After my post from Monday, I was amazed to find that that type occurrence is more common than most of us think, and I was glad to hear that people had ideas on how to help reduce the potential of incidents like that from happening again. There were posts of Facebook, Voy and this blog, and probably others.
I would like to keep the momentum we had on Monday and Tuesday going, and want to gather those ideas to present them to whatever dance governing bodies will listen. My goal is to capture them here, in one place, instead of having to go to multiple websites to find them, and hope to keep them to just the ideas (and not any background stories) so that readers can scan them quickly.
So, if you have thoughts on how to make feiseanna safer, please add your comments below. Please read any current comments and try not to repost the same idea, and make comments brief if possible. All comments will be moderated. Think outside the box, sure, having the girls cover themselves between dances is good, but creepers are really not the only thing to think about, what other potential threats do we need to consider? What steps can parents, schools, feis committees, venues, etc… take?
After we have sufficient feedback, we can organize the ideas for submission and I will be looking for ‘connected’ people to help get the ideas to the right people.
I am ‘relatively’ new to this, so I am counting on you to help make our children’s passion the safest it can be for all of us.
Thanks in advance.
I made comments on Voy and FB, here are a few of my ideas:
First, competitor lists and stage assignments should be info that only registered dancers should have access too. Currently ,most feisanna post publicly either on their own websites or through Feisworx, Quickfeis, etc. This info should be password protected.
Secondly, some sort of deterrent at the door, hand stamps, wristbands, etc. Anyone shouldn’t be able to freely walk into a feis off the street. We use that method at Nationals/Worlds and it works, so why not a feis?
Thank you for taking the time to post about the situation last weekend and keeping the conversation going! Changes need to be made. A feis is a relatively safe place however, with a few minor changes we can be even safer!
My suggestion would be some sort of name tag or visual marker like a sticker or such for those of us adults that have paid to attend a feis, including peripheral aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, etc. To be worn on the chest, right or left. Personally, I think a a neon sticker on the chest would be very apparent. A wristband, less so. If you are attending, legitimately, get sticker. If you don’t have one, then, be prepared to show a parent card or have someone with a parent card vouch for you.
IMHO, we can’t go back to the entry fee. It is cumbersome for both the feis (cash on hand) and those visiting. We attend feiseanna that still do this because we like those events, but I far prefer just paying the family fee online. So, when you check in at registration, give your number of attendees and get your neon green/orange/pink chest sticker. And when you spot someone without one, nail ’em to the wall.
Posters/Signs posted on the entry doors, at registration, at each stage, and in the bathrooms. “Need to report something to Feis Security?” – follow the title with three easy steps – or something like that. A nice reminder to be aware of your surroundings. It presents the right information on what to do in that specific venue.
I am curious about why the guy was considered ‘creepy’. Was he taking titillating photos? Was he filming dance steps for reproduction later? I am little unclear on that point after reading the initial blog post about the creeper and then this one.
Basically, if you are in a public place, you can take photographs or video of anything, yes… even other people’s children. A hotel lobby is a public place. The lobby and hallways of a convention center could arguably be considered private, but you have to be asked to stop. As a photographer, I would greatly resent being asked to refrain from taking photos of my child in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a feis. It’s part of the story. What exactly makes someone snapping shots and video of children in a public place creepy? I have on occasion taken a shot of my dancer walking away from me with her friends (again, it’s part of the story). To an outsider, it might look creepy, if they thought I was randomly shooting other children/people. Is it? No, not at all.
Preventing the creeps that don’t belong at the feis is easy. Require some type of registration/mark/sticker to be worn. That’s a whole lot of work. Preventing the creeps who do belong at the feis… not so easy. Face it. There are creepy people everywhere. We all just have different levels of acceptance. The only way to completely prevent this is to completely ban photographic equipment from the venue. Phones, cameras, iPads, etc. That would not be popular.
Approaching someone and asking about their activities is the best way to prevent “creeping” I would think.
[…] are new, this is the third in a series of posts regarding feiseanna safety. You can see Part 1 and Part 2 to get caught up if you need […]