More on the theme of how we trivialise children (sorry) but one of the news items doing the rounds today is how a “Father loses career after slapping unruly daughter” (many headlines are a variation of this, so I will stick with the Telegraph). Basically, the story goes:
A father’s career as a community worker has been brought to a halt after he was given a police caution for slapping his unruly teenage daughter.
Jim McCullough, 44, spent 15 years building up a reputation as a football coach in Benchill, Manchester, and had dreams of branching into sports development.
But his hopes foundered the day he struck his 13-year-old daughter, Jess, for “terrorizing” one of their neighbours.
Jess reported the incident to police and despite later retracting the complaint her father was arrested. He later accepted a caution, not realising how it would blight his career.
Now it does have an element of comedy about it (not least of which is how is voluntary work considered a career?), but there are some issues that strike me as valid. As you can imagine, there are elements of the media that have used this to highlight how crazy our laws are now – I mean if you cant beat your own kids, what can you do? I am sure there are lots of people who think slapping your 13 year old in the face when they do something you don’t approve of is acceptable – but I dont.
Basically, this “pillar of the community” lost control of his own child to the point at which he had to hit her to try and control her. Is this someone suitable to look after the children of others? I wouldn’t let him coach my daughters…
Greg Davis, from the United Estates of Wythenshawe centre, where Mr McCullough did his voluntary work, said: “We have lost an experienced youth worker and men like him are worth their weight in gold. There is clearly a need for better legislation”.
This is odd. What changes to the law is Mr Davis calling for? Should adults be allowed to beat teenagers? Or only one the ones who do voluntary work for the council? Why dont we make legislation allowing people in positions of authority the power to anything they want to children – oh yeah, that’s called the Catholic Church isn’t it…?
Interestingly, despite the doom and gloom of the headlines it is not all that bad:
But his police caution would require him to have an enhanced CRB check, and it would then be left to a potential employer to decide whether he should be taken on.
It hasn’t taken away his career, whatever career he had. It just means if he wants to have access to vulnerable people he needs to undergo a more thorough check.
How is that a bad thing?