Govt backflip on ‘bizarre’ move that ‘dehumanises’ kids
EDUCATION Queensland has backflipped on a controversial decision which forced kids to be referred to only by numbers instead of their names at swimming events.
Parents were left outraged after Queensland School Sport swim meets this month began assigning kids random codes to replace their names on score board displays, in programs and on final results sheets.
At one event held last week swimming age champions were announced by school followed by the winner's assigned number, with one parent describing it as "quite dehumanising" and "very awkward".
Mum Melanie Stott said the move "made her sick to the stomach".
"I can't understand the logic," she said.
"Why would we want to de-identify our children?
"Parents told me they felt disconnected by the change to numbers and quickly gave up trying to keep track of their child's friends".
The bizarre change also led Swimming Queensland to announce times recorded at QSS meets would no longer be able to be used as official qualifying times.
"The Department of Education has decided not to provide Swimming Queensland with results from some meets in the format SQ requires," a statement read.
"We share your frustration and disappointment in this decision and the impact it will have on our members, particularly with the affected meets being imminent.
"We hope that in the future, the Department of Education will provide the information in the appropriate format, as it has in the past."
Though no parents received an official reason for the change, some were vaguely informed it was for "privacy reasons".
Father Craig Baldwin said most parents just wanted an answer.
"When bureaucrats make decisions like this with no lead times and real consequences, it erodes school sport even further," he said.
"If there's a valid reason, I'd love to hear it."
Following enquires from The Courier-Mail on Friday, the change was scrapped.
In a statement an Education Queensland spokesman said: "The department continues to work with parents, students and other stakeholders, including Swimming Queensland and Queensland Athletics to ensure that the personal information of students' remains protected, and that the success of our swimmers in all trials and competitions is recognised".
Originally published as Govt backflip on 'bizarre' move that 'dehumanises' kids