Friday, 8 October 2010

'Child abusers may hide behind home schooling'

I tried, but I couldn't provide a neat response to this.

I think it's true, isn't it, that children are in danger wherever they are? We're reminded how there is always a potential predator. Streets, school, home, hostel, hospital, playground, places of worship, park. You could go round each of those contexts and find a news story to match. A child who was kidnapped, beaten, abused, murdered.

I could ask, why do some adults feel the need to harm kids? I don't know the answer to that either. Maybe those adults are deranged and abused themselves. Or I guess at fundamental drives. Power. Money. Sex.

And then child abuse? I'm taking a definition that means a sustained attack upon a child's humanity. Why do some parents, carers, adults do that? Maybe they are deranged and abused themselves. Or I guess at fundamental drives. Power. Money. Sex.

But then someone comes along, and says, 'Children are visible in the contexts of streets, school, hostel, hospital, playground, places of worship, park. People can see them being hurt and abused. But home is private. Child abuse happens in the home. Home schooling can be a cover for child abuse'.

Then I ask again, why. Why do some adults narrow ideas down in that way, to that end? Are they simply concerned for children? Perhaps they are kind and caring people who want to do good for us all.

But just suppose. I think, who are they, these kind and caring people who want us all to link 'home school' and 'child abuse' with such repetitive regularity?

Where are they? Do they hide? In government? Administration? Quangos? Local authorities? Corporate organisations? Charities? Private enterprise? Civil service? Are they hidden voices behind committees and policy meetings? Do they feed angles to newspapers with prejudices to sell? Why do they routinely link 'home school' to 'child abuse'? Who needs the public to parrot that connection? Why? What are their motives?

Maybe if they are in government, quangos, charities and corporates, they are good and kind people. But why then do they pursue an interest in access? Would child abuse really be eradicated if people in a Local Authority saw my home and my child, but not the children living next door? Would they want access to your home too? Do they want access to your children? Do they want access to you? Why would they want that? What interests can they serve? Are they merely good and kind people? Surely, it cannot be that they are deranged and abused themselves! Can it? What about those fundamental drives? Power? Money? Sex? Surely not.

That sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? What power could government exert by controlling all home education. What money could corporates surely make from database management, sales of prescribed curriculum, assessments and the business of tests and examinations, or local authority contracts for home school inspection. What sexual interest could honestly be served by a Government sponsored review which soberly suggested someone with a badge and a clipboard could remove children from parents for private interview.

So, I'm sorry to the person who presented me with this statement to answer. I can't provide you with a neat response. I tried. I can only turn the puzzle round, and ask questions. About the people who originate and maintain the equation, 'home school' and 'child abuse', again and again, until on response the public chant it, and never think different.

I'm only left with the question, Why?

Maybe they are deranged and abused themselves. Or I guess at fundamental drives. Power. Money. Sex.

Or maybe you could reassure me, that I'm starting in the wrong place for the answers.


sharon said...

Home Educator = Child Abuser is just like the Homosexual = Paedophile equation. Another pathetic fallacy with far-reaching consequences.

Pete Darby said...

It's security theatre, movie-plot thinking.

The same reason that you can't travel with small vials of liquids, or nail files. They are almost certainly safe for almost everyone in the world to have.

But you don't sell newspapers, get TV news viewers or get elected by saying "calm down, you're safe".

Fear = power. It doesn't need to be a conspiracy of fear, just an emergent property of a system that rewards fear mongering.

It rewards considering every situation with the phrase "What's the worst that can happen? How can we make sure that can never ever happen?" and treating any doubt over the wisdom of this course as being "on the side of the abusers / terrorists".

Plus, you know, loud assholes.

Gweipo said...

On the other hand I think schools are there so that parents who can't cope with their offspring without beating them and shouting at them can at least subcontract them for a big part of the day!