Molly Kingsley has written a stinging piece in the Telegraph on the failure of many adults to speak up for children over the last year of madness. She is one of the three founders of the UsForThem organisation which campaigns against intrusive social distancing measures in schools.
Too many in positions of responsibility for children have stayed silent in the face of clear harm to those children. This was drummed home to me earlier this week watching an interview of Vicky Ford – our Children’s Minister – by Julia Hartley-Brewer: a seven-minute annihilation which epitomises perfectly the dearth of courageous advocacy for children. Challenged to explain why there has been no controlled trial for masks in classrooms, Ford could not. Challenged to explain what advice had changed to justify the extension of the mask mandate to classrooms, Ford could not. Challenged to explain what had changed to make schools less safe without masks this term than they were last term – again, Ford could not. In each case the answer was simply “we are following the medical advice”. At no point did she attempt to articulate that advice, or, in fact, to give any indication that she could explain or indeed had even seen it herself.
Vicky Ford is not alone. There is a long list of adults and organisations with a duty to children – be that legal, fiduciary, professional or simply moral – and in some cases who are paid to carry out that duty. Some have spoken, but many more have acquiesced…
Over the last year, we have, in the name of protecting the elderly and vulnerable, somehow managed to reverse one of the key tenets of medical ethics: first do no harm. We’ve introduced, and we continue to introduce, interventions not only without proper, or indeed any, evaluation as to harms; but worse, we do so in the knowing presence of potentially serious, and escalating, harm.
It was announced last night that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson faces a legal challenge over the wearing of face masks in schools, especially in relation to the “devastating” effects for deaf children.
Very much worth reading in full.