[Ansteorra] Bad things

Kenneth Smith ulfarnfinnson at yahoo.com
Mon May 14 14:16:52 PDT 2007

First let me start off by saying  that what I am about to say is not meant to be a criticism in any way of individuals or to be taken as a personal attack.  I truly respect Ian and his thoughts and ideas.  I know that he is just wanting the best for our group and the SCA.  These are my opinions and might not be as others look at things.  But as a father to two wonderful young children I think I might have something to say about this.  I agree children are our most precious commodity but I do have issues when anyone individual or organization who comes in to tell me how to raise my children.  I know that it is not what is meant by some of your options but that is how I would take it.  Even if I disagree with another parent about how they are raising their children I would never interfere unless there was abuse of some kind because they are the parent.  That does not mean that I would not go to the parent to discuss any issues with their children I might have (especially if
 they child was in my camp and was breaking one of our camp rules) or would I have a problem with them coming to me if my children were doing something wrong, but how they dealt with their children would be up to them not me.  
   For example in your option one I am not even that strick with my son at home, the park or mundane camping.  My daughter being a little younger I do keep reigned in some but do for-see that she to will be more independent in the future.  But I do my best to teach them well that includes what is appropriate not.  I trust them they are great children, truly have been blessed.  I believe those who know them as well would say the same.  I know another families with three boys, two of them teens, almost all of the boys lives.  They are great boys and will be great men in the future and I would dare say kings at some point. To require my children to be by my or my wife's side at all time would take the family out of the SCA.  My children would not have any fun with their friends that they have made in the SCA, and it would limit what my wife and I could do.  My son is only 10 and he does not want to spend his entire day with us and I could not even think about parents who have
 teenagers.  I think this option would make many families including mine look for an alternative to the SCA if it is put into place.  Children must be allow to be children they learn independence by doing things away from their parents.  I know that some parents abuse this but at that point the parent needs to be dealt with on an individual basis not the punishing of all families to get the one who is causing problems.  Or as in this case punishing all the families of the SCA for one persons criminal act.  That person is the criminal not the children or parents.  Are some parents irresponsible of-course but deal with them individually do not punish us all.  
  On to your option two, I have been told by a few lawyers friends of mine that any good lawyer can blow a waiver out of the water.  I do not know about anything legal wise so as to comment on this any more would not be adding to it any because I am not a lawyer.    
  On to option three, I am not sure on this one.  I would like to have more clarification on it.  Dropping of where at a event? or MOC functions?  If at an event I thought that children could not be dropped off but must have a parent or guardian on site and they should be signed in and out at MOC functions.  I thought that was already required.    
  On to option four, the background check should not hurt anyone as long as it is being done responsibly and only looking for things that are relevant to the person involved and the office involved.  
  I guess my biggest problem is with option one.  I just have a problem with (No offense here) people who do not have children of their own telling me how to raise mine.  If my children are causing a problem then come to me and I will deal with it.  But do not punish the parents and the children for some sick individuals criminal act.  We did not commit the crime so why are we being punished.  It is unfortunate that this world is full of sick people and these type of crime will continue in or out of the SCA.  Punish the criminals not the masses.  
  Once again I will state this is my opinion and now one Else's.  I may not have put is gracefully and did not write this to offend anyone.  The biggest thing is lets not over react and start passing new laws that drive families like mine out of the SCA.  
  Ulf Arnfinnson CSS LXXIX
  Squire to Earl Daffydd Whitacer

Ian Dun Gillan <ian1550 at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
  Now that this thread has an opportunity to stop being personal conjecture 
and is now turning in a better direction I have something to say. Thank you 
to Don Robin for the redirect, and thank you to Burke and Ivo for following 
along with that.

Children are truly precious and we need to do everything we can to protect 
them, they are not only the future of the SCA but the future of the world. 
We here in Ansteorra are often leaders in innovations with in the SCA. We 
should start now to put into place some changes that would help protect the 
children and our organization. What ever is done should be accomplished is 
such a way to not hindering all that we do in the SCA. In my, non-parental , 
non-lawyer, opinion there are a few ways to be as safe as possible and still 
be able to include children and youth activities.

The first option would be to require parents to be physically present at any 
and all SCA activities involving their child. This also means that children 
of any age under 18 would have to be in the physical presence of their 
parent at all times. If the parents are present and involved in the same 
activity as their minor child then if something wrong does happen it would 
most likely not be the SCA who is at fault. .

The second option would be to change the waivers signed by each adult who 
brings a child with them waiving the SCA of any and all legal 
responsibilities to the safety and well being of this child and taking on 
themselves all such responsibilities.

The third option is to become very strict on the policy all ready in place 
that does not allow children or teens to be dropped off for any activity in 
any regard involving the SCA, if there is not a legal guarding present with 
a signed and notarized waiver. If a minor is left unattended at an event, 
meeting, or practice with out a parent or legal guardian then that minor 
should be remanded to the local authorities until the parent can be located 
to pick them up.

The fourth option is to require background checks of all individuals who 
work with minors (MOCs, Youth Marshals, Chirurgeons, etc.) Then to limit 
those adults who take place is children's and youth activities to people who 
have passed the required background check.

Please remember that this is only my opinion and does not reflect in any way 
the official opinion of the Crown, Kingdom or SCA. I know that these 
options seem rather harsh and that there would be some uncomfortable 
adjustments especially with teens, and parents who are used to allowing 
their child to run free...but what is needed for a child's safety is some 
absolutism in the creation and implementation of policies. What we are 
looking for here is the safety of the children and the continuation of the 
SCA brought forth in the best way possible.

Ian Dun Gillan
Baron of Northkeep 

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