And just when it couldn’t get any worse, it does. The Scottish Government and Education Scotland have issued guidance under the PREVENT programme, which aims to safeguard children by preventing them from extremism or being radicalised.
An altogether good thing, surely? And helpfully updated for current climes, with the undated addition of the following PDF (you can access it via the above link straight off their website)
“How extremists are using COVID-19 to promote disinformation, misinformation, and conspiracy theories”
There’s a helpful list for teachers on what to look out for, and as you’d expect it starts out with some real nasties, involving anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, Daesh death cults etc.
The last bullet point is slightly more surprising, though. It turns out that the vaguely worded “Wider conspiracy theories relating to 5G, test and protect and anti-vax, which can be detrimental to public health messaging.” are considered just as much a threat to children as forms of extremist terrorism.
Seriously? Being ‘detrimental to public health messaging’ on a par with promoting ISIS?
It is blood-chillingly serious, because the safeguarding aspect of this means that if your kid voices the wrong opinion on masks, vaccinations, digital surveillance or any other aspect of Covid restrictions, your kid’s teacher could record your kid as being at risk from radicalisation. Is it likely? I mean Jesus I hope not. But the fact that the option now exists, and could be set in motion at any time, totally within the power of the school and individuals within it, is something I don’t think any of us should accept in a free society.
And if safeguarding concerns do get set in motion? I don’t know what is the worst that could happen, all the way down the line, but I can guess.
Are you OK with this?