Where are the parents demanding a nanny state?
Every time a primary school bans cartwheels or a sporting body declares there’s no winners and no losers or report cards switch from A-F to a range between “Genius” and “almost genius” we all throw our hands up in the air and yell “back in my day!”
The whole community immediately embarks on a “nanny state” binge, about how we spent our childhoods swinging from rusty monkey-bars, not wearing seat belts, playing British Bulldog and drinking red cordial and “I turned out fine”.
The flutter of petitions and pinging of radio station switchboards is so deafening we never get to hear the parent who says: “well, actually, I don’t want my child swooshing down a slippery dip that’s not cushioned by six-inches of recycled organic plantation rubber.”
Or the one who had a quiet word to the principal about their concerns their child might do a handstand without the supervision of a qualified gymnastic instructor - preferably one whose most recent posting was in Eastern Europe.
Where are these parents? Do they even exist? For such a quiet bunch they seem to wield a huge amount of cultural clout. School principals and local councils “live in fear” of being sued by them.
Education Department chiefs quake in their boots at the idea of hurting their precious offspring’s feelings with anything resembling “constructive feedback.”
Public liability insurance providers are getting fat off the massive premiums they charge for insuring against them.
And the rest of us love nothing more than to rhetorically bash them for ruining all the fun.
But who are they?
The reaction to nanny state stories, such as the biggie this week about the ridiculous situation at Drummoyne Public School in Sydney, is almost guaranteed to be both unanimous and to contain the phrase “what is the world coming to?”
If we all agree on this topic, which it appears we do, who is driving these decisions?
Come on cotton wool-wrapping, helicopter-hovering, fun-killing, joy-sucking parents - I want to hear from you.
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