Typical, really. You may have noticed a lack of correspondence
with the fabulous Red Class recently. The reason? Well
one parent complained about the class communicating with
me via the guestbook saying that it was “promoting
chat-room behaviour” – so all communication wirh
me is forbidden by the Head. Hmmm…Now I understand
parents being protective of their children but this seems
to me irrationally paranoid. (Remember the good old pre-internet
days, when no child was subject to abuse? Er, no.)
What children (and some parents) need to learn is discernment:
good/bad, positive/negative, dangerous/safe and not a
complete rejection of a communication medium i.e. the
Internet. (Which they WILL be using very soon-is this
parent hoping their child will magically BYPASS the internet)
Is that parent worried that their 4-year old will go
out and buy a computer (cash or credit-card sir), arrange
the installation of broadband, handle the idosyncracies
of WinXP or MacOS X and fall into a den on paedophiles?
If they could do all that at age 4, they should be running
There is a difference between letting your child run
around in a playground while supervised and letting her
wander the streets of London alone. Let’s face it: a
responsible teacher relaying messages between a class-room
and some non-dangerous guy with cancer is very different
from a free rein of the internet.
This is just an irrational fear of a new medium. The
telephone may have paedophiles at the end of it-so you
SUPERVISE its use. The television may display inappropriate
images, so you SUPERVISE its use. So what’s the plan
with the internet and kids? SUPERVISION!
My suggestions for classroom subjects of the future
(parents welcome) to Milton’s triple-S course:
Self-Respect: Valuing oneself and others, common courtesy,
the ability to say ‘no’, dealing with bullying and abuse,
commnicating worries and fear etc.
Safety: Awareness of potential dangerous situations
and how to avoid them.
Social Science: How advertising works with self-esteem,
Addictions: sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other drugs)
Healthy eating (What is and isn’t real food) etc. etc.
Those courses would do much more to protect children
from a whole variety of abuse than some paranoid parents.
I wish I was taught them when I was a child (would have
prevented my abuse)
So now, Red Class no longer have Milt as a role-model,
and can return to their very safe and caring role-models:
Tony the Tiger, Coca-Cola, the latest film merchandising
attack, Ronald McDonald, professional wrestling…
Here’s to Red Class, may they (please) live full, fearless
and meaningful lives!!!