Blind seven year old girl refused walking cane at school.

Bat Vader

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http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Health-safety-gone-mad-Blind-Bristol-girl-banned/story-28185529-detail/story.html

It seem a seven year old Bristol girl named Lily-Grace Hooper isn't allowed to use a walking cane at school. The reasoning? Because it could potentially trip a teacher or classmate. Instead she is to have 100% help at all times.

Being an American I don't really know if Health and Safety is a school or government organization in the UK. From reading the story though I can guess the people that made this decision are a bunch of overpaid idiots.

What do my fellow Escapists think of this article?
 

aba1

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Mar 18, 2010
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I suppose they could trip over the stick but wouldn't the more obvious solution be to have teachers actually pay attention to where they are walking. They are surrounded by children to begin with if they are worried about tripping over a walking stick I don't even want to know the amount of poor children who have been plowed over.
 

Lightspeaker

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Bat Vader said:
Being an American I don't really know if Health and Safety is a school or government organization in the UK.
Health and safety assessment is usually an internal thing for big organisations (my University had a department specifically for it) which is usually periodically inspected externally. Because this is smaller and a school the article says they got a person from "Sensory Support Service" to do it; which a quick google search leads me to believe is a Quango related to the Health and Safety Executive.

So...sort of both.
 

Thaluikhain

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Huh...google says this is a real story, not something made up by the usual suspects.

Though:
Head teacher Jo Dent said: "The pupil has not been banned from bringing in their cane, we have simply asked them to not use it around school as a temporary measure until we have the chance to meet with the parent and discuss the situation.
Now, this is still obviously a terrible idea, just not quite as terrible as it might seem. The hell were they thinking?
 

pookie101

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thaluikhain said:
Huh...google says this is a real story, not something made up by the usual suspects.

Though:
Head teacher Jo Dent said: "The pupil has not been banned from bringing in their cane, we have simply asked them to not use it around school as a temporary measure until we have the chance to meet with the parent and discuss the situation.
Now, this is still obviously a terrible idea, just not quite as terrible as it might seem. The hell were they thinking?
what actually makes it worse is that this is the first blind person the school has ever had as a student which is dumbfounding unless its a brand new school
 

Albino Boo

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Bat Vader said:
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Health-safety-gone-mad-Blind-Bristol-girl-banned/story-28185529-detail/story.html

It seem a seven year old Bristol girl named Lily-Grace Hooper isn't allowed to use a walking cane at school. The reasoning? Because it could potentially trip a teacher or classmate. Instead she is to have 100% help at all times.

Being an American I don't really know if Health and Safety is a school or government organization in the UK. From reading the story though I can guess the people that made this decision are a bunch of overpaid idiots.

What do my fellow Escapists think of this article?
The Health and Safety executive is a statutory body setup to ensure compliance with legislation in regards to health and saftey in the workplace and public spaces. The NTSB in the is similar sort of body in the US, but in charge of overseeing transport saftey.

The law states that the school has to have a risk assessment carried out by a qualified person. In the opinion of that person the cane is trip hazard then the school has no choice but to ban it. If any teacher or pupil trips and falls the school could not defend any personal injury claim and also risks further legal action by the Health and Safety Executive for failing to comply with the law. The real issue is not the decision but the way the law is written that does not allow for leeway or judgment dependant on circumstances


pookie101 said:
what actually makes it worse is that this is the first blind person the school has ever had as a student which is dumbfounding unless its a brand new school
Until the last 20 years or so people with disabilities were educated in separate schools. The trend now is educate as far possible in mainstream schools.
 

CrazyGirl17

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Sep 11, 2009
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...Seriously? I get their concerns, but this seems needlessly dickish. Maybe they could get her a seeing eye dog instead? Would that help?
 

Scarim Coral

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Not suprising really as I had read several stories when health and safety no longer apply logic and sensibility (like one time I read they no longer want kid riding donkey in this race and instead put ballon lambs in the kids place).
Still come on! Anyone that doesn't paid attention to their surrounding knowing they have a blind girl in their area are stupid!
 

Albino Boo

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Scarim Coral said:
Mot suprising really as I had read several stories when health and safety no longer apply logic and sensibility (like one time I read they no longer want kid riding donkey in this race and instead put ballon lambs in the kids place).
Still come on! Anyone that doesn't paid attention to their surrounding knowing they have a blind girl in their area are stupid!
The problem is that you can make the same argument about a length of steel pipe, a low roof truss or an open lift shaft. Also 5 to 7 year old children are not renowned for awareness of trip hazards.
 

sageoftruth

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I'm more curious about the nefarious walking-stick teacher-tripper who caused this rule to be passed in the first place.
 

Treeberry

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Jeopardy Surface said:
If that little girl impales the administration on her cane, there won't be a jury that would convict her.
Runaway Jury where the gun company is a manufacturer of disability aids?
 

Jack Action

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albino boo said:
Scarim Coral said:
Mot suprising really as I had read several stories when health and safety no longer apply logic and sensibility (like one time I read they no longer want kid riding donkey in this race and instead put ballon lambs in the kids place).
Still come on! Anyone that doesn't paid attention to their surrounding knowing they have a blind girl in their area are stupid!
The problem is that you can make the same argument about a length of steel pipe, a low roof truss or an open lift shaft. Also 5 to 7 year old children are not renowned for awareness of trip hazards.
Falling down a lift shaft or on a length of steel pipe will definitely cause a lot of physical damage. Tripping, as a general rule, doesn't. If it did, 95% of us would have died before we hit puberty.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Jeopardy Surface said:
If that little girl impales the administration on her cane, there won't be a jury that would convict her.
Wouldn't then the prosecution (I think French courts are Inquisitorial, but whatever) argue that the child was violent and had a habit of hitting people, as evidenced by transforming a purposely blunt object into a stake?

OT: Honestly ... I'm going to reserve judgment. This might have been a clusterfuck of PR. When a student at my high school (admittedly like ages ago) developed a disability due to a menningococcal outbreak prior the development of the new vaccine, and mandatory administering of said vaccine, there was a massive discussion about wheelchair accessibility and amputee-related programs of access.

There was a lot of back and forwards about simply how to cater for the student that was within the powers of the school and local infrastructure and government investment to implement. She didn't end up going back to school, mainly because the school wasn't considered the best place for her specifically because of OH&S ... OH&S is a minefield of redtape ... you break a rule for one student, then an incident occurs, then that parent of that child complains and so on ...

A lot of the times it's merely finding a way to rewrite clauses, or discuss alternate education procedures.
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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People trip over their own feet all the time, children, teenagers, adults, everyone. Seriously there is no valid excuse for denying a necessary disability aid for a blind student. If I were the parents I'd be suing the school. The school is lucky it's not in the USA because this would fly right in the face of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would result in the school having to comply and pay damages to the family. Just because they denied a necessary accommodation for a disabled student.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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Jack Action said:
albino boo said:
Scarim Coral said:
Mot suprising really as I had read several stories when health and safety no longer apply logic and sensibility (like one time I read they no longer want kid riding donkey in this race and instead put ballon lambs in the kids place).
Still come on! Anyone that doesn't paid attention to their surrounding knowing they have a blind girl in their area are stupid!
The problem is that you can make the same argument about a length of steel pipe, a low roof truss or an open lift shaft. Also 5 to 7 year old children are not renowned for awareness of trip hazards.
Falling down a lift shaft or on a length of steel pipe will definitely cause a lot of physical damage. Tripping, as a general rule, doesn't. If it did, 95% of us would have died before we hit puberty.
It's not the fall, but the how and where of hitting the deck. Flat surfaces are generally okay as long as you don't hit your head but classrooms will have tables, the corners of which are the worst things to hit, chairs, wall hooks or other children.

I agree there should be room for a common sense evaluation, and in this case risk is minimal compared to allowing the child to be independent and freeing up resources that may be needed elsewhere.
 

Basement Cat

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Jul 26, 2012
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Cue the introduction of a voice of sanity.

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Regulator-rubbishes-health-safety-claims-denied/story-28193039-detail/story.html

I figure public opinion, etc, will make short work of this nonsense.
 
Sep 13, 2009
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Oh my. Usually when I see these stories I look for the other side to see how it's not as crazy as it's portrayed. The other side makes it ever so slightly better, but man, it's not much in this situation.

It reminds me of how Home Owners Associations hate cancer victims:
- http://www.aol.com/article/2014/03/19/hoa-tells-cancer-survivor-to-remove-pink-ribbon-inside-home/20853012/
- http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/6/homeowners-association-does-about-face-denying-chi/
 

FalloutJack

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Nov 20, 2008
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You cannot refuse anyone something that they need for medical reasons, period.