Data Protection, Health & Safety, Security, etc. in Schools: How Far is Too Far?
June 11, 2011 1:10pm CST
Do you think schools or parents take things too far? Is it really a "nanny" state? Or are procedures in place for good reasons? Do you think risk assessments, removal of risks, etc. is an infringement of rights or a necessity of modern society? Do all these questions depend on circumstances? Is it sometimes too far and other times not? I ask this as a result of a recent issue I had with someone posting a video on the Internet which had been taken at my child's school. While I am sure that it was done innocently, there were other children (including my own) shown in the video. The incident was reported to the school and the video subsequently removed. The person who took the video seemed to think it was unfair to have to do this. I, personally, don't think she understood the seriousness of what she had done or the number of rules she had broken by doing it. So, this is one situation and it led me to think about others. I also read about a school where parents were banned from a sports day because people didn't want their children to mix with strangers (or so I understand it). Personally, I think this is too far and there is a very big difference between other parents watching all the kids on a sports field and someone posting a video of stranger's kids on the Internet. So, what do you think? How far is too far? We know we need rules but where do we draw the line?
11 Jun 11
I think that we all need to get a grip. The media and establishment in this country are obsessed with the idea that we are a nation of paedophiles. There always have been those kind of folk out there and always will be. I really do not think that it matters one jot whether your children are filmed or not. Most abuse takes place at home and by people that the child knows. Banning filming etc will not stop that. What we need is less hysteria and more realism.
• United Kingdom
12 Jun 11
I agree with you up to a point. However, we do need to make sure our kids are safe. I'm not saying to ban everything but there do need to be rules. The video thing was just an example but the problem I had with that in particular was not the taking of the video itself but the complete lack of security about it. I mean, those kids hadn't had permission to be filmed and I don't believe that anyone should ever have the right to publicise images of other people's children without their knowledge, certainly not on the Internet. While banning such things will not prevent abuse, etc. from happening, there are people who would use such things to that end.
12 Jun 11
I have photographs and film of all sorts of events in which "strangers" to me are captured. I didn't ask their permission to film, they just got in the way! The only people that will film in a school are those that are there for a "proper" reason. I don't mean weoirdos lurking at the gates, but relatives and friends that are visiting to see "their" child in action. I just think that it is all too hysterical nowadays.
• United Kingdom
12 Jun 11
But you aren't going to put those pictures on the Internet are you? While I wasn't happy about it as a parent, my concerns were more professional. While it may be unlikely, there could well have been someone within the images who was, for example, in care and their parents were - for good reasons - not supposed to know where they are. Now, taking the images and storing them wouldn't be a problem but as soon as they are posted to the world wide web, anyone could see it or pass it on, not knowing that it could cause problems for those involved. In this case, it was a parent who had taken the video and, had they kept it personal, there wouldn't be a problem but there are reasons why some people do not give permission for such things.
12 Jun 11
I think that this has all gone too far, not just in schools but generally. At work we need to phone customers as a courtesy to check they have received a delivery - apparently we need to ask the 3 security questions or we are in breach of the data protection act. Children have grown up perfectly for generations before this so I don't see why all of this needs to be taken so seriously now. I agree that there should be things in place to protect children but also think that a lot of it is common sense and shouldn't need to be documented. If a teacher isn't capable of taking care of a class of children they should look for another job.