‘We Don’t Want A Nanny State But…’

Children as young as four are recreating violent computer games in the playground because they do not realise they are make-believe, East Riding head teachers have warned.

Heads are warning schools are fighting a losing battle with children staying up late to play on XBox and PlayStation, leaving them tired for lessons.

Oh no! If they can’t pay attention in lessons, a significant proportion will be illiterate and innumerate just like….well, just like those generations that didn’t have access to multimedia distractions.

What was the excuse back then?

South Cave Primary head John Killeen said: “Head teachers are increasingly aware of children playing and being exposed to inappropriate software and films.

“These youngsters are replicating games that they have seen and that they are exposed to.

“It could be combat, kung fu attacks, that they see people doing.

“They think they can replicate that in a play situation.”

Mr Killeen was among East Riding heads who raised the issue at National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) conference.

Ah, I see. It’s National Teachers Grandstanding And Scaremongering Season. Again…

John Nielsen, head of Barmby Moor Primary, said schools have “grave concerns” about children being exposed to harmful and inappropriate material… He said heads have found parents were often unwilling or unable to set boundaries in the use of games and the kind of films pupils watch.

Which, while worrying, is really not something that should be a concern of the school, other than to point out that they are doing their best and it’d be nice if little Duwayne and Shahneece could keep awake for geography.

Preferably at a PTA evening, though in some areas, it’s doubtful that enough parents would show up to make one viable.

But – and there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there? – it seems they want something more than that…

Adrienne Palmer, head of Mount Pleasant CE Junior School, Market Weighton, said…”My youngest pupils are seven and they are well aware of what’s available and half of them regularly play these games.

“We don’t want to be Draconian about it but we do think children need to be protected.

“They are not old enough or mature enough to know what is appropriate and what is not.”

But you are, to be the deciding factor for what is ‘appropriate’ for someone else’s children?

Mr Killeen, who is branch secretary of the NAHT, said the conference backed East Riding heads’ calls for clearer child protection guidance from the Government.

Meaning…what? Surely not this sort of arrant, interfering, nannying nonsense?

He said: “We are not asking for a nanny state where we tell parents how to run their lives.”

Clearly, that’s just what some of you are asking for!

“We are asking parents to be more aware of what their children are doing.

We want to work with parents and the Government, asking parents to be more responsible for monitoring their children’s activities.”

What if those parents are aware, have made the judgement that their children can handle the responsibility, and don’t feel that they need any interfering teacher poking their nose in?

What then?

11 comments for “‘We Don’t Want A Nanny State But…’

  1. May 17, 2012 at 11:18 am

    What if those parents are aware, have made the judgement that their children can handle the responsibility, and don’t feel that they need any interfering teacher poking their nose in?

    Then they are very naughty and nanny needs to take charge. Obviously. Clearly you haven’t been paying attention.

  2. Tattyfalarr
    May 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Kids have always replicated what they see. It’s human nature and it used to be that kids happily played cowboys and indians after seeing the films in the flicks or on tv. It’s what you do about the consequences that counts.

    I have a thick inch long scar on the crown of my head inflicted on me in the park at the age of four by another four year old with his toy metal gun….because I refused to get off the swing he wanted. When his mother found me screaming and covered in blood she dropped his pants there and then and walloped hell out his backside. She also threw the gun in the nearest bin.

    My mother held back from killing the other mother because Justice had been done and the apologies couldn’t come fast enough.

    Oh but wait…parents used to be parents then…not glorified kennel maids. 😐

  3. Maaarrghk!
    May 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I had a similar experience Tatty when another kid whacked my fingers with a mallet. His Mum was also kind enough to bath and sticky plaster my fingers, then kiss them better and even avoided going to prison for the last bit 😆

    I used to stay up late watching World At War, but have never had any particular urge to massacre jews, invade Poland or bomb anybodies dams as a result, although I did used to play at that last one. Is there something wrong with me?

    • Tattyfalarr
      May 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Fair point but if you had something would have been done about it. Your parents would have been the first to notice something awry and dealt with it within the confines of the home seeking outside help only if necessary. Due in large part to the consequences to themselves for failure.

      We live in an increasingly bizarre society that has abdicated personal responsibility, passes it around like a red-hot potato and it never lands where it should.

      The kids are watching and learning and will repeat this behaviour too. Or hadn’t they quite thought of that ? Maybe that’s the aim….who knows anymore.

  4. May 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    … they do not realise they are make-believe…

    Nope. Pretty sure that’s just some teachers, parents and anyone with Paul Dacre on speed dial.

  5. Voice of Reason
    May 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    How did so many of us survive without this concern and safety equipment?

  6. Bill
    May 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Back in the day my father and a couple of friends were caught stealing apples. The orchard owner who caught them gave them a thick ear. He then ‘called’ the local bobby, by shouting him as he was walking by I might add, who gave them another smack around the head and marched them home up the middle of the road. At each home the mortified mother or father appeared and took their errant sons in and gave them a damn good hiding for humiliating the family and stealing another persons property.
    Each set of parents went to the orchard owner and offered financial compensation which the orchard owner refused and said instead if their kids simply came and asked they were free to take however many windfalls they wanted!

    That was in the late thirties. Good job my dad is now six feet under. He wouldn’t want to live in these ‘enlightened’ times.

    • Mudplugger
      May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Back in the 1950s, my grandfather had a large allotment with some attractive apple-trees (very sour cooking-apples).
      If ever he apprehended apple-thieves, he would march them into his shed, sit them down and insist they ate 6 apples each before he would let them go – after all, they apparently wanted apples, so he was actually helping them.
      He never had any complaints about his approach from parents or authorities, although the little felons undoubtedly had some short-term stomach complaints. Today, he would be arrested for false imprisonment, child abuse and all manner of trauma-induction. Those were the days – appropriate justice, swiftly dispensed.

      • ivan
        May 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        As a teenager in those days I can confirm the things you are saying. We teens also had responsibility instilled into us by our parents.

        I look back at those times and wonder when did it all go wrong. It was some time between the early 60s and 80s. I was out of the country during that time and when I returned the rot had started so I left again.

        Now we have a mess that will take a couple of generations to clean up, IF we ever manage to get started.

  7. Greg Tingey
    May 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    This is entirely the PARENT’s responsibilities – the scholl may have a duty to advise & to warn, but that is all.

  8. Henry Crun
    May 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I have just realised that my parents were apologists for early American colonisation; they never batted an eyelid when my brother and I played cowboys and indians with the neighbours’ kids.

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