‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Posts Tagged ‘school

Independent Safeguarding Authority

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I used to think that the United States was pretty intense in its fear mongering of all those “what if” scenarios… What if 9/11 were to happen again? What if we ignore the threat to our security and Al-Queda sneaks into the country and kidnaps your children and brainwashes them into zombie sleeper agents?

But the more I read the Guardian and the more I look at the politics of Great Britain, the happier I am to be in Canada.

There has been some concern of a recent proposal put forth by the “Independent Safeguarding Authority”:

Set up in response to the murders of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells by school caretaker Ian Huntley in 2002, the Independent Safeguarding Authority will vet all individuals who work with children from October this year, requiring them to register with a national database for a fee of £64.

The Vetting and Barring Scheme is managed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which was set up in response to the 2002 Soham murders, committed by former school caretaker Ian Huntley. It kicks off this October, requiring the 11.3m people across the education, care and health industries who work with children to register – for a £64 fee – on a national database.

Guardian

Philip Pullman, noted children’s author, has stated that he will not comply with any such requests and I think that he hit it right on the head.

107782.full

There are several reasons why this form of “security” or “vetting” is ridiculous. First off, when you invite someone to speak at your school, for the most part they are people of some importance: scholars or academics, writers, film-makers, actors, people who have a name. I mean why else would they be invited there. So I’m thinking that most of these types of people are not going to be doing things that are harmful towards children.

Secondly, if these noted persons who are invited into the school are being left in a position where they are on a one on one basis with a child, then your concern should not be directed towards the person who has been invited into the school but the school administration itself and the way they handle your children and their safety.

Third, I am not saying that we should not inspect people who come into schools. This whole issue is in response to a murder that took place after a caretaker at a school attacked two students. If the schools want to require a mandatory check of all bags and/or some kind of metal detection, whatever, by all means go for it.

But to require people to pay money to enter a database, hmm, why not ask them to wear some kind of insignia on their sleeve so that we can identify these persons.

Think about it, what if this starts a precedent where Academics are singled out. It’s a slippery and scary slope.

I’m glad that people like Philip Pullman are speaking out against this type of inane fear mongering. I’m inclined to agree with him as he asked why he:  “should have to pay £64 to a government agency to be given a certificate saying ‘I’m not a paedophile’. It’s so ludicrous that it’s almost funny, but it’s not funny, it’s actually rather dispiriting and sinister.”

What’s scary though is that the current “Children’s Laureate” thinks that writers should comply.

I’m all for the safety of children, nothing is more important. But, this seems like a bit much.

Interested in your thoughts?

*EDIT/UPDATE

Anyone who has “regular” or “intense” contact with children or vulnerable adults will by law have to sign up to the Vetting and Barring Scheme from November 2010.

“Regular” is defined as more than once a month and “intense” as three times a month or more, the Home Office says. BBC.com

Ok, so this seems a bit more reasonable as people who have authority and are likely to be models for students to look up to should be held under a more rigorous standard, as we expect the same checks on our teachers and principals.

I still see this as a bit scary though. At what point do we say enough is enough, should are children be locked up at home and only taught by parents, because no matter how much they vett and interogate there will always be an element that gets through, its horrid to envision, but its true.

Just had a very intense discussion with Mrs. Karriana about how far is too far when it comes to this issue. As much as I respect these types of policies and laws to keep children safe, I worry about the precedent it sets. How much “Think of the children…..” fear mongering can we have and at what civil cost? Something I want people to consider before they attack me for letting the pedophiles into the school system. The Government does not discriminate. It is often very much black/white. Suppose you commit a minor offense as a young adult, you get caught with some pot or something like that, and now you have a record. If policies like the one set above in UK are put forth it sets a precedent that allows for legislation to be passed that prevents anyone with a record from entering school grounds. So now you’re screwed for something early on in life, as if people do not grow up or change or sometimes shit just happens. What if you get caught with a bag that is not your own and heaven forbid the police mess up with evidence, b/c we know that doesn’t happen, what then, you’re punished for life. It’s all or none when it comes to children. Parents are fallible and I’m not saying let rapists into the school, but things happen in life, we have to be weary that in the name of the children, our own civil liberties are not lost. Something to consider.

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Written by thebeliever07

July 16, 2009 at 7:29 am

Blogging about Blogging..

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Yes, another blog about blogging. Been very busy lately with presentations (85 in Medeviel Text & Social Control), papers, and theory readings. It’s been a harsh couple of weeks but I have a bit of a break this weekend with Cdn. Thanksgiving being a long one.

I shall resume hilarious posts of a bookish nature tomorrow. Enjoy the cartoon Erin.

Written by thebeliever07

October 8, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Banned Book Week

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—-

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

—-

All this week I’ll be randomly selecting books that have been “challenged” or “banned” and then sharing some of my own experiences with various “banned” reads. Check out this list of the most frequently “banned” books.

For a list of specific Canadian Books/Magazines that have been “challenged” or “banned”, check out this link.(PDF)

— Here is an article selected from the PDF link above. —

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of
Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

2000—The Durham (ON) Board of Education received numerous complaints about the
immensely popular Harry Potter books being read in classrooms throughout the board’s
schools. A school board official said that the complaints came from fundamentalist
Christian parents.
Cause of objection—As is the case in at least 19 states of the U.S. and other parts of
Canada, parents were concerned that Harry Potter is engaged in wizardry, witchcraft, and
magic-making, and that these activities are inappropriate for young readers.
Update—After listening to the complaints, the administration decided to withdraw the
books from classroom use but left them in school libraries where they would be available
for book reports. One board member said she had wanted the books to be withdrawn
completely from the schools; another member said the board had never been asked to
decide the issue, so the books’ withdrawal amounted to censorship. Several months later,
after a raucous public meeting, the board rescinded its decision to remove the books.
However, in other jurisdictions teachers have been asked not to use the books in the
classroom. This is said to have occurred in a school in Corner Brook (NF) and in
Rockwood Public School in Pembroke (ON). In 2002, the Niagara (ON) District School
Board turned down a parent’s request for the removal of the books from area schools.
The parent said the books contained violence and promoted a religion (Wicca) which is
against the law in Ontario schools. She said that she had not read the books.

Huzzah for books!

Written by thebeliever07

September 27, 2008 at 12:05 pm

It begins…

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…another school year friendos. For those interested, this first term I’ll be taking four courses.

Structuralist & Post Structuralist Theory, Writing the Environment, Old Norse, and Medieval Collections & Social Control.

It’s a fair bit of work, but I think I can manage to stay afloat. While I will be working a full work week the way I’ve been working this past summer, there is some good news. I will only occasionally *knocks on wood* have to take the night audit shift. Last year I was working night audit every weekend and a full term of courses as well, so things have improved, at least this year I shall be able to achieve some normal sleep cycles.

As far as this week goes, I’ve already been given some assignments: yay for Nietzsche and “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense”.

I will probably be posting in a more relaxed manner as the school year begins, maybe not as regularly, but with occasional moments of fervor and energy as blogging for me is a release of stress, so as horrible as it is, I’ll probably blog more when my readings and assignments really start to thicken as this is a nice and convenient way of avoiding that work.

Well, see you around kiddos. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

September 7, 2008 at 8:48 am