To disagree with swimming teacher over girls having top half on show

(138 Posts)
Charlottehere Fri 16-Aug-13 19:00:56

I don't think I am. Dd, age 4 has just had her weekly swimming lesson. I couldn't find her swimming costume so put her 8 year old sister's on her. The costume was obviously big and hung down on her so one nipple was exposed. Shock.

While dd was in her lesson, a member of the admin staff called me into the office. I was told that female swimming teacher was worried that the male teacher would be embarrassed and it wasn't fair that dd swimming costume was too big and could I make sure she had one that fit next time.

I told him I thought that was ridiculous and have no issue with a 4 year old being uncovered at a swimming pool.

What do you think?

Emilythornesbff Mon 19-Aug-13 19:49:05

I disagree ilovemyself and I would be very surprised if their safeguarding policiy state that a 4 yo girl should have her nipples covered.
In fact, I can be pretty certain that it says no such thing.

Ilovemyself Mon 19-Aug-13 19:06:18

Emilythornesbff. You cannot say that asking the girl to cover up will not protect the people at the pool. By asking to cover up they are ensuring that no adult can complain that nothing was done to cover up the child in question and they are also ensuring that no one can suggest any impropriety on the part of the staff. Just because they are in full view it doesn't mean some one will make an allegation - no matter how small or spurious.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 19-Aug-13 17:40:58

"And before you kick off," LOL

Most schools will find away around the issue, I have taken multiple pictures with and without children so that the school has a nice photo for the website, letter and pupils have a record of fun times with mates.

Any school policy is based on risk, this is why when we have its time for the nativity there is always a "why can't I take pictures of my children" thread

jacks365 Mon 19-Aug-13 16:44:48

Boffin that link is solely about data protection and nothing to do with safe guarding vulnerable children.

BoffinMum Mon 19-Aug-13 16:36:33

BoneyBack, schools usually ask people not to post pictures of other people's children up on the internet in such situations. That's more rational and sensible than completely depriving looked after children and their classmates of recording their social histories with a photo, on the off-chance someone's ex partner will decide to break the law.

(And before you kick off, I have worked with looked after children, children involved in custody disputes, domestic abuse cases, etc).

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has provided guidance on photography in schools, if anyone is interested.

ICO guidance

Gonnabmummy Mon 19-Aug-13 14:15:54

Yanbu
At this age there is no difference between girl and boy chests. It won't have been that long ago she was just in a nappy in the pool.
As for people comparing it to boys with no pants that is nothing like it.

I understand safeguarding rules are strict and people may be scared of being accused but its certain situations this may or may not happen. A little girl in the pool doesn't pose a threat IMO.
He hasn't exposed the child or taken her to the loo/out of sight. Where someone may feel worried.
OP I can understand how you feel I would feel the exact same. I would just breathe and remember it was a one off dd being in that and next time it'll be fine, even if nothing was wrong!

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 19-Aug-13 14:00:45

The intervention ICEBERG is more relevant since the social media came in to play, your picture of mini iceberg on facebook could be avaiulable to everyone and anyone.

Its all about calculated risks, would you want someone to be able to take pictures of mini iceberg if there was a chance that an ex partner could kidnap him/her?

Do you know how many LAC are in your children's school?
Or parents in refuges?
Or children that in foster homes?
Or children that are in care homes?
Or have a parent with a restraining order on them?

ICBINEG Mon 19-Aug-13 13:29:13

Why don't people care if interventions and rules are actually effective?

People care more about being seen to be 'helping' than if they are actually 'helping' at all confused

ICBINEG Mon 19-Aug-13 13:26:04

boney err right...whatever. You don't think that people taking photos at home or birthday parties or in towns equally put these children at risk?

I would imagine that since these 'rules' came in there will be less and less school sports day pictures online...but not zero. So if your at risk child does get snapped they will be far far easier to find than before. Or in other words unless you can eliminate the risk of a random photo being taken, you may as well let everyone get on with it and leave the bad guys with billions of pictures to search through.

Of course if you have some evidence that the number of instances of children being found in this way has actually been reduced by this policy then post a link and I will take it all back.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 19-Aug-13 13:18:34

ICBINEG
I can only hope then that you are never in a situation where a child maybe put at risk through the actions of people that "know better" than those that are safeguarding children.

Emilythornesbff Mon 19-Aug-13 13:07:29

I have read nowhere that the OP wishes her dd to continue wearing an ill fitting swimsuit. I assume the correct size will be found / bought before the next lesson.
I doubt the child was embarrassed. But the op might well have been and if someone had suggested to the parent of a 4 yo that I would be embarrassed to see her nipples I would have been livid that they had made such a ridiculous and potentially inflammatory suggestion.

Ilovegeorgeclooney Mon 19-Aug-13 13:03:25

All the staff did was ask the OP to make sure her child was in correctly fitting clothes next time. If the child was embarrassed it would only be because she was trying to swim in a costume that was too big.

Emilythornesbff Mon 19-Aug-13 13:02:59

Children need to be protected from (alarmingly common) abuse and ts should be protected from (extraordinarily rare) false "accusations"
The scenario described in the op does neither.

Emilythornesbff Mon 19-Aug-13 13:00:42

No.
This is not being careful. It is misguided.
Ppl who make this kind of suggestion have no understanding of the issues they claim to care about and require appropriate training.

They caused embarrassment by stating that the male teacher might be embarrassed by a small child's naked chest.
Saying that suggests he has some reason to be embarrassed.

If it was a 15y o girl, or a 20 yo woman then he is likely to be embarrassed (or whatever) because it is potentially arousing and embarrassing for a man to be "exposed to" a young woman's breasts.
It is not reasonable to suggest that the same is similar for a man "exposed to" the torso of a four year old.
Only a man who you would not want to be teaching your daughter to swim would be embarrassed. He did not say he was embarrassed. Someone else took it upon themselves to make an inappropriate comment. About him.

Ilovemyself Mon 19-Aug-13 12:50:52

How did the staff cause the embarrassment. Thy are covering their arses. In my experience of working with children you have to cover your arse in this sort of situation because there is a risk, no mater who small, that someone will cause you trouble with allegations that are not correct.

I know you are right with the fear is more than it actually happening, but do you want to take the risk? I don't so I am
Doubly careful.

Emilythornesbff Mon 19-Aug-13 12:45:45

But they are suggesting a 4 yr old's nipple is the same/ similar to a breast. Otherwise they wouldn't be making insane comments about embarrassment.
Who on earth would be embarrassed by a 4 yo girl's nipple?
The staff created the embarrassment and awkwardness.

Ilovemyself Mon 19-Aug-13 12:38:23

Thefantasticfixit. No one is saying that a nipple and a breast are the same thing. What is being said, and is true, is that if you work with or have contact with children you cover your arse to make sure NO scurrilous accusation can be made against you.

SunnyIntervals Mon 19-Aug-13 12:34:41

They are stupid and you were fine.

SunnyIntervals Mon 19-Aug-13 12:34:24

Stupid!

ICBINEG Mon 19-Aug-13 12:32:53

Boney that is exactly the ridiculous sort of response we are talking about.

If I knew children like this I would think exactly what I think now. That we should protect them in ways that actually work. I don't see how banning photos at schools does this. Hence my problem with it.

TheFantasticFixit Mon 19-Aug-13 12:17:03

What the actual fuck?

They are suggesting that a nipple on a 4 year old is the same as a breast.

That in so unbelievably inappropriate. There is nothing inappropriate about what your daughter was wearing, other than for her own comfort.

I would kick up an obscene fuss about their comment which sexualises my child if I were you.

JohFlow Mon 19-Aug-13 12:13:28

I thought all swimming teachers would have a clearly defined attitude to how do deal with moments of semi-exposure. After all; the children are minimally clothed as routine and costumes do shift around during movment . Surely embarrassment would only come once children's bodies start developing. At 4 - I would say that what was said is ridiculous. How awkward for you.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 19-Aug-13 12:02:07

ICBINEG

"The photos at sports days thing might also be ridiculous"

If you new some of the Looked After Children that I do you wouldn't think it ridiculous

ICBINEG Mon 19-Aug-13 09:53:12

Boffin If I had gold stars to hand out you would have them all!

Absolutely 100% correct.

You also inadvertently highlighted another evil of all of this...that it gets used as a scape goat for things that either don't have a reason or have a different reason, and thus respect is lost for the whole idea.

The photos at sports days thing might also be ridiculous (I understand the reason and believe that it is a worth REASON, just not a worthy response). People will take photos of their kids playing with friends, at birthdays etc. So does it really make a difference to only prevent people taking photos as sports days?

Emilythornesbff Sun 18-Aug-13 22:41:06

And honestly, I am not one to mock H&S or safeguarding measures.

I just think we need to be looking in the right direction to keep children safe, rather than getting caught up with red herrings.

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