High school forum to focus on issues of crime and punishment

Is it possible for parents to keep their children too safe?

Sociology professor Gerald Cradock will pose this question in his workshop Dangerous Safety: Is Precaution Hollowing Out Childhood? during the High School Social Justice Forum on campus Tuesday, February 21.

“Parents want their children to be safe, but has the elimination of risk and wild places left children without the independence needed to achieve the goals adults set for them?” Dr. Cradock asks. “There is something curious about adult complaints that young people are immature, irresponsible, and never grow up, when adults seem intent on denying children the independent and risk-taking behaviour which may be the necessary prerequisites for autonomous adulthood.”

This workshop is one of more than a dozen at the forum, which will involve senior students from local high schools in discussions on the theme of “Crime and Punishment” and a student-run activity that provides a plan for their activism in their respective schools. Now in its sixth year, the forum is organized by Teachers for Global Awareness in partnership with the Centre for Studies in Social Justice.

Keynote speaker Jijian Voronka will address her understanding of mental health issues as a matter of social justice, and not just as an isolated medical problem in need of a cure. A doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and Equity Studies at the University of Toronto, she teaches “A History of Madness” at Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies and works as a consumer research consultant for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

She will also deliver a free public lecture entitled “The Making of Bipolar Britney: A Conversation about Disabilities Studies, Mad Studies and Mad Pride,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 21, at Windsor Pride, 422 Pelissier Street.