The right of MPs to visit schools

The Commissioner for Children, Pauline Miceli has come out with an absurd statement concerning Rosianne Cutajar giving sweets to school children to celebrate Halloween. According to the media, Ms. Miceli felt “uncomfortable” about all this.

The Commissioner should never come out with such an evasive conclusion. A Commissioner should give clear-cut statements. No Commissioner should ever feel “uncomfortable” to express his or her views.  

My view on the subject is independent of Rosianne Cutajar. The fact is that Rosianne Cutajar went in front of a school and handed out sweets to school children in the presence of their parents. Therefore, should there have been any objections, these should have come from the parents and not from the commissioner or from any other person, who is not linked to the children.

In truth, any MP has a right to go in front of a school and distribute sweets. MPs have even a right to go inside the schools and visit pupils. The political problem will arise when only particular MPs, normally those in government, are allowed to visit schools. I am stating this because I still remember, back in the 70s, only government MPs were allowed to visit government schools.

All MPs have a sacrosanct right to go and visit schools, even unannounced. During such visits, they have a right to distribute sweets or any other gifts to students.  One may agree or disagree with all this. I have no problem with those who disagree, but what I am insisting here is on the right of all MPs to visit schools.

What I find strange and unacceptable in this case, is for a Commissioner trying to dictate or interfere or even take over the role that parents should have versus their children. It is up to the parent to decide who should give sweets to their kids outside schools and who should not.

If the parents were not happy with Rosianne Cutajar’s behaviour, they could have stopped her. With this latest hu ha, it is clear that we have a state and persons in authority who want to take over the power that should rest solely with the parents.

This is why I was, and still am against certain laws, including some that were promoted by Rosianne Cutajar herself, when she was government secretary, as they would lead to this type of absurdities.     

It is important that our legislators do not give more legal power to our commissioners to dictate to parents what they should do or not do with their children. There are already the Laws of the Land to safeguard children. There is no need for commissioners to begin sanctioning the behaviour of politicians or otherwise. Commissioners in which entity they operate should stick to their brief and not try to gain political mileage by taking over a role that is not theirs to take.  

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