The world has gone completely mad!
Three of our children attend a local Jewish primary school, which is near enough to the homes of many of its pupils that lots of them walk or cycle to school unaccompanied. (This is not the norm for many Jewish schools in this area.) It is also on the corner of two roads and at school drop-off/pick-up time there is a lot of traffic. . For many of the children coming by themselves, the junction outside the school is the most difficult one they have to negotiate. The school has two security guards outside – one at the gate and one on the corner. Until recently, the guards helped children, and parents shepherding packs of children back to cars, to cross over the road safely
Last week, the school sent out a letter to all parents. It was obvious from the tone of the letter that the school did not subscribe to the contents, but felt that it had to write anyway. The letter began by saying that the police had reprimanded one of the security guards for stopping the traffic briefly to allow children to cross, and continued by saying that the guards have been told by their company not to cross children over the road, but to concentrate on the security of the area. Teachers and guards apparently do not have the necessary insurance to help children cross the road, so if parents do not feel their child can cross safely, they should bring them to school themselves.
Here we have a situation where there are responsible adults, who the children know and trust, and they are not allowed to cross a child over the road! What kind of a society is it in which a person needs insurance to help child cross the road?
We are constantly being told that children need more exercise, more independence and more chances to prove themselves. Walking or cycling a few minutes to school by themselves is an ideal way to achieve this – it would be a great shame if this were to be foiled by the children being stranded on the wrong side of the road.