The “liberal dogma of the past” has left us with the “moral abyss of the present”, a leading head teacher has said, as she hit out at the sexualisation of children.
Dr Helen Wright, President of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), warned of “an avalanche of images and malign influences” which is overwhelming young people.
And she cautioned that parents who “no longer know right from wrong” are “unwittingly ‘indulging'” their children with make-up and provocative clothing.
Dr Wright made the comments at the GSA’s annual conference. The GSA represents the interests of independent girls’ schools in the UK.
In her speech Dr Wright said she had “long been concerned by the seeming erosion of the innocence of childhood in the 21st Century”.
And she commented that now, “more than ever”, children “are assaulted by inappropriate images everywhere they look – from the internet, to the pages of magazines, to billboards, to displays in shops”.
She asked: “In what sort of twisted reality is it acceptable to run pole-dancing classes for young children and advertise them with pictures on the internet, for instance?”
Dr Wright continued: “What hope have we got of safeguarding our children’s sacred childhood if they are knocked off their feet on the nursery slopes of life by an avalanche of images and malign influences?”
But she praised parents who have fought back against sexualised products in shops.
And she said: “It is time to take up the drawbridge on the liberal dogma of the past which has left us with the moral abyss of the present.”
Dr Wright, who is head teacher of a school in Wiltshire, cautioned: “If parents can’t see anything wrong in dressing up their children in ‘Future WAG’ t-shirts and letting them wear make-up, high heels and ‘mini-me’ sexy clothing, then something is intensely wrong in our society.”
She said education was one key way to “break the cycle”.