Good afternoon and welcome to Weekend Wonderland – the place where we get to talk about (almost) anything and (almost) everything (unless it’s sacrosanct).
Evidently, what one person considers “a bit of laugh” can sometimes cause offence to others.
It’s all very funny until someone gets hurt…. And then it’s just f**kin’ hilarious.
So what constitutes going beyond the boundaries of good taste?
Even with the best of intentions, one’s efforts can become rapidly undone, dissected and derided.
Consider this recent project developed by Ramco Primary School in South Australia.
The teachers and students of Ramco Primary thought it would be a good idea to raise awareness of the plight of the disabled in society and raise a bit of cash for charity at the same time.
All well and good you might think. And why not?
The money raised would go to a clinic in Bangladesh that provides surgery for children suffering cleft lips and palates. A very worthy cause indeed.
So putting their thinking caps on, the teachers and students agreed on a day of fundraising and sent a newsletter to parents outlining their excellent idea.
The newsletter explained that on May 29, the children were to attend school dressed as their “favourite” disability.
“There will be prizes for the best students dressed as a person with a disability,” the letter read.
“Get your thinking hats on and see what disability you can represent!”
Now this strikes me as being a lot of fun.
I could see myself going as the kid with Tourette’s syndrome, of which few would disagree that I’m aptly qualified for, however a number of parents took umbrage with the whole idea.
Quicker than you could lose a limb, the complaints came fast and furious calling for the entire day to be scrapped and for the Principal to be sacked.
Sadly, the Principal, Barrey Nivven, has just announced that the “dress as the disabled” day has been dumped.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Nivven said the students had abandoned plans for the day after it was branded “bad taste”.
“It’s not going ahead — the children themselves have taken that decision,” Mr Nivven said.
“The emphasis was on physical disability … what we were looking for was someone who has a broken leg, or an arm that’s not functional, or a crook eye.
“The point was for students to gain an understanding of what these people have to deal with and to help those less fortunate than us.”
Mr Nivven, who said he never planned on dressing as a disabled person, said there would still be a fundraiser but that students were not required to dress up.
The decision has been welcomed by advocates who feared the day would send the wrong message to students.
“People with disabilities have enough trouble being accepting into our community as it is,” said Trish Wetton, CEO of disability-support organisation Forsight Foundation.
“What might have lingered after this day? What messages would the children, who are quite young, have taken away? It’s a very sensitive area and, depending on how the parents dressed their kids, it could have bordering on discrimination” said Ms Wetton.
What do you think? Was the school right to ban disability day? Or is this just another example of political correctness gone mad?