If your kids’ favorite author was going to be speaking at their school, would you want them to undergo background checks to make sure they’re not a pedophile?
Authors across Britain have gotten their knickers in a twist thanks to a new ruling that requires they all register with a national database and submit to background checks before they can make the rounds to peddle their books and read to the kids.
According to the AP, there’s a $104 fee involved – which will fall on the authors. But that’s not why dozens of authors have opted out of visiting schools.
As far as they’re concerned, folks like Anne Fine, a former children’s laureate and author of the children’s book turned into a Hollywood film starring Robin Williams a few years back (as in, a woman who has enough money to cover the fee), think they’re so far above reproach that they shouldn’t have to prove themselves safe to interact with kids.
Said author Anthony Horowitz, “After 30 years writing books, visiting schools, hospitals, prisons, spreading an enthusiasm for culture and literacy, I find this incredibly insulting.”
Wow. Talk about your God complex.
I’d be willing to agree that the authors shouldn’t have to pay for this themselves. I’m even willing to say we’re a little over-the-top with our constant fears that EVERYONE out there is a pedophile. But this new law, set to go into effect in October, comes on the heels of the murders of two children by a sexual deviant who was visiting their schools.
Michael Morpurgo, another former children’s laureate, says the government should be warning kids not to get into stranger’s cars instead of going after authors, but with a precedent for danger INSIDE the school building, it sounds like it’s time to go beyond warnings about strangers in unmarked vans offering candy.
And the funny thing about pedophilia is you never know WHO it’s going to be next. Take a recent revelation that the greatest portion of child porn is being made by the children’s parents. Or the allegations against well-respected child psychologist Dr. William Ayres, who is currently on trial for molestation of six of his patients.
So how about the authors get off their high horse here and do a little something for their fans? You know, the kids who BUY their books?
Or is there something they have to hide?
Image: World Mag