John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Sunday, December 09, 2007
  Perceived Neglect?
The linked story from Yesterday's Guardian is an interesting one. It raises the question as to what parameters should permit the state to intervene. In this case a child was allowed to walk to school alone. (under a mile).

It raises another question about the subjectivity of our systems of child protection.
What is acceptable to one person, is risky to another. However, at what point should the state intervene. I believe that is a decision for parliament.
 
Comments:
As the eldest of 5 children I used to walk alone to catch a bus and then walk to school from the age of 5. I still have memories of grasping the penny bus fare in my hand! OK, maybe it is not so safe now, but there were cars on the roads if not in so many numbers they were still as dangerous.

In contrast, my daughter aged 12, was sent home from school in the middle of the morning to change her skirt because it was black and it should have been blue. I was not too happy as there was no phonecall from the school to make sure someone was at home, which there wasn't. She ended up having to walk to my workplace, a total of 2.5 miles.

So, it seems to me, perceptions of neglect need to be balanced with the real responsibility parents have to enable their children to live independent lives.
 
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