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Mindless educators and No Hat No Play

By 28 May 2012 53

Let me say up front that I’m a believer in public education, and I reckon that most (although not all) teachers in public schools do a great job.

However, I’m a bit sick of the whole “No Hat, No Play” policy that ACT public schools subscribe to. Don’t get me wrong – in the middle of summer it’s important to ensure that kids are protected. But at this time of year? Come on. One day last week one of my kids was told by a teacher that he couldn’t play outside at morning tea because he didn’t have his hat. Apparently the only months where it’s safe for kids to play outside without a hat are June and July.

Obviously, most teachers are sensible about this sort of thing. But I find it concerning that some teachers are so lacking in common sense as to prevent a hatless child from playing outside for 20 minutes in late May. And at 10.30 in the morning to boot!

I’d be interested to know if this is just a public school thing, or whether independent schools have the same approach, i.e. compulsory hat-wearing all year except June and July.

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53 Responses to Mindless educators and No Hat No Play
#1
jessieduck3:06 pm, 28 May 12

I feel sorry for your kids teacher. They are not a mindless educator, they were enforcing an excellent policy. Kids have to learn to follow rules or deal with the consequences. If they left their hat at home, they have to play inside.

Suck it up and treat teachers with respect.

#2
dvaey3:07 pm, 28 May 12

OP: Obviously, most teachers are sensible about this sort of thing.

Unfortunately, some parents arent sensible and are sue happy, and they ruin it for everyone else.

#3
Madam Cholet3:24 pm, 28 May 12

Master Cholet goes to an excellent child care facility and they do enforce a hat rule through the summer months. I am always surprised however how soon they are asking for us to put winter hats in their bags – probably the end of April. I think it’s still a bit warm for a winter hat then, and still continue to put his summer hat in with said winter hat so they can make a choice. More often than not there are no hats on – kids just being kids and taking them off, not lack of enforcement.

At this time of year, I’m not bothered if he doesn’t have a hat on at that time in the morning though. I note that the Sunsmart website says from Spet through to April is when protection is required. So I’m with you OP. Our excellent child care facility is also a sunsmart centre.

#4
DeskMonkey3:31 pm, 28 May 12

Read this: http://www.cancer.org.au/Healthprofessionals/patientfactsheets/Lifestyle/Be_sunsmart.htm
Realise that the UV radiation is there even on a winter day. (Extra care should be taken between 10am and 3pm when UV levels reach their peak.)
If you feel like it every morning before sending your children to school check the UV index for the day http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/UV.shtml
Be glad that the teacher is enforcing a school policy that protects your child.
Find something else to whinge about – how about the lack of authority teachers now have to reinforce these rules thanks to parents whinging about silly things

#5
neanderthalsis3:32 pm, 28 May 12

As someone in their early 30′s who has had a number of skin cancers removed/treated, I fully support the mindless educators that are trying to enforce sound habits to prevent future health issues for your children. Even in winter the sun can cause skin damage.

As previously stated, suck it up and make your kid wear a hat.

#6
longshanks3:46 pm, 28 May 12

jessieduck said :

I feel sorry for your kids teacher. They are not a mindless educator, they were enforcing an excellent policy. Kids have to learn to follow rules or deal with the consequences. If they left their hat at home, they have to play inside.

Suck it up and treat teachers with respect.

Just about everyone (Cancer Council, medical professionals) agree that people need protection when the UV index is 3 or higher. There is also a growing recognition that due to the effectiveness of the various Sun Smart campaigns over the years, Vitamin D deficiency in children is increasing.

Please explain to me what is excellent about a policy which prevents children from gaining the benefit of exposure to the sun at a time when there is absolutely no risk of damage to the skin? After all, at the moment the maximum daily UV index is 2, so at 10.30am it’s even lower than that.

I do my best to treat everyone with respect – including teachers. However, this is not about “follow the rules or deal with the consequences”. This is about one teacher blindly enforcing a rule without any room for science or common sense, or any regard for what is best for the child.

Don’t feel sorry for the teacher – feel sorry for the pupils.

#7
jessieduck3:53 pm, 28 May 12

No, you lost me when you called them a mindless educator. It’s a policy that offers the broadest scope of protecting your child and gives them good habits.

#8
eily3:59 pm, 28 May 12

Or maybe the teacher’s afraid that he might OD on vitamin D, seeing as 15 minutes of sunlight is supposed to get you your RDI.

When you consider how many people are not getting enough vitamin D and risk getting osteoporosis when they’re older, (and its not just an old persons problem nowadays) robbing them of their mobility.

Chance a spot that might turn nasty against bones that brake easily.

Not that I would wish cancer on anyone but the idea of spending the last years of my life in a wheel-chair or bed ridden, costing the health system thousands, not being able to do anything…brrr.

#9
poetix4:04 pm, 28 May 12

My daughter’s school (non-government) has hats off at this time of year, except for the more formal hat on the way to and from school. Sun hats are only worn in terms 1 and 4.

This seems sensible to me.

#10
longshanks4:09 pm, 28 May 12

jessieduck said :

No, you lost me when you called them a mindless educator. It’s a policy that offers the broadest scope of protecting your child and gives them good habits.

OK, I acknowledge that “mindless educator” was not a good choice of words. I just find it disappointing that a teacher would not be willing to apply a bit of common sense in this instance.

As far as the policy itself is concerned, the policy it is both good and important from September to April (the months highlighted by the Cancer Council), I do not see how it is valuable from May to August, when kids are already exposing less skin to the sun due to the colder weather.

#11
Erg04:20 pm, 28 May 12

longshanks said :

OK, I acknowledge that “mindless educator” was not a good choice of words. I just find it disappointing that a teacher would not be willing to apply a bit of common sense in this instance.

I’m sure the teacher finds it disappointing that you didn’t pack your kid’s hat. They probably also find it disappointing that you’ve appointed yourself the sole arbiter of “common sense”.

Erg0 said :

As far as the policy itself is concerned, the policy it is both good and important from September to April (the months highlighted by the Cancer Council), I do not see how it is valuable from May to August, when kids are already exposing less skin to the sun due to the colder weather.

Well, there’s your answer – find out who sets the policy and complain to them.

#12
vg4:35 pm, 28 May 12

Give your kid a hat they have in their bag every day of the school year and stop your whining.

Teacher applies your version of common sense and someone as equally whiny as you complains about it

#13
Lazy I4:40 pm, 28 May 12

“Mindless parent tells teachers how to do their job… again”

#14
screaming banshee4:45 pm, 28 May 12

longshanks said :

OK, I acknowledge that “mindless educator” was not a good choice of words. I just find it disappointing that a teacher would not be willing to apply a bit of common sense in this instance.

So because you/your child forget to take a hat, you find it disappointing when it is a known requirement for playing outside that this rule is enforced and you/your child must learn to abide by societies rules in order to be able to do the fun things.

Is it also disappointing when you get pulled up for forgetting not to drive after 12 beers….12 beers being the fun, not driving being the hat

Is it also disappointing when you get a ticket for parking in a 2hr park for more than two hour….Driving to work in a nice warm car being the fun, not parking all day in a 2hr spot being the hat

#15
trevar4:52 pm, 28 May 12

I used to work at a non-government school and we were required to enforce a no hat no play rule year-round (there was no exception in June and July), so it’s not exclusive to public schools. I didn’t have a problem with this, but I did feel like a bit of a goose trying to enforce it on young people with higher levels of melanin in their dermis.

One group of particularly adamant melanin-blessed students were so vocal that I adjusted a persuasive writing assignment so they could give a presentation to the school board in an attempt to have the rule waived for students who were blessed with lots of melanin. They performed very well, and presented a very balanced argument based on the reduced risk of skin cancer for people of their skin colour, but the board (understandably) denied their request on the basis that it looked too much like setting a rule based on race.

We had a lot of fun trying, though.

#16
lizw5:01 pm, 28 May 12

This is not a Public vs Private School debate on hat policy. If your school has a Sunsmart policy, be they public or private, then they must follow the terms of that policy. See http://www.cancer.org.au/cancersmartlifestyle/SunSmart/SunSmartschools.htm for more information. Our school has signed the Sunsmart agreement, and I am happy to support the school in that, even if sometimes I think it’s unnecessary. The Cancer Council knows more about skin cancer than I do.

#17
Sammy5:13 pm, 28 May 12

I think it’s much easier to just enforce a rule like this 100% of the time. Kids don’t deal well with ambiguity.

#18
Ko.5:27 pm, 28 May 12

You’re a parent who thinks their child should be an exception to a rule.

What a surprise.

#19
grunge_hippy5:48 pm, 28 May 12

Ko. said :

You’re a parent who thinks their child should be an exception to a rule.

What a surprise.

+1000000

When will parents get that? Stop making excuses for your children’s behaviour. You are doing them no favour.

#20
Merle6:00 pm, 28 May 12

Good lord. If the worst thing you have to complain about is a teacher making your child wear a hat, you have it pretty damn good. Is this really the most important thing that happened in your life today?

#21
jessieduck6:03 pm, 28 May 12

grunge_hippy said :

Ko. said :

You’re a parent who thinks their child should be an exception to a rule.

What a surprise.

+1000000

When will parents get that? Stop making excuses for your children’s behaviour. You are doing them no favour.

And god help your kid if you are openly disagreeing with the school/teacher in front of your child. Kids NEED parents and teachers to be an united front. They NEED rules and consequences. If you disagree with the teacher on this, your child might think that’s OK and disagree on much bigger issues.

#22
blimkybill6:20 pm, 28 May 12

If a school has a policy, it’s not teacher’s role to change it on the basis of their own opinions or personal preferences. Teachers are required to abide by policies. If you don’t agree with the policy, you should get some information together, some science even, and take a proposal for a policy change to the school board.
I personally agree kids probably could do with a bit more sun in winter. But each school needs to work out their own policy, because teachers are obliged to stick by school policies.

#23
Special G7:16 pm, 28 May 12

They let one child play with no hat then you let all the children play with no hat. Not much of a policy.

Your child was dealt with appropriately for not having their hat. Start supporting your school and the teachers that work there.

#24
cranky7:16 pm, 28 May 12

How the hell did we baby boomers make it to 60+? Can’t remember ever being issued with a hat!

I realise that sunlight CAN, on rare occassions, cause problems.

But this is just more of the Nanny state.

#25
jules_from_latham8:01 pm, 28 May 12

My son and I have very fair skin, and frankly a policy like this is very important. We were both out in the sun for about 20 minutes on Sunday without a hat, and guess what? At this time of year people can still get sunburnt. I think the policy is probably designed for a range of people and their needs, not just your child.

#26
GnT8:54 pm, 28 May 12

In order for a school to be accredited as a “SunSmart” school, they have to have a policy like No Hat No Play for all months except June and July. Since the school holidays fall in July, this includes all but 6 weeks of the school year. Many schools choose to keep the policy year round for consistency.

#27
caf9:19 pm, 28 May 12

cranky said :

How the hell did we baby boomers make it to 60+? Can’t remember ever being issued with a hat!

When you were kids your generation hadn’t yet had a chance to piss the ozone layer away with CFCs. Thanks for that.

Secondly, a number of you are now dying of melanoma.

cranky said :

I realise that sunlight CAN, on rare occassions, cause problems.

Two-thirds of Australians will get skin cancer; Melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia and kills more than a thousand people a year.

cranky said :

But this is just more of the Nanny state.

What a silly thing to say about a policy that applies to children when they are in the care of the state. A “Nanny” policy is entirely appropriate!

They’re not making adults wear hats, and they’re not making children wear hats when they’re in the care of their parents.

#28
screaming banshee9:23 pm, 28 May 12

cranky said :

How the hell ….

I see your point cranky, no one in their sixties now has had any form of skin cancer in the last 20 years.

#29
el9:40 pm, 28 May 12

“Mindless parent forgets to pack hat in school bag and it’s everyone else’s fault.”

Fixed That For You.

(You’re welcome).

#30
wildturkeycanoe5:21 am, 29 May 12

By your logic I think I should be allowed to do 80km/h in a school zone when there aren’t any kids around. I should also have the option to NOT wear a hard hat on a construction site when under a concrete slab because nothing can fall onto me there.
I have actually got a mild sunburn recently on a cold winter’s morning watching my kid play sport, before lunchtime. It was only an hour or so, but I used my “common sense” so had nobody else to blame but myself.

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