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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 726
Light-hearted post in some ways but a bit of a societal indictment (or indictment on me maybe) in other ways...

THis morning I was driving home from taking ds to school when I saw 3 girls in dd's school uniform walking to school. THey were approximately 3 miles from school and had obviously missed the bus. They looked like year 7s and were all together and were not distressed. In fact they looked quite relaxed about it all. But they were clearly going to be over an hour late for school since this was already after school had started. After I'd driven past and noticed them I pulled up to think about what I could do.

I have drilled into my children that they are never every to get into a car with anyone they don't know (as has every other parent in the land) so although I look harmless and nice :wink: I was pretty sure that they wouldn't agree to a lift with me. I thought I could ring the school, letting them know whose parent I am and what I was doing and then let them speak to the girls... But then I thought the school probably would not want to authorise them getting into a car with me (even knowing that I am safe and who I am and that I am driving them straight there) in case I had an accident and one of them was injured. The parents then might be very angry with school (and me).

So I did nothing. I drove home and sat there feeling guilty. Would one of you have been braver?!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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I have an ID badge so would have stopped and offered a lift. I have given lifts to pupils at DS's school [when he was there] when they'd missed the bus - they did usually tell their parents first and I spoke to the parents too.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:43 am
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I think you did the right thing!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
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Think no harm in doing nothing in this instance. Clearly the girls were relaxed about it all. Maybe when they are late for school the consequence will make them think twice about being late for the bus again!

Different of course if distressed, or, even worse, trying to thumb a lift! But otherwise, get up earlier, lesson learnt if they are not rescued!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:41 pm
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loobylou - I would have been exactly like you. I wish it wasn't that way though, and that such a kind, helpful gesture could be made without all of the safeguarding issues it raises.

If any of the children had been in distress I would have spoken to them though.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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If there had been any indication of distress, as others have said, I would have pulled over and spoken to them and offered to help.

But they have to learn not to miss the bus! It won't hurt them to be late and get told off and if they were relaxed it especially won't hurt them. Tomorrow they need to get up five minutes earlier.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:45 pm
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I agree with everyone else, you did the right thing given that the girls seemed perfectly fine and relaxed. It is sad, though, that we have to stop and think before we attempt to help a child, in case the gesture may be mis-interpreted... :( If I didn't know the girls at all, I would be worried that the girls' parents may take an issue with me for offering them a lift. If I thought there was a chance that they might recognise my face from school, I would stop and ask whether they were ok; and if they seemed distressed, I would have stopped and spoken to them whether I thought they would recognise me or not.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Absolutely, if a child is obviously distressed stopping and asking if they are alright - in as none threatening a way as possible, is sensible - telling them that you will call someone to help them if they would prefer. A while ago, some poor soul got lost on the way back up from the sports field to school - they didn't know me but were obviously terribly upset - I calmed them down, telling them whose mother I was, and naming the teachers they would have just had sports with, the head, the office staff, so they were clear I did know the school. I then took the boy up to the school and had a nice message from his parents thanking me for intervening. I have given lifts, with my boys in the car, to the odd boy going down to the far training pitches, as they are a really long way from school - sometimes these are direct friends of my boys, other times they are from the year below. It's a balance, but I think we are in danger of almost labelling ourselves "threats" or "paedophiles" if we don't act in a way that is completely natural to us.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Much harder if you are a man, very sadly. My OH some years ago wrestled for about a second with the dilemma of lifting a very distressed small girl from the top of a climbing frame - no parent handy and she was about to fall. He did so, no problem and the mother was really grateful. A gay friend of mine has a very sad story about himself and his partner trying to assist a lost child in a town centre - passers-by making all kinds of assumptions which they both found very upsetting and which left the poor child even more distressed.

Still think in this case that the girls were just fine without intervention though.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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Knowing me I would have been way past them before I clicked that they had missed the bus. Head in the clouds as usual. So certainly not going to pass judgement :wink:

I have to say though the stuff about safety and asking them for a lift wouldn't have occurred to me. I generally like children so would find it impossible not to be friendly and approachable in most circumstances. Then again I wouldn't have naturally assumed they were late for the bus, my initial opinion was that maybe it hadn't turned up or it went early so my inclination would be to offer a lift. Whether they accepted would be down to the advice they had been given and their choice. Looking at it this way, if all the genuine people stop intervening our DC will be left at the mercy of the unscrupulous and that is worrying.


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