A school in the UK has banned teachers from blowing a whistle because it is “too aggressive” and might scare the children.
Teachers have been told stop blowing the whistle and start to raise a hand in the air to let youngsters know their break time is over, reports The Mirror.
Teaching assistant Pamela Cunningham, who revealed the ban in a letter to Country Life magazine, said: “It’s thought some children may be afraid of the noise.
“We now have to raise a hand and hope the children – all 120 of them – see it and stop playing.”
She said staff at St Monica’s Catholic Primary in Milton Keynes, Bucks, are worried a hand signal may not be enough in emergencies.
Professor Alan Smithers, of Buckingham University, said: “We have become over-sensitive. Sharp noises are very good signals. What about football and hockey referees and fire alarms?”
Child psychologist Emma Kenny said: “If a child is taught the signal, there’s no reason to fear it. We need to let them know they shouldn’t be afraid of loud noises.
“Show me a playground where children are cowering in the corner. We forget how resilient they are. I think we are at a time where health and safety is fundamentally eradicating childhood.
“From my many years of experience with children and working with primary schools, I am yet to find a child who is scared of a whistle.”
“It is ridiculous. I am completely behind the teacher in what she has said.
“But what about things like the Olympics where they use starter guns and things like that.”
My first thought was that’s crazy! But then I began to wonder does anyone even use a whistle anymore? Most schools these days have a bell that chimes at break times. Don’t they?
Dr Justin Coulson, one of Australia’s leading parenting experts, had similar thoughts it seems. He told Tracy at Mouths of Mums, “It seems strange to me that the school doesn’t have a normal bell like most schools. Certainly, the sound of a whistle can be alarming. I’d imagine that someone who had experienced extreme trauma – perhaps as a refugee or a victim of war – might find anything like that frightening. If a child is genuinely distressed about a whistle or bell, then we certainly should be mindful of that, and help them to overcome the issue with professional help.
But… under typical circumstances this is simply absurd. Allowance should be made for those with legitimate challenges. Other than that, it seems ridiculous. “
Share your comments below.