Friday, July 17, 2009

Authors reject school vetting laws

From BBC News:
Several high-profile authors are to stop visiting schools in protest at new laws requiring them to be vetted to work with youngsters.

Philip Pullman, author of fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, said the idea was "ludicrous and insulting".

Former children's laureates Anne Fine and Michael Morpurgo have hit out at the scheme which costs £64 per person.

Officials say the checks have been misunderstood and authors will only need them if they go to schools often.

The Home Office says the change, being introduced from October, will help protect children.
New Children's Laureate Anthony Browne takes a different view, however..
"I feel that as writers we shouldn't necessarily be granted an exemption," he said. "If all people who work with children have to be vetted by the police then we shouldn't be an exception. It seems a bit odd that we have to pay for it, though."

1 comment:

  1. Kevin McCann2:14 pm

    I've worked in schools for years and before that, worked as a writer in res in a jail. I discovered that paedophiles look just like everyone else and I also discovered, when working with their victims - again as a writer in res - that they utterly destroy lives - now some high profile writers may feel "Insulted" because they have to have a background check - my response to that is "tough shit" - the whole point of background checks for EVERYONE who works with kids and vunerable adults is to protect those kids and vunerable adults from abusers - and all for a mere £64 quid - which I'm sure Phillip Pullman can afford - seems a small price to pay to protect children.
    And why should writers be the exceptions ? What makes us so bloody special ?


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