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Overstepping the mark

September 16, 2009

BY COUNCILLOR ABJOL MIAH

Of course, everything should be done to protect children from possible abuse.

But the government’s current proposals were a step too far. That is why I welcome the government’s decision to review its latest proposals for Criminal Record Bureau checks on parents who volunteer to help children with sporting and other activities.

These proposals have been attacked by children’s charities for a variety of reasons including the fact that they will discourage parents from volunteering to support children’s activities so those activities simply won’t take place any more. And there is no evidence to suggest that children will be any safer because of it.

This is yet another example of the government pursuing ill thought out policies to try to recoup some of their popularity. But this has backfired on them.

They are also proposing severe new restrictions on home education for children. In the face of poor teaching and poor parent school relation, a number of parents have taken their children out of school and given up their time to provide them with a good home education.

Now the government is proposing to set severe tests for home education the purpose of which is to discourage parents pursuing home education. This is just another example of the government seeking to intrude into our personal lives where government does not belong.

That, after all, is what Jim Fitzpatrick is proposing with his law to ban traditional Muslim weddings. We have to make the government fully aware that these proposals are also a step far too far.

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