Begin Rant: Labor’s love of the Nanny State continues

8 08 2010

So we have a mandatory internet filter, quarantining of welfare payments, the many other issues of violating freedom I have ranted about and today – ‘No School, No Play’ – see ABC story or the press release

I really had hoped it was just Rudd who was the control freak, reaching further and further in to micro-managing our lives. It would appear Julia Gillard is no better. I for one want to be free to live my life how I choose so long as my actions do not violate the freedom of another. The Government’s actions in this policy violate the freedoms of many, is heavy handed and counter productive.

Now, of course kids should be in school. But ostracising them but excluding them from sport is the most utterly stupid policy I’ve ever heard of. Telling sporting codes they can’t allow kids to play? Because of something unrelated that may have a million zillion different reasons? I really wish this had been a joke.

What if the child is being bullied at school, and as part of the footy team is the only time they feel like they fit in? Why would you do more psychological damage to that child with some classic Government over-reaching?

What about the rest of the team? What if they can’t play at all because they can’t field a team without the player the Government guidelines say can’t play? How are they to benefit? Why should they be punished?

How are you going to deal with the home-schooled child?

Do you really think that having them sign a bit of paper is going to deal with truancy issues? Or is it going to encourage deceptive behaviour and teach children to lie?

Sport can be used as a fantastic motivator. Sporting figures encouraging kids to go to school is great, and to do lots of other things that is good for kids.It’s all good stuff when our sporting leaders and heroes are motivating kids to be better in all areas of their lives.

The Government reaching in to the lives of children – who we should remember don’t get a say in this – to punish them for behaviour that is not necessarily their choice or fault would be a fantastic disincentive to attend either school or sport, leading to kids being less healthy, less socially adept, and falling behind. Or to put it another way, the ‘No School No Play’ policy IMHO is a fantastic incentive to increase the rate of childhood delinquency.

I have worked with junior sporting organisations and I know that they can be critical in helping shape young lives. Particularly those young people who are in significant risk of wandering off the well worn path to a life as a successful adult. I know it hurts a child when their coach tells them to sit down because they were busted shoplifting or haven’t been attending school. But it is the trust relationship between coach and player that makes that hurt… and only works when the player knows it was their coach who made the call.

If it’s the Government’s call, the young person can see no way to make their case and won’t see the point in trying, so will just drop out of sport entirely; conversely, coaches will over-ride and let players play anyway because it’s their team, not the Government’s.

Further, with all the hand wringing about childhood obesity, why would any Government in their right mind do anything to discourage children from engaging in sport?

Then, to add insult to injury, the funding for this program (which goes to the sporting codes) is being redirected from funding allocated to Indigenous Education.

This policy makes me want to cry.

End Rant.

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4 responses

8 08 2010
dan

yay! i agree 100%

It is a ridiculous policy. Surely the OPPOSITE is true? Kids who have trouble engaging school should be encouraged and embraced into school sporting teams?

I also want to stop truancy – but is this the way?

8 08 2010
Marty

You make some great points that I hadn’t thought of. My main issue is the fact that it will effect kids that may not be at fault.

My wife is a Teacher Aide, and she tells me that most of the problems with kids attending school if from PARENTS who don’t care enough, so how is stopping the kid playing sport going to change that?

8 08 2010
Scotch

(Deleted the first line of your comment as it was clearly regurgiating the Liberal message of the day – not on my blog. KC)

The corollary to your argument is the administrative costs of this and the resources that will need to be diverted towards it. Don’t we have more important things public servants could be spending their time on?

10 08 2010
Joel

I agree with your wife, Marty.

What about we try to tackle truancy by making parents responsible for it in more than just a theoretical sense, rather than their kids.

Bombarding kids with a pro-school message during other activities is going to do nothing but further alienate them if their parents have already instilled a negative (or apatheic) view of schooling into them.

I’m all for parent responsibility…I think it really needs to make a return.

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