Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shouldn't He Diddle a Kid First?

In this country, we're just getting around to dealing with the unintended consequences of overly broad sex offender registries (e.g.). But in the UK, they've taken the concept one step further, and want you to register (for a small fee, of course) as not being a sex offender before you set foot in a school. Author Philip Pullman has rightly said, no thanks (via NYT's Arts Beat):

Award-winning children's author Philip Pullman said on Thursday he would stop visiting schools in England because of an 'absurd' rule forcing him to register first with a government anti-pedophile database.

Pullman, writer of the 'Dark Materials' trilogy, said he was never alone with pupils and a teacher was always present.

'Why should I have to pay 64 pounds to a government agency to give me a certificate saying I am not a pedophile?,' Pullman, 62, told BBC radio. 'It's actually quite dispiriting and sinister.'
Other authors have backed Pullman up, I'm happy to say. More detailed reactions here.

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