For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Home Education - A Cover for Abuse - If Recommendation 7 Goes Through

I must be going stark raving mad. Or is there an other reason for my hallucinations? Or was it a nightmare? I must admit, I was working on my submission for the Select Committee when it happened. I had just read the initial press release again, the one where Baroness Morgan says that home education could be used as a cover for child abuse. And I was re-reading Recommendation number 7, where Mr Badman explains he feels the local authorities should have access to the home of home educators, as well as the right to speak with each child alone. No parents present.

I closed my eyes - just for a brief moment. My head was spinning and I saw and heard all these words, first separately, then blending together:
Child abuse - access to child - home education - stranger - child abuse - cover - safety - no parents...

And then, all the sudden, I had this image of myself, sitting behind a table, with home educating friends on either side of me. The sign in front of me said: Special Minister of Elective Home Education. On the other side of the table a room full of people with camera's, microphones and notebooks. I was obviously giving a press conference! A lady pointed a microphone at me and asked: "Minister, could you tell us what this review is for? Isn't this an infringement of the right of civil servants to do whatever they want?"

And I read out a prepared statement:

"There are concerns that some civil servants are not performing the tasks the tax payers pay them to do. And that in some extreme cases being a civil servant could be used as a cover for paedophilia or other forms of child abuse.

Quite a few people in government and civil services are undoubtedly doing a fantastic job and I want to ensure that they get the continued support of the people who voted for them and are paying them. But we can't afford to let any paedophile slip through the net - for the sake of our children's safety and our families' wellbeing.

Several thousands of paedophiles are registered, but a much larger number of them are invisible to the authorities. We have to balance the rights of privacy of civil servants' against the pre-eminent rights of children to a safe and loving life, preferably with their own families."

Again a lot of noise. The same words, not only buzzing around in my head, but also in that room full of reporters and journalists. It was just too much for me and I closed my eyes again.

Next thing I knew, I was sitting in my own safe and familiar living room, papers all around me, on the floor, on the settee next to me. In my hand a page of the Badman Report, the one with Recommendation 7. I looked around. No reporters. No camera's. I listened carefully, but I didn't hear those words anymore, only my daughter upstairs, singing and playing the guitar.

Strange games the supposedly logical mind combined with tiredness can play on people. Mixing up things that just don't go together, that don't add up. Well, they shouldn't. No, they can't. Can they? No, a Minister of Elective Home Education, that's just unthinkable.
That will never ever happen.


Maire said...

Lol,Mieke beautifully realised, top of my visualisation list.

An to be honest I think paedophiles being drawn to the thousands of new job opportunities offering 'ACCESS TO THE CHILD' is a far more likely scenario that home ed being a cover for child abuse.

They are trying to do this because they want to and they think they can get away with it, no better reason.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the safest place to be for a peadophile is in a 'safe' occupation such as teaching, doctors, social services, just as long as you never get caught. Because if there is ever anything dodgy, people will say, 'No I couldn't have seen that right, nice Mr. Jo Blogs has been cleared by the ISA, he's OK'.

Julie G.