Friday, 13 January 2017

Signs that make me see red

One problem Shark has - now she spends her days at the local sixth form - is that she can't fit in the hour for her daily walk.

From my point of view, the school stopped that daily exercise.

The school's too far to walk there and back. (She tried). I have vetoed the bicycle. (She tried that too.)

When we began, I was happy for the bike idea. But then, I felt the weight of the bag she has to carry. Day after day. Cycling with an unsteady weight on brutal roads is a risk I cannot allow. I can barely lift the damn bag: Shark can only hoist that 10-tonne pack thanks to her strong-arm training for sub-aqua air tanks, but sub-aqua exercise in the pool leads to late, late nights. Hmm. That stopped too.

Somedays Shark comes home and, desperate for a walk, she will set off in the dark pursuing invented chores that takes her briskly round town. 'We need tea-bags!' 'I'll fetch carrots!'.

So the school creates this problem, and then sets about trying to solve it.

But here's the sign which sent me walking in a furious rage-fuelled vendetta round the back of the (empty) school field.

First, they're not your kids. My kids are my kids. You don't take them as your own, because you didn't grow them in your innards. I did that, and they're mine.

Second, after you tried taking ownership of my kids, you then tell me to give you Tesco vouchers. Now you're telling me - not how you're going to exercise my kids - but how I can merely 'help you' by shopping in your prescribed places; you're telling me which schemes to support, how I should organise my time to collate, collect and give you bits of paper which you can process.

Where are my kids while this admin goes on?

Not on the school playing fields, obviously.

To drive home the point that you offer us nothing, you prevent the activities that you claim to promote, you're stopping kids getting outside in any natural, kid-spirited way; you're organising their time, their space, their limbs and their minds to create the most dreary, dead-eyed, inactive day, you then stick up a sign to prohibit one of the few activities to be had for streets around.

What is the difference between schools and prisons?

I'm counting the days until the holidays, when Shark can organise her own time, do the things she loves to do, study in her own ways, and walk outside whenever she simply wants.

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