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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do you feel safer?

What is the world coming to? Now we read that in at least two British playgrounds, parents are not allowed. Parents cannot be inside the play area because they have not had background checks.
Children as young as five will instead be supervised by council 'play rangers' who have been cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau.
Councillors insist they are merely following Government regulations and cannot allow adults to walk around playgrounds 'unchecked'.
Read more at the

I thought this reader comment was particularly on the mark: "Once free societies will retreat incrementally, one trivial step after another, into a totalitarian hell." (Comment attributed to William, Pittsburgh, PA 28/10/2009)


tonya_german said...

Even people who have been "cleared" can have still done bad stuff!

Mrs. Edwards said...

So true, Tonya.

Sharon said...

Mmm. I was involved in a volunteer group in Darwin that had one of the other volunteers arrested for criminal activity. The police debriefed us and told us "even if the person had been required to have a police clearance, it would have come up clean, because the person had never been suspected or arrested or charged with any crime before". I have been thinking back to this lately, since I reapplied for my "Working with Children Card" just this week. I am back working in our Sunday School, and since none of our kids are in the class I am helping with (yay!) I need a WWCC, according to government regulations here in Australia.

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

Although we don't have the equivalent of a WWCC here, most churches, BSF, etc., voluntarily do background checks on volunteers who work with children regularly. That makes sense to me, but what seems so absurd about the UK playground story is that the government is deciding that parents are incapable of supervising their own children. No doubt some parents are derelict in their duty, but nevertheless I think that parents are far more likely to care for the health and safety of their own offspring than a "cleared" worker earning an hourly wage! (And, as you say, a clean criminal background doesn't prove much of anything about future behavior.)

Which level of Sunday School are you serving in?

Sharon said...

I am teaching the King's Kids, Grades 3-8 (upper primary and early secondary).

It is the only class that doesn't have any of my own children in it, which is actually quite a blessing. I am a lot more stressed when teaching a group that includes some of my own children than one that is either all my children or has none of them, for some reason.

I got my WWCC in the mail today. The photo turned out a lot better than the last one!

I guess the thing that struck me from the article is how many parents I have seen helping children in playgrounds other than their own, for example if a child falls down next to them, they will help them up naturally, and often help a crying child find their parent. But I would think a lot of paid workers would take a much more "hands off" approach to this sort of thing, for fear that (especially with no parents present as corroborative witnesses) the story will be mis-represented to the parents once back outside the playground, and the worker may even get in trouble over nothing!

I know that all this child safety hoo-ha has led a lot of people to reconsider teaching as a career in Australia, particularly men, who are so greatly needed especially when divorce rates increase and many children are raised without a constant male influence in heir lives.

~ Sharon

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