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freewaydiva: (SCA)
(This is the text of a missive I posted to the "Inside the Cathedral" An Tir mailing list)

ETA: This is a public post. Feel free to link to it, and to send people here to read it. But also be courteous and ask commenters before posting their comments elsewhere. Thanks!

Hi All,

I've recently been a part of a few discussions regarding unattended children at events and, frankly, I find it disturbing (unattended children, not the discussions) - it's dangerous and stupid to not pay attention to your children in other public/social scenarios, so why do people feel it's OK in an SCA context? Especially at big events like Ursulmas that are really more like giant public demos.

Rather than just get all Cursey McRanterpants about how amazingly irresponsible the parents of free-range children are, I'd like to initiate some discussion on how to eliminate/drastically reduce the incidents of unsupervised children, and/or ways to handle it at events when some feral child wanders into your space and becomes an irritant or concern. Is this something that needs to be clearly spelled out and codified? Can we rely on social pressure to correct irresponsible behavior?

How can we, as a Society, change the perception that everyone at an event is an erstwhile babysitter, and that children are safe with anyone in the SCA? While I suspect that parents on this list who might think that way are unlikely to pipe up, I'm curious to know why they believe letting their children roam free is a good plan.

How can we, as a Kingdom, instill the understanding that any encampment with children's activities is not the Pied Piper, and neither encampments who planned for their own children's entertainment nor the Pied Piper are a babysitting service? I'm curious to know why people believe otherwise.

How can we, as individuals, respond to feral children in our encampments or roaming freely about an event site (often fraught with safety concerns like dogs, allergens, bodies of water and big guys swinging sticks), and what recourse do we have when their parents get pissed off when we - because we're compassionate - protect our things from their children or protect their children from our things? I'm curious to know why it surprises and angers parents when the child they haven't been paying attention to is returned to them or dealt with by another adult.

Please to discuss...

In service,

HL Tomyris

April 2017

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