, he is observed talking to one of our parents in our courtyard (asking her if she worked at the school) to which she said “no” but he followed her into the building as she entered to pick up her child.

Luckily he left the building (within 90 seconds) and never interacted with anyone but this is a warning to all of us (parents and staff), of the importance of not allowing people to enter the school behind you.

Our teachers and I are buzzing you in because we recognize you but we can’t control who you are letting in behind you.
We have lots of parents that have been with us for a while and recognize other parents and do hold the door open to let them in as the polite thing to do….Unfortunately, it is not a safe practice for multiple reasons including parents being unaware of the “if and when” a parent status changes from being allowed to come near his/her child or not (which is confidential information only staff is aware of).

Please pay attention to the following safety precautions:

1- Do not allow ANYONE into our campus while entering or exiting our building.

2- Report to our staff if:

  • a) you see someone you have never seen before around the property; he/she may be a new parent or a parent that seldom comes to school.
  • b) you see someone lingering without a child near our fence/ parking lot. (not having a child while standing outside is a huge red flag; having a child at entering in the AM is likely safe.
  • c) you see anyone looking suspicious.

3- Do not allow your children to play outside the courtyard unattended (parents having conversations outside while the children play near our parking lot is unsafe).

4- Please refrain from socializing with other parents inside the lobby area. You may restrict the view we have from the office desk and our cameras.

5- Do not allow your child to operate that door bar (panic hardware); that’s for adult hands only!

6- Do not bring visitors inside our building during drop off and pick up hours. It is not a good time to do so. I know that at times relatives like to come visit their nieces/ nephews/ grandchildren etc. We don’t know them and we rather you keep them waiting in the car. Please notify us in advance if you plan on bringing someone with you or if someone else is to pick up your child; (i.e nannies), etc. Even if they are authorized in your child’s file we want to know. If you choose to leave a relative waiting by the playground, let the staff know as soon as you enter the building that the person outside is with you.

We don’t mean to be alarming but you must agree, we better be safe than sorry. Please assist us enforcing these safety measures!

The well being of our children is of utmost importance to all of us and we are only able to keep our campuses safe with your cooperation.

WTF?. This takes mission creep to a whole new level. There’s scare mongering and then there is labelling every single person in the entire known universe a potential danger/peadophile , including absent partners, friends, family members etc. In the grown up world these kind of rules and regulations, designed to seperate and isolate, are normally only associated with cults.

I particularly like the bit where the teachers are allowed to buzz in people because they alone have been blessed with god like powers that enable them to recognise the good from the bad, the rampaging peado from the absent father, the child abductor from the new nanny. The Parents don’t have this god like blessing so cannot be trusted to do the same thing.

The teachers are the only responsible gatekeepers. Hell guys, why don’t you just lock them kids in the school till they are old enough to graduate. Obviously, in this country, these rules would have done absolutely nothing to prevent a god blessed gatekeeper from running off with a 15 year old pupil. But hey, at least it wasn’t a totally scary, random, child snatching peadophile that took her to France.

7 Responses to “Coming to a school near you”

  1. A K Haart October 2, 2012 at 21:29 Permalink

    “We don’t mean to be alarming…”

    They certainly are alarming, but not in the sense they think.

    This chimes well with recent experiences of my grandson starting his new primary school. Not so draconian, but the trend is there.

  2. Amfortas October 3, 2012 at 04:08 Permalink

    c) you see anyone looking suspicious.:

    WTF? The person who suspects is the one who is suspicious. So the message in fact says, ‘Turn yourself in”.

    And these school ‘communicators’ are supposed to teach children? They can’t even use the language with rudimentary competence. Alarming indeed.

  3. banned October 3, 2012 at 04:08 Permalink

    Keep them scared, keep them obedient. The fact remains that the vast majority of child abuse is not by random strangers but by adults known to the child so these rules, even if they could be enforced, would have little effect.

  4. James Higham October 3, 2012 at 06:58 Permalink

    AKH, Amfortas. Banned – very true.

  5. Rossa October 3, 2012 at 08:47 Permalink

    Stranger danger is mainly a big bogeyman used to control parents and children and keep up the level of fear in this country. As Banned says it is usually an adult known to the child. Case in point being the 5 year old girl who was seen getting into a van ‘because she thought it was safe’.

    Yesterday I wondered how a 5 year old could discern what or who was safe but now it is said that it was a man her family knew. So that’s all right then….well no it’s not as they haven’t found her yet. And why was she on her own at 7pm, with only a 7 year old nearby who saw her, to be able to get in a van at all?

  6. Rossa October 3, 2012 at 08:54 Permalink

    At the other end of the scale, the Countryfile programme had a piece about a family with 5 kids who were only allowed to play in their very samll back garden. And that included the teenagers.

    The presenter took the whole family to the woods nearby and the beach where the eldest son was shown how to snorkel. Very nice for them too, but then why couldn’t the parents spare an hour or so a week to take the kids to the woods, local park or the beach? Because now we have to be accompanied or followed everywhere whether with CRB checked ‘nannies’ or electronic eyes.

  7. James Higham October 3, 2012 at 08:56 Permalink

    You’re right about the stranger-danger bogeyman but the danger for women is real [see current post]. The latter is far harder to get on top of.

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