There was a story in the press over the past couple of days about a couple of 13-year-old girls who were banned from going into a museum on their own.

They were told that they would need an adult to supervise their visit to the museum in the grounds of Salford University. One of the girls mothers worked at the uni and took the kids there for a day while she worked an afternoon shift.

She was told that the policy of the museum was that under 16’s had to be accompanied by an adult for health and safety reasons.

Now I’m not sure what those reasons could have been as museums are made with the safety of their visitors in mind. In the case of one place called Eureka the exhibits are made solely with kids up to the age of 11 in mind.

There are plenty of places where under 16’s need an adult with them to enter. Some shops, swimming pools, arcades, take aways, etc wont allow under 16’s unaccompanied for a variety of reasons. Most have these polices in place for security reasons.

Which is more than understandable when you consider the environments they have. Swimming pools have lifeguards on duty, buty they cant be expected to look after unaccompied kids, when their role is to make sure that everyone is safe.

In the case of shops, they are more likely to have gangs of kids entering to shop lift. I know from experince of working in a retail food shop that kids after school when they are with their mates will egg each other on. Big each other up to see who can steal the most.

Often its jsut handfulls of sweets and the odd drink. Some times its more expensive items. But, at the end of the day even the odd sweet and drink being stolen adds up and can meant eh difference between the store making a profit, breaking even, or even making a loss.

Salford museum is set in an area that in the past few months has seen people being killed by guns and beaten to within an inch of their life. It falls under the cover of Greater Manchester Police who deal with crime in a very large area, one that sees almost as much gun and drug crime as London.

There are a lot of gang problems within that area and they cause as many problems as they can, mostly out of boredom and a sense of one-upmanship. So in response to that the body in charge of art galleys and museums working with the police decided to impose the rule.

It has been inforced a couple of years now and there is very little problems with kids in those places now. Which makes the experience an all together better one.

But, however this rule is stopping kids who on a day out want to spend their time in an environment of learning, and beauty.They are in the minority and often suffer because of the actions of their less responsible peers. I know that as a teenager i would go to the local museum and art gallery on my own as a way to past the time and do something to improve myself.

These places or open to any body free of charge. Including all visitors from over seas. As far as I am aware that doesn’t happen anywhere else.

Growing up it was a joy to go to museums and art galleries. I have so many happy memories of going and spending a new finding out new things and seeing new pieces of art in the flesh as it where. Both my ex and I want our son to have those kinds of memories too, even though we can’t take him to them all together as a proper family.

I would hope that my son when he’s 13 would willing try to enter a museum on his own. And that he will be allowed to go into without his parents crimping his style. Already my son looks forward to going to museums when he’s told hi’s going to see one. The little man is three and has characteristics that appear on the autism spectrum, Although he’s lucky/unlucky to not need any special care. He’ll just be an excentric personality, who does things differently to others.

I know that a lot of the rules about kids and what they can and can’t do without an adult with them, have been brought in, in reaction to the things kids have done in the past. Things that a few thoughtless kids have done because they were bored, wanted something to do and didn’t have any respect for others.

For the most part there are still museums and gallery’s around the country that have yet to bring in this rule and still allow small groups of unaccompanied kids to experience what they have to offer. This example of over caution is in response to the activities of things that happened in the past and in the hope to stop it happening again.

I hope this example doesn’t put kids off going to visit their local museum or art gallery with or without their parents in toe.

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