[SCA-AE] New A&S Policy at Pennsic
muirgens at aol.com
muirgens at aol.com
Tue Jul 6 13:23:06 EDT 2010
This does sound like an over-reach to me as well to say the least and should be discussed further. I have several questions and comments, so I'll try to keep them short...
First (and foremost) I'd love to know what the rationale is for this ruling. It seems simply bizzare to me that in an environment where more and more opportunities are being provided to our youth, they should have to have mom or dad (rather than a competent babysitter or campmate) go with them to a class. It seems punitive -- to both parents and kids. Why a sitter or other responsible adult or older teen is not acceptable is beyond me.
Second, have the consequences been thought out? I suspect that there will be more unhappy kids who didn't get to go to the classes they wanted to because mom or dad couldn't take them (or didn't want to) and more parents who aren't able to attend the classes they want to go to because they are opposite something their child really wants to go take. This could also negatively impact class attendance. So everyone loses to some degree. If this ruling persists, we are sending the message to our older kids that they can't be trusted to conduct themselves appropriately in a learning environment and that intellectual curiosity is a bad thing -- better they should go play Magic in the bathhouse or wander around camp aimlessly. If this type of ruling persists for future years, as some have pointed out, parents will opt out of Pennsic in favor of other vacations because it has little to offer their increasingly independent children and restricts the parents significantly.
Third, what are they so worried about? The content of most classes is completely benign as far as I can tell.
Are they worried about the use of obscenity in the class? Inappropriate sexual content? Toxic ingredients? Gorey details about warfare or oppression? I would think that simply reading the description and/or having the parent talk to the instructor prior to the class if they are concerned about content should be sufficient. Certianly classess that have significant "adult content" could be designated in the class book if that is the worry. Parents who are concerned about content because of religious or other reasons would likely attend classes with thier child as a personal choice anyway.
Are they worried about not meeting the 2-deep rule? My understanding was that that applies to youth activities only. These are general classes -- not youth activities. I may be wrong on that...
Are they worried that allegations could be made or actual abuse might occur if a child is in a tent with an instructor and no one else shows up? Perhaps in that case, instructors would be better served to cancel the class or move to a visible area. Difficult to police, yes, but no more difficult than it is in the rest of the encampment (or the world for that matter).
Are they worried about disruptive kids? Surely they could be asked to leave the class by the instructor or public safety could be called upon if needed. I doubt that is a frequent problem.
So in short, this ruling seems arbitrary, punitive, and out of line with both Pennsic policy and society guidelines. I'm having a hard time coming up with a good reason for it and I do think that we all deserve a strong rationale for it. I'm not sure what can be done about it at this point, although I'd be willing to sign a petition if anyone thinks that would help...
Morgen of Rye
(who has been attending Pennsic since childhood)
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