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Mindless educators and No Hat No Play

By longshanks 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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Mindless educators and No Hat No Play
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birder 1:15 pm 07 Jun 12

Thought I’d add a bit of research (closely, but not directly, related) to the mix:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/slathering-on-sunscreen-early-and-often/

Merle 4:58 pm 30 May 12

For everyone freaking out about Vitamin D deficiency – it’s not as though the child leaves school and is immediately whisked away into a pitch black dungeon (I assume). If you want your kid to get more sun, let them play outside after school. They’ll probably get less UV then anyway.

Watson 2:10 pm 30 May 12

Couldn’t be bothered reading all the comments, but I agree it is overkill. I am perfectly ok with my child not wearing a hat this time of the year.

However, I am quite thrilled about their way of enforcing the rule. It is very rare for schools (and most people here too it seems) to put some responsibility on the kids for these sort of things. Normally they will just complain to the parents. I do not pack my child’s hat. If she doesn’t do it, she can stay inside if that is the rule. I don’t particularly care very much if the rule isn’t fair or common sense. There are quite a few other school rules that I find way more annoying and that are not dependent on the child remembering to pack stuff in their bag.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:56 pm 30 May 12

No hat no play is a good rule. Not only does it protect our kids from sunburn and the associated health issues, but it’s a simple rule with a clear (but minor) consequence that motivates kids to take some responsibility for themselves.

Rollersk8r 1:51 pm 30 May 12

longshanks said :

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.

Common sense in this case being the teacher lets 1 kid play without a hat – and all other kids immediately realise the policy no longer applies….

gourmetmumma 1:01 pm 30 May 12

cranky said :

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.

I am a cancer care nurse and I urge you to come & visit any of the Oncology clinics around our country and you’ll quickly realise many ‘baby boomers’ are only just scraping through their 60’s receiving copious amounts of chemotherapy for their UV/sun exposure related cancers.
My kids school, as nearly every other school in Australia has a no hat no play policy…it’s not my job to make sure they remember their hat, but it’s only taken a couple of days of them sitting on the sidelines watching their friends play while they have no hat, to remember to take it every day.
I’m sure if your child came home with sunburn or skin damage from sun exposure you would again be on your high horse saying the school didn’t take enough responsibility.

Sgt.Bungers 10:19 am 30 May 12

Be careful how you address this with your child.

It’s pretty obivious that you disagree with the no hat no play rule being in force in May, as would I. However if the rule is well published and the kids know about it, then they are required to obey it. Telling your child that the rule is silly and he or she shouldn’t have been punished, will indicate to the child that it’s OK to break some rules rules and disrespect the authority who enforces those rules. In a few years you may catch him or her being arrested for spray painting “I HATE CANBERRA” somewhere on Northbourne whilst screaming abuse at a police officer.

Consider telling your child that while they must always question then man, doing it the wrong way by simply breaking the rules will always result in a consequence. Doing it the right way via research into the topic, followed by tactical protest to have the rules changed, will see them turn into a powerful leader and revered member of society.

Overheard 8:43 am 30 May 12

Special G said :

If you don’t like the amount of sun the kids are getting during recess tale your child and let them play outside after 3pm for the next 2 hours without a hat. Your call.

What, and rob them of all that precious gaming time? What are you, some sort of communist?

Overheard 8:43 am 30 May 12

crackerpants said :

Gosh you lot are a grumpy bunch of stick-in-the-muds. As people who comply with 100% of the rules 100% of the time, no lapses, you would fall off you chairs if you knew the sort of things I forget. I guess I’m one of *those* parents. You know. Thing. Mindless. Comparing forgetting a hat with drink-driving? Cripes.

I’m in the incredibly fortunate position whereby my kids’ daycare centre recognises that not all parents are RiotAct posters with superhuman remembering abilities, and that sometimes we’re a little rushed, flustered, stressed and disorganised. Should a child not have a hat (possibly due to hat 1 being buried in the sandpit for the last week, hat 2 being in the other car which is in for a service, and hat 3 being totally MIA – it happens), they just bung a spare hat on the child’s head. Win-win – child not punished for parent’s grievous lapse, parent smacks own forehead in guilt and realisation when they see their child in non-regulation Dorothy the Dinosaur hat and remembers to pack one the next day. They also apply the first lot of sunscreen if the parent has forgotten this also.

I support sunsmart policies, and yes, I suppose we need to enforce the rules as much as possible. But there does need to be reasonable interpretation, and our daycare is hats off (to be substituted with beanie/hood) for June and July.

So the daycare centre keeps a few spare hats. Huzzah. Win.

Unclench!

crackerpants 7:51 am 30 May 12

Gosh you lot are a grumpy bunch of stick-in-the-muds. As people who comply with 100% of the rules 100% of the time, no lapses, you would fall off you chairs if you knew the sort of things I forget. I guess I’m one of *those* parents. You know. Thing. Mindless. Comparing forgetting a hat with drink-driving? Cripes.

I’m in the incredibly fortunate position whereby my kids’ daycare centre recognises that not all parents are RiotAct posters with superhuman remembering abilities, and that sometimes we’re a little rushed, flustered, stressed and disorganised. Should a child not have a hat (possibly due to hat 1 being buried in the sandpit for the last week, hat 2 being in the other car which is in for a service, and hat 3 being totally MIA – it happens), they just bung a spare hat on the child’s head. Win-win – child not punished for parent’s grievous lapse, parent smacks own forehead in guilt and realisation when they see their child in non-regulation Dorothy the Dinosaur hat and remembers to pack one the next day. They also apply the first lot of sunscreen if the parent has forgotten this also.

I support sunsmart policies, and yes, I suppose we need to enforce the rules as much as possible. But there does need to be reasonable interpretation, and our daycare is hats off (to be substituted with beanie/hood) for June and July.

Special G 7:06 am 30 May 12

If you don’t like the amount of sun the kids are getting during recess tale your child and let them play outside after 3pm for the next 2 hours without a hat. Your call.

poetix 10:32 pm 29 May 12

HenryBG said :

I-filed said :

Hats all year is the go. Ask any woman who spent her youth as a beach babe in Australia and then moved to Europe – they are invariably thought to be 10 or 15 years older than their real age …

The bizarre practice of roasting yourself for hours on end, day after day, resulting in thick leathery skin is not the issue here.

The issue here is that at our latitude and at this time of year, the sun is low all day, providing little UV, which we need for health reasons.

Children spend all day indoors and have two short breaks outside, during which they should be getting some sun on their skins.

The consequences of not enough sun due to the over-zealous sunsmart cover-up Taliban includes the rickets/bones issues mentioned above, plus,

Multiple sclerosis
Type 1 diabetes
High blood pressure
Tuberculosis
Schizophrenia
Depression

My God, I think it’s happened!
What’s that me dahlin?
I agree with Henry Higgins!
That’d be Enery BG, me love. And are you sure as what e’s researched heverything?
But it’s happened! It’s happened! I could post all night!
‘ats off then me love. All them ‘ats hoff.

KeenGolfer 10:15 pm 29 May 12

Peak UV time at the moment is between 11.40 – 12.00 and at 10.30 am they’re still getting 90% of the peak UV for that day. Sensitive young skin can and does burn easily, it’s also teaching them (hopefully) life long sun safe habits.

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