‘Myths and Facts for Schools’ about touch, abuse, and panic: is the tide turning at last?

About time this was brought out into the open. So much damage is being done to our society and a lot of the so called ‘child protection’ organisations are responsible.

ESRC Moral Panic Seminar Series, 2012 - 2014

Having devoted much of the last decade or so to researching and writing about the way that adult anxieties about child abuse (and misjudged ways of seeking to prevent it), have done little to protect children, while having a number of seriously damaging consequences, it was good to have a significant straw in the wind drawn to my attention by a reporter from a national newspaper.

In a variety of contexts, including schools and nurseries, sports coaching and physical education (PE) and music education, there is no doubt that risk-averse policy and practice has had a damaging effect on the experiences of children and young people, and on their relationships with adults. These arrangements, actively promoted by some organisations with an interest in fostering disproportionate anxiety and a rigid approach to ‘safeguarding’, speak more of moral panic and bureaucratic control than of careful consideration informed by professional and practical wisdom…

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