Wednesday, 21 September 2011

When does child safety become an obsession?

I was having lunch today while checking the latest news on one of the main Italian newspapers, Corriere Della Sera. In Beppe Severgnini's column "Italians", I stumbled upon the letter of a mom that I found very interesting. She was telling how, this morning, one of the attendants at her son's school did not want to let her on the premises to talk to the teacher. The attendant indicated that, for safety's sake, the school rules sanction that parents can speak with the teacher only during general meetings. The mom insisted, and she was able to deliver her son directly into the teacher's hands. The reason of her insistence had been that she was delivering her son's birthday cake.

The memory of my first visit to my son's school in Milan came immediately to mind. My mom, who had come along, had been then particularly impressed by the security of the establishment, which has a doorman around the clock and closed gates that one's needs permission to enter. Fast forward to the parents' first general school meeting a few weeks ago. The school director is explaining that, after the beginning of classes, nobody except the children and the school personnel is allowed inside the classrooms for safety reasons. All these security measures make me feel that, when my son is at school, he should be safe. But banning a mom from meeting her child's teacher? That is going too far, in my view.

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