Yearbook Blacks Out Kids' Eyes for Fear of Porn Potential
Filed under: Opinions
Personally, I'd try to wake up. But at a school in England, the principal is very much awake and behind this whole thing. Apparently, she was so worried someone might cut out the kids' faces, paste them on child porn pictures and post them on the Internet -- yes, that's really her concern -- that she ordered the teachers to manually black out all the children' eyes.
Let's pause for a second to consider how lovely an illustration this is of what I call "Worst-First" thinking. That is, thinking up the worst, most perverse explanation for something first, instead of assuming a less dramatic, but far more likely, rationale.
We see this when moms glare at guys waving at their babies -- those men must be perverts! And when parents distrust males who want to teach kindergarten -- they must be creeps! And now we're seeing it with this principal, who issued a 17-page "photography policy," explaining that the Internet has "given rise to increased concerns that images will be misused and that a child's face or body could be used to represent matters wholly contrary to the wishes of their parents."
Yecch! The idea that a yearbook would be of interest to anyone other than the kids in it (and their parents), doesn't seem to have occurred to this woman, who also outlawed the taking of photos or videos at school plays. She's so worried about perverts, she doesn't realize how perverted her thought process has become. To her, all kiddie pix are one step away from kiddie porn.
Which brings us to the strange case in West Virginia, where a different sort of Worst-First thinking has swept Cabell County. There, a boy jumped off a swing and broke his arm. His family sued, won $20,000, and now the county is getting rid of all its swing sets.
Who did the jumping? Not the swing. But in our perverted justice system, the swing and its owner -- the county -- were somehow guilty. Which means officials can no longer think of swings as beloved playground equipment. They must think the Worst-First: Those things are dangerous liabilities.
Between our porn obsession and our litigiousness, it's hard to look at kids' lives and see anything but danger anymore. Can't take their pictures. Can't let them play. I guess they can still go home and look at their blacked-out eyes in the yearbook.
But then they won't be able to sleep.
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.