Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Watch out, watch out, there's a cult about

I had to smile at the idea that a local school is tackling phone pests who pick on kids. Or rather, given that the Education Department has had complaints about an evangelical halfwit pestering kids with text messages there, I am amused that they’re ignoring that but paying someone from a pseudo-charity to help kids deal with a threat which, by their own admission, does not even exist in the school. Look at and you might see what I mean.
Remember, this is the school which not only let a ‘youth pastor’ troll for victims, but where one of the staff must have passed confidential details about a girl who refused his advances. How, otherwise, did he get her confidential cell phone number and text her at home?
Amazingly, though at least one complaint (possibly several) was made by parents and guardians of pupils affected I hear he is not only still pestering but has opened a branch in a Douglas high school too. Thankfully, talk is rife amongst parents of that school’s first year intake, and even those due to start in September, about ‘some Moonie cult’ running a bible club there.
One quite decent, religiously inclined, parent summed up his dilemma to me the other day. He hasn’t forced his views on his children, but thinks it OK that adolescents ‘explore their spirituality’ at school as they explore everything else – with a bit of responsible adult guidance. Only they cannot get that.
Teachers don’t get involved in lunchtime or after-school clubs any more unless there’s a career advantage. And kids can’t even leave school premises or go home before working parents get there, because of police clampdowns led by panic stories about teenagers wandering the streets at lunch, or misguided safety nazis who think they’ll smoke crack or burn the house down. Then, smelling fresh victims and public money, in come the evangelicals to run extra-curricular ‘activities’.
Having seen these freaks in action when he collects his kids, my fellow parent, like others I’ve spoken to recently, says he is not about to lose them to a deranged cult which operates with Education Department approval, and possibly even public funding. If it means breaking the law or tangling with interfering ‘child protection agencies’ so be it. We at least expect our kids to be safe in school, and we don’t see some Education Department staff protecting them while they attend the same churches as those our kids are most in danger from.

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