To not want my daughter looking at image of concentration camps

(268 Posts)
Coffeeessential Wed 02-Oct-13 11:33:19

My daughter has just started Yr 5, and is studying World War 2 this year. She was already having difficulty coping with the subject as she is so sensitive, but I saw nothing wrong with her being given the basic facts as long as there was not too much detail - She's only nine after all.
When she came home very quiet yesterday afternoon, she told me that the class had been looking at online images of 'Jews in concentration camps', and I am furious. While I understand that we cannot protect children from the world forever, surely nine is too young to even begin comprehending such terrible images?
I would appreciate other people's opinions, before I go crashing into the Headmaster's office!

buildingmycorestrength Wed 02-Oct-13 11:35:05

I have no answers. sad. My dd (7) is likewise incredibly sensitive and emotional, and will struggle with reality enough without such images. sad

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Wed 02-Oct-13 11:35:35

I wouldn't have an issue with it. They are 9, plenty old enough.

Why is your DD so sensitive? Does she have any additional needs?

SillyTilly123 Wed 02-Oct-13 11:36:40

I know The Wars need to be learned about but I agree that I think its too young. My dd1 learnt about ww2 last year in year 4 and fretted about the whole thing so much. I remember learning about it at that age, but not in such graphic detail.
Not sure there is anything you can do though if its the curriculum. sad

CocacolaMum Wed 02-Oct-13 11:38:20

hmm I kind of agree to be honest. While I do think it is an important part of history which should be taught and I am not an advocate of wrapping kids in cotton wool, I am not sure that primary school children can really begin to comprehend what those images mean and the suffering behind them, but then can any of us really?

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Wed 02-Oct-13 11:39:04

I agree Y5 is too young. I remember doing it later in secondary and having colleagues who fainted.
You can do the concentration camps at 9 without showing any images which honestly are difficult to see even for some adult.

FreckledLeopard Wed 02-Oct-13 11:39:14

I'm afraid I'm of the school of thought that it's a luxury of the Western world to be 'too sensitive' to images, given the atrocities and horror that many children the world over are living, day in, day out. Be thankful your DD is not in Syria, or North Korea. I believe we have a duty to educate our children of the horrors in the world and that Yr 5 is certainly not too young to begin that education.

MollyHooper Wed 02-Oct-13 11:39:38

At what age do you think those images become less shocking and upsetting?

gamerchick Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:06

I'm a bit torn on this one. These things have to be learned.. those who forget the past are doomed to repeat the basted type of thing.

I don't think I would have put a stop to it.. young minds imprint better than when older.

I was more annoyed that our schools have stopped teaching in ww2.

SillyTilly123 Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:11

Chipping, I think some people have different thresholds. Even now as a 31 year old I avoid any war movies (saving private ryan, schindlers list etc) because It upsets me. I also remember having to watch a video on fox hunting in yr 7/8 and closing my eyes all the way through because I cannot watch stuff like that (even nature programmes upset me). It doesnt mean I have special needs!

Coffeeessential Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:34

As far as I know World War 2 IS part of the curriculum and I know kids have to learn about it, but I don't think asking them to search Google images for actual photos was necessary....

Tattiesthroughthebree Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:46

My daughter was in floods of tears at school when they did the concentration camps. I think she was 10.

Chipping, are you seriously suggesting that only a child with "additional needs" would find the idea of genocide distressing?

comingalongnicely Wed 02-Oct-13 11:41:03

"Furious" might be a bit much, OK if you're unhappy then have a discussion with the Teacher or Head. I wouldn't go in all guns blazing though.

I assume the images were of people behind the wire & not of corpses being bulldozed into holes? If so, then not what I'd personally class as inappropriate.

CocacolaMum Wed 02-Oct-13 11:41:52

I don't really understand the logic behind the thinking that just because some children are made to suffer, other children should be exposed to images of it.

I do believe the world should be fairer but I don't see how upsetting or scaring 9 year olds is going to make that happen?

Coffeeessential Wed 02-Oct-13 11:42:57

No, they really were corpses in holes....

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Wed 02-Oct-13 11:43:19

Actually thinking more about it, children are not allowed in Pompeii and in the killing field museum in Cambodia. Are they allowed so young to visit the concentrations camps and museum?
If not why the teacher thought that was an appropriate picture to show?

If you have sensitive child, they are going to be sensitive in yr 5, yr 6 yr 7 etc

Unfortunately some horrific things have happened in the world, and continue to do so and it is important for them to learn about it, and young enough to have it make a difference in how they think about their lives and how they act towards others. There is never going to be a right time fir this kind if sight but you can't keep them sheltered forever. If they are with adults they trust it's better than stumbling on it in the library or the tv alone.

MollyHooper Wed 02-Oct-13 11:46:05

I don't think the point here was to upset and scare children.

It's relevant if they are being taught about WW2.

The images of mass graves are upsetting at any age.

LifeofPo Wed 02-Oct-13 11:46:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

livinginwonderland Wed 02-Oct-13 11:47:01

I think those pictures will be upsetting to anyone, regardless of how old they are when they see them for the first time. We did WWI properly when I was in year 9 and I remember people getting upset then, and one girl did cry.

I think 9 is a good age to be discussing it and learning about what happened, but the really graphic photos should be left until secondary school when the kids are more mature and able to fully comprehend it.

squoosh Wed 02-Oct-13 11:48:40

No you can't keep them sheltered forever but that doesn't mean a young child should necessarily be exposed to the more shocking images of the concentration camp victims as their introduction to the subject.

MummyofIsla Wed 02-Oct-13 11:49:17

Children are allowed in Pompeii, I was there not so long ago.

I don't personally think 9 is too young to learn about the reality of the world we live in and would be horrified if children were taught a desensitised version of history BUT I don't see the necessity for graphic images.

steppemum Wed 02-Oct-13 11:49:23

when I clicked, I thought that you were going to say your child was secondary age.

Yes I am surprised they watched the videos in year 5, I think that is too young. ds is pretty interested in these things and asks lots of questions and I am happy to talk to him about it all (we had along discussion this summer about how WW2 started) he is year 6. He is really able to cope with quite strong images, but I really wouldn't want him seeing pictures at this point.

Save it for secondary. Where I do actually think it was important for our kids to see them.

poshfrock Wed 02-Oct-13 11:52:17

Next week my daughter's school is having 1940's day and the children have to go in costume. She is going as a German Jewish child complete with yellow star on her coat - my grandparents lost family in Auschwitz and we don't hide the fact. We are proud of our family history and we don't pull any punches about what happened. She is 9 and in Y5.
Incidentally originally she wanted to wear striped PJ's and go as a concentration camp victim but we decided against it ( too cold). I think we mollycoddle our kids too much.

FairyJen Wed 02-Oct-13 11:52:18

Children younger than 9 lived through the concentration camps. The people in those pits were their families!

Suck it up. It's important and it needs to be learnt. It's should distress it was horrific

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