Friday, 28 August 2009

Quick hit: Sailing away or possibly not

From Stuff:
The Australian Family Association has joined Dutch child protection authorities in raising concerns about a New Zealand-born teenager's bid to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe.

"Being cut off from parents and peers and all sorts of other social stimulus or interaction just seems to me quite crazy," a spokesman for the association, John Morrissey, a long-time secondary school teacher, told the ABC.

Laura Dekker, 13, expects to hear a court decision overnight tomorrow (NZ time) on whether she should be taken into care to stop her setting off on the solo voyage next month when she turns 14.

The Dutch Council for Child Protection has applied to the District Court in Utrecht to be granted temporary custody of Dekker if her parents do not put a stop to her trip.

Dekker has requested her municipality to de-register her as a resident so that she can move to New Zealand, where she was born on a yacht, but the De Volkskrant newspaper reported her New Zealand passport has expired.
Click through for more.

So what do you think dear readers, Nanny State(s) interfers again or sensible curbing of unwise parenting?

And would the reaction have been different had it been a boy? (I think not, but am interested in your thoughts)


Chris Nimmo said...

Probably most of Magellan's crew were thirteen years old. Go for it!

Moz said...

I don't see the "totally out of touch" part of the arrangement. Unless she's also choosing to go without radios of any description (which would be insane), she will have everything up to facebook if she wants it. That wouldn't add hugely to the cost of her rig, and might return a profit (through ads on her blog if nothing else).

Aside from that I think it's her call. The little I've read suggests she knows way more about what's involved than any of the commentators I've read, and the few solo ocean sailors who have commented seem content to say "it's really hard".

At that age I would have loved the opportunity, albeit sailing is not my thing.

A Nonny Moose said...

I had my piece to say over at the Herald Your Views section, where the small-minded, small-lives commentariat were satisfied to infantalize this well meaning high-achiever.

I made a few examples about child prodigies, and high-achieving children.

Surely there's a middle ground between the horrors of child labour and stripping kids of all risk assessment skills? Lot of ageism in there, and sexism too - wonder how different it would have been if it was a teenage boy wanting to do it?

Anonymous said...

When I was in her age, I wanted (and still want to see the sea) a I was afraid of the pervers. I am 24, still low like child, but I was in other country and I realized, that people let girls to be humilated, violanted, etc.(equal in home or elsewhere), but they don't let them to be free (at least like boys), because they are afraid of that things. It is like circle. Or they are afraid they will be responsible for it.
What about the women who have low height? They want them to see doctors too, if they want to go to Africa, etc?
What about the risks not on the sea, but in the town?

SimonD said...

Madness - enough said.