When you think of big brother watching you and forcing you to act in certain ways, what country do you think of? Communist Russia perhaps? Or a country governed along the lines of traditional patriarchal law? An African country? Let me describe the situation to you and see if you can guess the country. Then I’ll tell you.
My niece and her family have been invited to my daughter’s wedding in May. She has two young children aged 5 and 3. The oldest, Kyle, already attends school. This is normal for that country. As they are South African, they organised a trip there in December to visit the children’s grandparents. In order to stretch the trip to three weeks, Kyle was kept out of school for a number of days (with the permission of the school).
In order to come to the wedding, they would have to fly here on the Friday and back on the Monday, so he would miss another two days of school. Apparently, one can keep a child out of school for non-medical reasons up to a maximum of five days per year. Kyle has been allowed more than that this year for the SA trip. So a request for a further two days was turned down flat by the school. They could simply decide to take the trip, but this action could result in a fine of up to 50 pounds per parent per child. (Are they serious!!)
So a sweet, sensitive child who has very little family around him has to miss the opportunity to get to know his great aunt and uncle and to meet his second cousin. Surely allowing him the opportunity would do far more for his confidence and sense of self than forcing him not to miss another day of school. He is not, after all, doing his GCSEs or any other important bench mark exam. He is just a little boy starting school. With a little help, his mum could make sure he didn’t fall behind because of those two days. She was told that NO exceptions could be made. Surely a parent should be able to make decisions such as these without serious consequences from the state? Keep the heavy guns for serious offenders, but leave good, caring parents alone to run their lives as they see fit!
The country where these wonderful rules are followed to the letter? The United Kingdom! Would you ever have thought it possible? We are very sad, as we were looking forward to having them stay with us. Now, if their parents want to come, they have to organise for someone to look after the children for that period. It’s not FAIR!