Should a 6-year old be exposed in this way?

@boiboing (12879)
Northampton, England
May 14, 2017 9:15am CST
Here in the UK, the younger members of our royal family are on a bit of a charm offensive, partly in response to public concern that they really weren't pulling their weight in terms of public appearances. When the patriarch, Prince Phillip, retires after nearly 70 years of public duty and still high up in the ranks of hard workers, his grandsons look a bit lightweight. Cue lots of rather commendable work to raise mental health awareness and, the most latest event, a garden party for the children and partners of service men and women who lost their lives for their country. Most of the news coverage focused on six-year old Jack Rigby and his mum. Jack's dad Lee was killed by a knife wielding IS supporter whilst walking near his barracks in London a few years back. Of course this young lad should be at such an event but is it right that his picture is now all over the papers and the TV? The royals have often begged for privacy from the paparazzi and so-called celebrities are forever moaning about people publishing photos of their children. My husband, who works in a prison full of murderers, has a very cynical outlook on life and was horrified that this young boy was being shown to the world. "Are they crazy?" he said, "Don't they realise they're making this poor kid and his mum even more of a potential target for crazies?" Already the Rigby family have suffered a thousand terrible torments - from losing Lee, to seeing ultra-right wing groups claiming his death as justification for their unsavoury acts and opinions, to a fund-raiser stealing the money he raised for Jack's benefit. I would also say that a part of me thinks that singling out one child for attention when hundreds of other young attendees have also lost their dads or mums is rather callous. Every death is a tragedy, not just the ones that the public reads about in the papers.
14 people like this
8 responses
@blitzfrick (2911)
• United States
14 May 17
but don't these singled-out children symbolize all the other kiddos?
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12879)
• Northampton, England
14 May 17
Perhaps they do but by singling him out, he's put under inappropriate amounts of pressure and his loss is somehow raised up as greater than the loss of the other kids. They all lost a parent - there should be no better or worse loss ranking.
1 person likes this
@Poppylicious (10077)
15 May 17
Ah, well. This one passed me by. You need to be more like me ... completely oblivious to what's going on in the world of celebrity-tabloid culture. :)
1 person likes this
@xFiacre (6092)
• Ireland
14 May 17
@boiboing everyone is fair game to the press and the Royal PR machine never misses a trick.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (43609)
• El Paso, Texas
14 May 17
I don't hate very often but I do hate the paparazzi, I find them to be unscrupulous and should not be allowed anywhere near children. No child should ever be in the news like that, not even actors, it's just too dangerous for them.
1 person likes this
@Fleura (7420)
• United Kingdom
15 May 17
I have not seen any coverage of the Rigby family so obviously this has passed me by completely. But presumably his mother must have agreed to him being photographed at an event like this? I can't believe it would have been taken by some unscrupulous photographer with a long lens and a big ladder - or a drone?
@boiboing (12879)
• Northampton, England
15 May 17
No it was all above board and with consent but we question how wise it is to expose a bereaved child to that sort of attention.
1 person likes this
@Kandae11 (40339)
14 May 17
Surely the family could refuse attention from the press ? or isn't that possible?
@boiboing (12879)
• Northampton, England
14 May 17
I was surprised that they agreed to be so public with him. Everyone knows about his father without the heed to expose him to such publicity.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (47369)
• Gainesville, Florida
14 May 17
I don't think it's right to do that to one little boy, but I understand why it is being done. People need a connection to a cause. And little Jack and the story of what happened to his father is well-known. Even we Americans followed that story when it happened. By putting a face to the story, it helps generate interest in the cause, and rallies people to take action. I get it, but I don't think it's right. Unfortunately, I don't ever see it changing.
@boiboing (12879)
• Northampton, England
14 May 17
I fear you are right about that.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (13189)
• New Zealand
14 May 17
I agree with you that no one should be singled out. We saw the garden party on TV here in new Zealand.