When you think of young children, you will often think of many pleasant adjectives such as playful, innocent, or happy. The word terrorist will likely not come into mind, unless you’re a part of the UK government.
Childminders and teachers in the UK are being asked to monitor and report “terrorist behavior” in nurseries and elementary schools. They are being asked to track and report children that they deem to be at risk for extremist behavior. These young children must also be reported if they show any sympathy or remorse with any known terrorists or extremists.
In order to properly track and report the children, nurseries are being asked to train their staff to challenge extremist ideas, and to gain proper knowledge and confidence to identify when a child has developed extremist values. Staff must also have knowledge of how and where to refer these children for help.
This outlandish idea is one of the ways that the UK is hoping to enhance their anti-terrorism system.
“Schools, including nurseries, have a duty of care to their pupils and staff. The new duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism will be seen in a similar way to their existing safeguarding responsibilities,” a government spokesperson told The Independent.
There is no news yet on how the government proposes to implement this system, but even before the system is in effect, many citizens of the UK and elsewhere are simply horrified by the proposed plan.
Amid the backlash, the government is standing it’s ground and defending their operation.
“We are not expecting teachers and nursery workers to carry out unnecessary intrusion into family life but we do expect them to take action when they observe behavior of concern. It is important that children are taught fundamental British values in an age-appropriate way,” a government spokesperson told the Daily Mail.
While I understand that the government is trying to protect it’s citizens, I feel that this probe into nurseries and schools is simply ridiculous. Most children do not even hear or comprehend the words “terrorist” or “extremist”, but now we are supposed to be keeping a watchful eye on our three year olds for fear that they may become one? Preposterous.
How do you feel about this proposed strategy to combat terrorism? Let us know in the comments.