Even the activity of simply taking photographs of our children is now laced with neuroses. In an era defined by social media and the ubiquity of the selfie it seems odd that it should be so fraught. I recently received a communiqué from my son’s nursery school detailing why we would not be allowed to take photographs of our children receiving their little ‘graduation’ diplomas. The risk that parents might put a picture on Facebook, and that the picture would be seen, and used as a sex-aid by paedophiles is too great, apparently. If the risk of a pervert seeing a fully-clothed picture is so high, why have the graduation ceremony at all? What if one of the parents at the actual ceremony is a child abuser? What if a paedophile is SITTING IN THE AUDIENCE and looking at our fully-clothed children in real life? Westerners may criticise Muslims for covering their women to 'protect' them from the sexual advances of men but we apparently want a similar thing for our children. Never before have I really been forced to face – through actual experience – the full silliness of this modern-day mania, where paedophiles have a quasi-religious significance. Let your child be seen and they will be snatched away by an unemployed loner who lives in a porn-strewn bedsit and smells of wee. It leaves me longing for the Red Legged Scissorman.
I won’t be protesting, however. If the nursery staff really believe this interpretation of their local authority’s policy, so be it. And I have no desire for some equally crazed stickler from Ofsted to undermine their good work with an ‘inadequate’ rating. But I have found a way around the problem: as in a court of law, there is no prohibition on drawing. I shall be sitting on the front row with my pencil in hand. And putting it on Facebook afterwards.