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Is 13 too young to sail round the world solo?





deanhills
Quote:
A Dutch court placed a 13-year-old girl in temporary custody on Friday, Aug. 28, after her parents insisted on supporting her bid to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo. Laura Dekker, an avid sailor who was reportedly born on a yacht during her parents' own around-the-world trip, told Dutch television before the court handed down its decision that she simply wanted to "learn about the world and to live freely."

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1919316,00.html

What do you think, is Laura Dekker too young to sail round the world on her own? Looking at her photo in the Time Magazine online article at the above link, her face looks much more mature than 13. Maybe she is the exception to the rule, and she should be judged for her maturity, specialist knowledge, character and ability, rather than her age?
ocalhoun
That the government stopped it, even though the parents approved of it seems a classic example of unwanted government involvement.

The best government is the one that governs the least, after all.
Roald
ocalhoun wrote:
That the government stopped it, even though the parents approved of it seems a classic example of unwanted government involvement.

The best government is the one that governs the least, after all.
Not really, it's the community's duty (in this case the government's duty) to 'replace' the parents if they are incapable of raising their child in a decent way.
And I don't think sending your daughter on a 2 year solo boat trip around the world is the best idea of decent education. A lot of people that have tried sailing solo around the world suffer mental disorders or have even killed themselves just out of pure loneliness. Not to mention the heavy physical burden that such a trip is.
ocalhoun
Roald wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
That the government stopped it, even though the parents approved of it seems a classic example of unwanted government involvement.

The best government is the one that governs the least, after all.
Not really, it's the community's duty (in this case the government's duty) to 'replace' the parents if they are incapable of raising their child in a decent way.

So, the government always knows what's best?
That's scary.

Personally, I'd let her go anyway, as an act of defiance to the interfering government.
Quote:

And I don't think sending your daughter on a 2 year solo boat trip around the world is the best idea of decent education. A lot of people that have tried sailing solo around the world suffer mental disorders or have even killed themselves just out of pure loneliness. Not to mention the heavy physical burden that such a trip is.

Given that her parents also sailed around the world, I'd think they're aware of that. Yet they, who know the risks and know their daughter, are considered incapable of making the decision, and the government, which essentially knows neither, is supposed to decide? How does that make sense?
Roald
I don't say that the government is always smarter, but in this case it's different, parents should look after their children in a appropriate way.
A 17 year old boy was the youngest person ever to solo seal around the world, that's 4 years older and he's a man (not to be sexist but at that age men usually have more muscles and other physical characteristics which are needed for such a journey at that age).
http://www.zacsunderland.com/blog/
deanhills
Roald wrote:
I don't say that the government is always smarter, but in this case it's different, parents should look after their children in a appropriate way.
A 17 year old boy was the youngest person ever to solo seal around the world, that's 4 years older and he's a man (not to be sexist but at that age men usually have more muscles and other physical characteristics which are needed for such a journey at that age).
http://www.zacsunderland.com/blog/
So let's look at Britney Spears! And other teen pop artists. It is OK for them to go around the world and give major pop concerts, however it is not OK for someone to sail around the world. I think it is up to the person that wants to sail around the world, and I'm almost certain that she knows that she can make some money out of it too, exactly like Britney Spears did. If being concerned about damage to under-aged children is the real concern, then all children should be banned from extra-mural activities, including excessive sports such as the Olympics, gymnastics, etc. etc.

As far as I know there are also children in remote areas who have the benefit of long-distance online learning programmes, so can't see how that should be different for Laura Dekker.

As far as I can see, we really need the Laura Dekkers of the world to go on and do their discoveries, instead of staying home and being created into perfectly behaved specimens of humanity. Children should know it is not only OK to dream, but that they can make their dreams come true. I really admire the Dekkers for fighting for what they believe in.
Roald
Let's take a further look at Britney Spears, you can't call her mentally stable, in my opinion she even has some mental disorders (as a result of her pop carrier maybe). And not all children should be banned from extra-mural activities, they just shouldn't exaggerate in it. It has been proven that practising sports on high level at young age is nefast for your body.
I'm not saying that children shouldn't participate in these extramural activities, but there have to be some limitations.

When you sail around the world you really haven't got time to follow such online learning programs. But on the other side, you'll learn things you will never learn in regular schools or society, that's true.

If Laura Dekkers were older than 13 years, let's say if she were 16 or 17, I would highly encourage her in making such a journey. But 13 years is really too young.
Ghost Rider103
I think both of the subjects you guys are describing are of two entirely different matters.

Brittney Spears went "around the world" at a young age, however she was not alone. If she was lost, she could ask for help, call for help, etc.

If you are a young girl at sea by yourself, there is many things that can go wrong. What if the boat you are on malfunctions and the engine does not work (assuming it has an engine). Or what if the boat tips, what if you get extremely ill, etc. Theirs many things that can go wrong while on a long boat trip by yourself.

I'm not saying I think it was wrong for her to go on a trip alone around the world, I'm just pointing out the two situations are entirely different.

I personally do not think she should be stopped because of her age, and more of how confident she feels, and how mature she is mentally.

One 13 yr old can be extremely different from another. One may be capable of it, and others may not.

I think it is a good idea she is trying to do this. It probably isn't the safest, but if she feels confident she can do it, then I say let her.

About the government, the government can sometimes seem like they are doing the wrong thing, however them having the power can be a good thing, or a bad. In this situation, I'd have to disagree with what they are doing. However, they do infact have a very valid reason for doing what they are doing. The girl is putting her life at extreme danger, which is why the government is stepping in. If the girl did end up getting injured or even died, it would look extremely bad on the governments part for not stepping in. But now that they have stepped in, they won't have to worry about that situation every occurring.

I'm not really taking any side here, but the government did do what they should have done. Even though I think it would be great if the girl could do it, and I would actually encourage her to do so, the government also did the correct thing. The government just doesn't want to look like someone who could have stopped a bad injury/death but didn't.
8166UY
Come on people, that girl just hit puberty. Ofcourse she wants to do something daring and stupid. Even if you can sail good it doesn't mean you'll end up well in a storm that destroys a part of your ship and the nearest rescue will be a half day away from you. The main problem why she is stopped is because she hsa to be on sea for a few weeks and will miss school. We have a compulsory education untill the age of 18, so the government is stopping her breaking the laws.
Also my little brother is 14 and quite some taller than me. That doesn't mean that he's mature even now he shaves himself. He's still a kid if you talk with him. A kid with 18 swimming diploma's and a staggering IQ, but still not enough life experience to judge events that might cost your life but gives him a cool story when he returns to school.
Bikerman
It seems fairly clear-cut to me.
We insist, in our various societies, that a child be educated and 'looked after'.
In this case the child wishes to put herself in the position where neither will happen. The parents consent to this. The state takes issue. The state is correct.
Are the parents going to provide the education for this minor for 2 years? Why should she be excepted from the 'rule' which applies to other citizens?
Are the parents going to fund the rescue mission and deal with the political fall-out if she is seriously injured or killed?
If they are serious then emigrate to a country which doesn't have those requirements and she can do what the hell she likes. If they simply want an exception for their daughter - screw them.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

Are the parents going to fund the rescue mission and deal with the political fall-out if she is seriously injured or killed?

Perhaps it's just my individualist side showing, but I would assume yes to both of those.

As for the rest, I have a huge problem with any kind of 'nanny state', and oppose any rule enacted solely for the 'benefit' of the person restricted by the rule.
(To include helmet and seat-belt laws, forced education, et cetera)
(Yes, I suppose that's also individualist...)
Roald
Some laws made by the government aren't so bad: driving limits, laws against crimes etc... And if parents treat their children in an irresponsible way, the state should interfere.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

Are the parents going to fund the rescue mission and deal with the political fall-out if she is seriously injured or killed?

Perhaps it's just my individualist side showing, but I would assume yes to both of those.
I doubt it. Do you know how much a remote sea rescue can cost? Certainly hundreds of thousands of pounds...On the political side - the politicians would immediately be castigated for breaking the rules to allow the attempt.
Quote:
As for the rest, I have a huge problem with any kind of 'nanny state', and oppose any rule enacted solely for the 'benefit' of the person restricted by the rule.
(To include helmet and seat-belt laws, forced education, et cetera)
(Yes, I suppose that's also individualist...)
Yes, I know you are a 'small state' man - that is apparent from other postings. My position is that citizens have a 'contract' with the state. The state provides certain things and, in return, the citizen agrees to certain rules. If the majority (or even a minority) of citizens don't like a particular rule then they organise and change it through the political system.
Now, in this case the contract specifies that parents (or agents acting in 'loco parentis') are responsible for keeping the child out of danger (or at least not exposing them to unusual levels of danger), and they are responsible for making sure that the child has an education. The parents concerned here are abdicating both responsibilities.

Why should an exception be made? It seems to me that the only time critical factor is the record for the youngest 'round the world' sailor. Sure, she would like to be the new record holder. I think however, that this is not sufficient to outweigh parental responsibility. As a 13 year old she is not an adult, is not fully responsible for her actions, and is not entitled to the full adult freedoms that such responsibility grants.

Would you think it reasonable for a 10 yr old? An 8 yr old? Where exactly do you draw the line? I think the line is already drawn, and quite sensibly so, at 16.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
(To include helmet and seat-belt laws, forced education, et cetera)
(Yes, I suppose that's also individualist...)


You don't agree with helmet, seat-belt, and forced education laws? Well.... With the exception of helmet laws (which I agree that they shouldn't exist), the others benefit the society as a whole. Seat-belt laws go with any other road safety law (like speed limits). The idea behind it is that if the driver flies through the windshield, who is going to be behind the wheel to control the car that still may be rolling down a hill towards someone? So I think the driver should have to wear a seat belt for everyone else's safety but I also think that it should be optional for passengers.

Forced education is also a benefit for society as a whole. Just think about what society would be like full of people who are even more ignorant than they are now...



Anyways.......

I agree with the government on this one. The only reason I agree with the government is because she has a compulsory education that she must be at home to receive. That's really the only reason I agree with the government... If she was going to do a mini trip (around the country instead of world, for instance) over the summer holidays and the government stepped in, then I would disagree (although I would disagree, I would still understand stepping in if they did because there are other laws you have to deal with - like not watching your daughter for three months).
Bikerman
err...we are not talking about 3 months. We are talking about 2 years.
I contend that any parent who allowed their 13 year old daughter to undertake a trip around the country (say a couple of months) would be negligent, and it would behove the state to intervene. Two years is simply ridiculous.
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
err...we are not talking about 3 months. We are talking about 2 years.
I contend that any parent who allowed their 13 year old daughter to undertake a trip around the country (say a couple of months) would be negligent, and it would behove the state to intervene. Two years is simply ridiculous.



I know. You misread what I said.

I agree with the government on this one. The only reason I agree with the government is because she has a compulsory education that she must be at home to receive. That's really the only reason I agree with the government... If she was going to do a mini trip (around the country instead of world, for instance) over the summer holidays and the government stepped in, then I would disagree (although I would disagree, I would still understand stepping in if they did because there are other laws you have to deal with - like not watching your daughter for three months).

My point was that I only agree with the government because she is doing a trip that would interfere with school. My point was that if it was interfering with school (like a mini trip over the summer), then I would not agree with the government stepping in (although I would still understand because those parents would be quite reckless)...
deanhills
Although I agree with most of the postings about young children and schooling, there is something different for me about Laura Decker. I have a feeling we have someone here beyond her years in maturity. I also think she could get past the schooling issue by doing this while she is sailing.

So whereas I would agree as an average that it would be negligent to allow a child to navigate the world for a year completely solo, I have a feeling that this one is an exception and unique. She should be given a chance.
Bikerman
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I agree with the government on this one. The only reason I agree with the government is because she has a compulsory education that she must be at home to receive. That's really the only reason I agree with the government... If she was going to do a mini trip (around the country instead of world, for instance) over the summer holidays and the government stepped in, then I would disagree (although I would disagree, I would still understand stepping in if they did because there are other laws you have to deal with - like not watching your daughter for three months).
Well, I say that in such a case (the three month trip), if the parents left the daughter unsupervised during that period, then the state would be DUTY BOUND to step in. I don't know on what grounds you would disagree - child protection legislation is pretty clear in most countries. You seem to be saying that the state does indeed have a duty to provide adequate education, but you don't agree that it has a duty of care to minors (though you 'understand' - whatever that means).....

Imagine the court-room scene. A young mother is being prosecuted for neglect because she left her children (12 and 7) 'home-alone' for a week while she went on holiday with a friend. (This is not a hypothetical, by the way). The defence lawyer immediately moves 'no case to answer' on the grounds that the state has already sanctioned (either implicitly or explicitly) such behaviour - in fact a much more dangerous example of such behaviour.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
So whereas I would agree as an average that it would be negligent to allow a child to navigate the world for a year completely solo, I have a feeling that this one is an exception and unique. She should be given a chance.
ROFLMAO. And this is based on what? A picture? Or perhaps you have some insight into this child that everyone else lacks?
One should be thankful, perhaps, that you aren't in a position to decide on such issues.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
ROFLMAO. And this is based on what? A picture? Or perhaps you have some insight into this child that everyone else lacks?
Not sure what ROFLMAO means? And that is genuine. Maybe it is a common acronym where you are, but I don't have the foggiest. Smile

My only "insight" is common sense. If the parents have been experienced sailors for decades, I can't imagine they would suggest their child attempt something like this without thinking about it carefully first. Obviously they love their daughter more than you and I can imagine. And have a greater stake in where she is going with her life than any of us do. I'm certain they did not make this decision lightly, so there has to be something in the character of their daughter that convinced them that she would be OK with this. She has been sailing since the age of 6, and if her father thought it was OK for her to sail to the UK alone, and she accomplished that, there has to be something special about her.

With regard to your personal remark:
Quote:
One should be thankful, perhaps, that you aren't in a position to decide on such issues.
I am thankful the Court of Utrecht is judging her situation. They are at least giving her a fair trial:
Quote:
The court in Utrecht ruled that more research must be conducted to determine whether Laura Dekker is physically and mentally ready to set sail on her endeavor. If so, she could become the youngest ever to circumnavigate the globe.

"The court order is to continue the research into Laura's case for the next two months, until October 26th," Esther Kolver, of the Dutch Council for Child Protection, told ABC News. "For eight weeks, the court will share custody of Laura with her father."

The girl was thrust into the spotlight when she sailed to England by herself and was stopped from sailing back by the British port authority. According to the Guardian newspaper, police were called to a library in the port of Lowestoft on May 2 after being told she was in the country alone.


http://www.abcnews.go.com/Travel/story?id=8433474
Bikerman
ROFLMAO is common net shorthand. It means 'Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off'.
Your 'common sense' is, as I said, based on nothing but your first impression from a picture. Your post makes it clear. You find it impossible to believe that parents could possibly be guilty of neglect because they conform to some spurious picture you have in your mind of what a 'good' parent is.

Let's explore and demolish this nonsense. I'll paraphrase your points but not, I think, unfairly...

a) Because the parents are experienced sailors then they have some special knowledge of what their daughter would face on a two year sailing trip.
Obviously this is complete nonsense. They might, indeed, know of some of the technical sailing problems she might encounter. So what? We are not talking about technical ability. We are talking about surviving a life-threatening voyage for two years. How would she cope with a pirate attack? How would she cope with months of being alone? How would she cope with 30ft waves?
Even more importantly - who will save her if she doesn't cope?
I know many parents who have a misguided sense of the ability of their offspring - every teacher does. I would want to take A LOT more advice than that of the parents.

b) "Because they love her they obviously are doing the best for her."
Obviously this is also complete nonsense. One only has to look around to such obscenities as the teen beauty pageants to see parents who will go to almost any lengths to gain some sort of vicarious thrill from their offspring's achievement. I don't, of course, say any such thing applies in this case - I just refute entirely the supposed 'logic' behind the fallacious appeal to 'common sense'. Parents have, throughout history, encouraged their children in questionable enterprises...

c) The fact that the court is taking a decision is exactly right - and what I am arguing for - rather than some knee-jerk decision based on a picture and a hunch. The court is representing the 'state' in this matter, in that their decision will ultimately be based on the welfare of the child. That is how it should be - we call it due process.
(I'm willing to bet that the answer is no, but who knows - perhaps they can arrange her safety and education sufficient to satisfy the court. Like to wager some money on it?)
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
ROFLMAO is common net shorthand. It means 'Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off'.
Laughing Laughing Laughing I like it. Smile
Bikerman wrote:
Your 'common sense' is, as I said, based on nothing but your first impression from a picture. Your post makes it clear. You find it impossible to believe that parents could possibly be guilty of neglect because they conform to some spurious picture you have in your mind of what a 'good' parent is.
Wrong. I did not read the article because of the photo. The photo had more meaning after I had read the article.

Let's explore and demolish this nonsense. I'll paraphrase your points but not, I think, unfairly...

Quote:
a) Because the parents are experienced sailors then they have some special knowledge of what their daughter would face on a two year sailing trip.
Obviously this is complete nonsense. They might, indeed, know of some of the technical sailing problems she might encounter. So what? We are not talking about technical ability. We are talking about surviving a life-threatening voyage for two years. How would she cope with a pirate attack? How would she cope with months of being alone? How would she cope with 30ft waves?
Even more importantly - who will save her if she doesn't cope?
I know many parents who have a misguided sense of the ability of their offspring - every teacher does. I would want to take A LOT more advice than that of the parents.
I am almost certain that she won't be cut off completely. She will be in radio contact most of the time. Hopefully she will continue her schooling, as there will be many hours to kill, doing it remote. I would almost be certain her parents will be in daily contact with her.

Quote:
b) "Because they love her they obviously are doing the best for her."
Obviously this is also complete nonsense. One only has to look around to such obscenities as the teen beauty pageants to see parents who will go to almost any lengths to gain some sort of vicarious thrill from their offspring's achievement. I don't, of course, say any such thing applies in this case - I just refute entirely the supposed 'logic' behind the fallacious appeal to 'common sense'. Parents have, throughout history, encouraged their children in questionable enterprises...
Personal opinions aside, it still has to be proven whether "thrills" are motivating the parents. This is currently what the Utrecht Court is investigating.

Quote:
c) The fact that the court is taking a decision is exactly right - and what I am arguing for - rather than some knee-jerk decision based on a picture and a hunch. The court is representing the 'state' in this matter, in that their decision will ultimately be based on the welfare of the child. That is how it should be - we call it due process.
(I'm willing to bet that the answer is no, but who knows - perhaps they can arrange her safety and education sufficient to satisfy the court. Like to wager some money on it?)
[/quote] Great that we agree on the court willing to make a judgment after the facts have been considered. I believe your judgement is based on as little information as I have and can therefore also only be a personal opinion.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Wrong. I did not read the article because of the photo. The photo had more meaning after I had read the article.
If you say so....I find it hard to see how anyone could form a balanced opinion about the girl or her parents from the cited article. I guess you must have researched it further before posting? You will have to forgive me if I don't necessarily accept that to be true, but I'm certainly not going to call you a liar.
deanhills wrote:
I believe your judgement is based on as little information as I have and can therefore also only be a personal opinion.
My judgement is that the court will uphold normal case law and that she won't be allowed to take the trip.
It doesn't actually matter what the motivation of the parents is - I simply reject your assumption that it must be benign, and any such assumption is completely refuted by history.
The point about being 'in radio contact' is yet another spurious argument. The mother in the neglect case I cited earlier could equally say that, whilst she was on her jolly week long trip to Spain, the kids had a mobile phone, so what's the problem?

Perhaps you would care to explain what you think the ethical difference is between the two cases?

Quote:
Great that we agree on the court willing to make a judgment after the facts have been considered
Err....is that what you said? Perhaps I was reading a different thread?....
Quote:
I think it is up to the person that wants to sail around the world
Quote:
I have a feeling that this one is an exception and unique. She should be given a chance.
8166UY
And why have laws when you want to make exceptions? Rolling Eyes
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:


Would you think it reasonable for a 10 yr old? An 8 yr old? Where exactly do you draw the line? I think the line is already drawn, and quite sensibly so, at 16.

That's just it. I don't draw the line, and I don't want the government drawing it for me either.
The parents should draw the line.

Where did the government get involved with this to begin with anyway? Did they ask permission?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Wrong. I did not read the article because of the photo. The photo had more meaning after I had read the article.
If you say so....I find it hard to see how anyone could form a balanced opinion about the girl or her parents from the cited article.

Your opinion seems to be pretty solid about where you stand. Why am I not allowed to have a different opinion with the same information? YES I do my research. If you like here is more information:
Quote:
She added that she was pleased the court did not ban her trip outright, but was apprehensive about their imposed conditions. “A child psychologist will be looking over my father’s shoulder and telling people what I’m like,” she said.

Appearing poised and confident, Laura countered criticisms that it would be unhealthy to be alone for that length of time. “The longest stretch I will be at sea is three weeks, and when I stop I will have so much contact with people in different places,” she said. For now, though, her plans are to return to school and await the psychologist’s verdict.


Here's another picture of her:


Bikerman wrote:

Perhaps you would care to explain what you think the ethical difference is between the two cases?
I'm not interested in the case in Spain Chris. Laura Dekker certainly does not look neglected to me at all.


Caption:
Quote:
From left: Dick Dekker, father of 13-year-old Laura Dekker and her lawyer Peter de Lange during a press conference in the courtroom in Utrecht, Netherlands in this photo taken Monday, Aug. 24, 2009.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090828/481/817fe0b94a544be596b196d045301753/[/img]

ocalhoun wrote:
Where did the government get involved with this to begin with anyway? Did they ask permission?
Yes. The father asked permission for his daughter to be taken out of school and gave honest reasons why she would be absent from school. I can imagine he would have thought that a formality, but then the school of course thought differently, social services got involved and one thing lead to another.

You bring a new argument that I had not thought about before, think Indi brought it up in another thread as well about the right of parents vs right of state. For me everything is going as it should. The school has to be concerned and I am happy they are. They had to do what they did. I am however very impressed that instead of outright refusal it is a case that is being investigated by the court. As I do believe in exceptions to the rule and if the court can find that she is mature enough to sail around the world, that that can be achieved. They are at least giving it serious attention. I have a feeling that she will not be allowed to sail, and that will be a pity. Reason why I think that is her response during an interview saying she is worried that the psychologist will be looking over her father's shoulder. Her father looks pretty formidable, probably took the school and social services by storm, fighting through to a court case. So who knows that could have made everyone at the school and social services even more determined that Laura should not be allowed to sail solo around the world at age 13.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Wrong. I did not read the article because of the photo. The photo had more meaning after I had read the article.
If you say so....I find it hard to see how anyone could form a balanced opinion about the girl or her parents from the cited article.

Your opinion seems to be pretty solid about where you stand. Why am I not allowed to have a different opinion with the same information?
My 'opinion' is not based on newspaper articles about the girl at all. It is based on current legislation and basic principles. It matters not one iota who the girl is and what the newspapers choose to print about her - that is just noise, and if you think that gives you a 'balanced opinion' then you are incredibly naive.

I don't know what 'Spain Case' you are referring to. The example I gave was a composite of several that have occurred in the UK, for example:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/jun/29/childrensservices.childprotection1
I see no ethical or legal difference between the two. The only 'practical' difference is that the parents in this particular case appear to be middle-class and 'respectable', and the girl in question is quite photogenic. Hardly a sound basis for a decision.
ocalhoun wrote:
That's just it. I don't draw the line, and I don't want the government drawing it for me either.
The parents should draw the line.
So if parents decide that their toddler can be left to fend for itself for a few weeks then that is OK is it? If you don't 'draw the line' then presumably there is no role for the state, regardless of age? Do you seriously think that parents are always the best people to judge on these matters? Sadly, there are a wealth of case histories which say otherwise. Being a parent doesn't mean you are a rational person, it just indicates that you probably had sex at some point.
8166UY
A little update here in the Dutch news: her mom doesn't want her child to go eather. She shares the child custody with the father, so the trip is getting more illegal with the day. Shocked
Bikerman
8166UY wrote:
A little update here in the Dutch news: her mom doesn't want her child to go eather. She shares the child custody with the father, so the trip is getting more illegal with the day. Shocked

As I said earlier, the notion that you can form some sort of balanced opinion about the girl and her circumstances from a couple of newspaper articles and a few photos is obviously barmy.
The courts will decide based on a lot more than a couple of quotes, and I have every faith in your courts to come to a sensible decision.
The assumption must surely be (based on current legislation and current practice) that she does not go. It is up to her, and her team, to show that there are exceptional circumstances which would allow her to go ahead, and the court must then have the final say. Due process in action.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
That's just it. I don't draw the line, and I don't want the government drawing it for me either.
The parents should draw the line.
So if parents decide that their toddler can be left to fend for itself for a few weeks then that is OK is it? If you don't 'draw the line' then presumably there is no role for the state, regardless of age? Do you seriously think that parents are always the best people to judge on these matters? Sadly, there are a wealth of case histories which say otherwise. Being a parent doesn't mean you are a rational person, it just indicates that you probably had sex at some point.

It probably wouldn't be okay. But the government should only get involved in order to intervene after this has happened, and has had demonstrably negative effects.

If it is an especially gifted child, and does just fine alone, to be perfectly healthy and happy when the parents get back, there should be no government problems.
Bikerman
I think you really need to think about the logic of what you are saying, because it is quite bizarre.
a) General principle - the government should let it happen, then get involved to pick up the pieces ('intervene' is a particularly bad choice of words).
b) Logical conclusion - any parent should be allowed to do whatever they wish to any child of any age and then prosecuted afterwards.

If you can't see any problem with that then either you aren't nearly as rational as I thought, or you have some ultra-right agenda that I find repugnant.
In my world the state has a responsibility - particularly to its weakest citizens. That responsibility involves intervening (in the real sense of that word).
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
That responsibility involves intervening (in the real sense of that word).

That's where our basic difference is.
I want a government that intervenes as little as possible in the lives of its people.

Making the misfortune of a neglected child be shared by the neglecting parents would be the limit of what I would approve of. That way, they can't abuse or neglect the child without risking harm to themselves, which should give them enough motivation.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
That responsibility involves intervening (in the real sense of that word).

That's where our basic difference is.
I want a government that intervenes as little as possible in the lives of its people.

Making the misfortune of a neglected child be shared by the neglecting parents would be the limit of what I would approve of. That way, they can't abuse or neglect the child without risking harm to themselves, which should give them enough motivation.
But the fact is that we know it doesn't. Do you really want me to list the abuse cases in the UK over the last 12 months to illustrate this? Presumably you would argue that the punishment isn't severe enough and all we need to do is string up a few and things would change? Another completely discredited argument.
It is a very basic difference between us. I don't know your particular circumstances but I do know a few others who think a bit like this. My experience is that they are the first who whinge when they get hurt - 'why didn't the police protect me?'
What do you say about the three year old who has been systematically tortured and beaten by their parents, before dying in agony after a particularly drunken beating? You seem happy to let it happen and then prosecute the parents, as if the child were nothing more than a possession, with no right to expect intervention by the state. I take a different view.

If you really have that philosophy then you should pack your guns in your pick-up, head for a nice piece of land and set-up your own little commune. You can then set up your own individualist system free from the state. But, of course, you would then BE the state...
Surprisingly enough I share some of your ideals. I am, at heart, more of an anarchist than a socialist. I believe in small government (ie rules set at the level of the individual first, the local society second, and the greater community third). The point is that any society would have to set rules about the treatment of children and other citizens without full 'powers'. At the moment we do that on a state level - although we do try to have some 'universal' principles. Presumably in your utopia this would be at the individual level? To suggest, however, that this view could be imposed on the current structure without some wholesale political change, is, I think naive and dangerous. You first have to move towards community based living - and I'm betting that the idea of communism is not something you have much time for.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
My 'opinion' is not based on newspaper articles about the girl at all. It is based on current legislation and basic principles. It matters not one iota who the girl is and what the newspapers choose to print about her - that is just noise, and if you think that gives you a 'balanced opinion' then you are incredibly naive.

Well then you have to be far ahead of the Court of Utrecht. Not only did they think there was enough cause for having a court case about it, but they think that there is enough justification for psychological investigation of two months to ascertain Laura Dekker's fitness for the task. Nothing NAIVE about that!

Bikerman wrote:
I don't know what 'Spain Case' you are referring to.

I was referring to this portion of your previous posting:
Bikerman wrote:
The point about being 'in radio contact' is yet another spurious argument. The mother in the neglect case I cited earlier could equally say that, whilst she was on her jolly week long trip to Spain, the kids had a mobile phone, so what's the problem?

Perhaps you would care to explain what you think the ethical difference is between the two cases?


Bikerman wrote:
[The assumption must surely be (based on current legislation and current practice) that she does not go. It is up to her, and her team, to show that there are exceptional circumstances which would allow her to go ahead, and the court must then have the final say. Due process in action.

If you read my postings properly Chris that is exactly what I have been saying as well. The Court of Utrecht will decide. And I hope that they will decide in her favour. But if they do not, then obviously she is not fit for the task. You seem to have already made your opinion about that it should not go ahead. And now you are turning it around. I have always deferred to the Court of Utrecht. This is the first time that you have done so as well.
Bikerman
<moderator censors himself here - deleted!>
I will simply say that I leave it to the reader to decide, after reading the thread, who has maintained a consistent and principled position, and who has changed position after 3 postings. I think that I come into the former category, but I am always willing to be judged on my posting.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
But the fact is that we know it doesn't. Do you really want me to list the abuse cases in the UK over the last 12 months to illustrate this? Presumably you would argue that the punishment isn't severe enough and all we need to do is string up a few and things would change? Another completely discredited argument.

There will always be those who ignore the consequences... just as there will always be those who manage to get around the government's protections.
I can't help thinking though, that a rule of 'what you do to your child will be done to you' would be effective in most cases, if thoroughly enforced.
Bikerman wrote:

It is a very basic difference between us. I don't know your particular circumstances but I do know a few others who think a bit like this. My experience is that they are the first who whinge when they get hurt - 'why didn't the police protect me?'

...
I assure you, I wouldn't be one of those people. I don't depend on the police for protection, often being hours away from the nearest officer of the law.
Bikerman wrote:

What do you say about the three year old who has been systematically tortured and beaten by their parents, before dying in agony after a particularly drunken beating? You seem happy to let it happen and then prosecute the parents, as if the child were nothing more than a possession, with no right to expect intervention by the state. I take a different view.

Is it really possible to do anything different?
The government can't do anything about it unless it knows about it.
Ideally, as soon as the government found out about this going on, the parent(s) would be subjected to the exact same treatment... to serve as an example for others.
Bikerman wrote:

If you really have that philosophy then you should pack your guns in your pick-up, head for a nice piece of land and set-up your own little commune. You can then set up your own individualist system free from the state. But, of course, you would then BE the state...

If this government gets bad enough, I might just do that....
In an ideal world, everyone could live by their own laws. Unfortunately, humans are evil creatures.
Bikerman wrote:

Surprisingly enough I share some of your ideals. I am, at heart, more of an anarchist than a socialist. I believe in small government (ie rules set at the level of the individual first, the local society second, and the greater community third). The point is that any society would have to set rules about the treatment of children and other citizens without full 'powers'. At the moment we do that on a state level - although we do try to have some 'universal' principles. Presumably in your utopia this would be at the individual level? To suggest, however, that this view could be imposed on the current structure without some wholesale political change, is, I think naive and dangerous. You first have to move towards community based living - and I'm betting that the idea of communism is not something you have much time for.

Oh, yes, there would have to be some HUGE changes. First of all, changes in human nature.
I would prefer individual based living, but this is impossible to sustain because of the human species' thirst for power.
As for now, we are stuck with our respective governments. They may bully us around (to varying degrees), but by their existence, they (mostly) prevent the rise of other, meaner bullies.

Until the human species develops further, the best I can hope for is for governments that bully people around as little as possible.
Bikerman
We will have to agree to differ, because I suspect that this would turn into a discussion more properly had in either the philosophy or the politics forum...
Let me simply say that, as the system is set up at the moment, the Dutch state is not only behaving properly, it is behaving extremely reasonably. The only two alternatives I can see would be:
a) Ban the trip. End of story
b) Do as they are doing now and consider the case individually.

There is no way that the state could have simply sanctioned the trip - firstly it would set a precedent that would be used in future neglect cases such as the ones discussed already. Secondly the state would then be behaving illegally according to its own laws, by explicitly or implicitly condoning the trip it would be guilty of conspiracy - someone's head would have to roll.
Roald
ocalhoun wrote:
It probably wouldn't be okay. But the government should only get involved in order to intervene after this has happened, and has had demonstrably negative effects.

If it is an especially gifted child, and does just fine alone, to be perfectly healthy and happy when the parents get back, there should be no government problems.
The government should interfere in order to prevent negative effects, if they would wait and let something happen, the public would be mad at them.
ocalhoun
Roald wrote:
The government should interfere in order to prevent negative effects,

I disagree. The government should motivate parents to prevent negative effects, and by doing so restrict their freedom as little as possible.
Quote:

if they would wait and let something happen, the public would be mad at them.

Only because they are accustomed to being in a nanny state. Ideally, personal responsibility for actions would be the idea, and everyone would be mad at the parents.
Vardin
ocalhoun wrote:
That the government stopped it, even though the parents approved of it seems a classic example of unwanted government involvement.

The best government is the one that governs the least, after all.



I agree they should have no right to tell the parents how to raise their child. If she has the ability and understands the risks then its her and her parents call.
This is a lot of the problems in the US are from the idiot government telling us what is good and bad.


50 years ago you could eat hamburger/pork/chicken/egg RAW with no issue. So how exactly have the helped us?
Bikerman
Vardin wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
That the government stopped it, even though the parents approved of it seems a classic example of unwanted government involvement.

The best government is the one that governs the least, after all.



I agree they should have no right to tell the parents how to raise their child. If she has the ability and understands the risks then its her and her parents call.
This is a lot of the problems in the US are from the idiot government telling us what is good and bad.


50 years ago you could eat hamburger/pork/chicken/egg RAW with no issue. So how exactly have the helped us?

Err....I'm almost speechless, but I'll recover in a minute......there we go,
Now:
a) Of course the government have a right to tell parents how they raise their child. Check the statutes.
b) If you want to eat raw meat and eggs then go right ahead - nobody will stop you. Informing you that you have a significant chance of contracting salmonella, e-coli, or other 'nasties' is not exactly 'telling you what to do' is it?
Roald
Vardin wrote:
50 years ago you could eat hamburger/pork/chicken/egg RAW with no issue. So how exactly have the helped us?
I don't exactly see how that helped the conversation.
Anyway, the government should not decide how we raise our children, but in situations like this, they should interfere. If someone was sailing right behind her the risks would be largely reduced (though there would still remain some) and she wouldn't, for example, be left alone in dangerous ports at the other side of the world.

I'm sure the following example is already used in this topic but I'm going to use it again: parents who leave their 13 year old daughter alone for 2 years. Almost everyone would disapprove the idea, Laura's idea is just going even further and I can perfectly understand why the people of the government feel the urge to interfere.

And to finish, I would like to alter ocalhoun's quote a bit:
ocalhoun wrote:
In an ideal world, everyone could live by their own laws. Unfortunately, humans are evil creatures.
In an ideal world everyone could live by their own laws. Unfortunately, humans are stupid creatures.
Vardin
Bikerman wrote:

Err....I'm almost speechless, but I'll recover in a minute......there we go,
Now:
a) Of course the government have a right to tell parents how they raise their child. Check the statutes.
b) If you want to eat raw meat and eggs then go right ahead - nobody will stop you. Informing you that you have a significant chance of contracting salmonella, e-coli, or other 'nasties' is not exactly 'telling you what to do' is it?




A. Before the government got involved we didn't have so many foul mouth brats running the streets as we do today. Another parent could discipline a kid that was out of line before the government stepped in and called it "abuse" they are one of the reasons so many kids are little monsters now a days. They are preventing parents from being parents. In some states you can't LEGALLY spank your child anymore.

I remember fondly 10 years ago getting switched by my best friends dad for jumping out of line....and my parents thanked him. I rightfully deserved it too.


B. Oddly my grandparents use to eat raw burger when they were 20 with no risk at all for salmonella, e-coli, or other 'nasties' back when there was little butcher shops.

Then the government told us how much safer a big company was and how much cleaner they were and slowly the little businesses got shut down since they couldn't compete on prices.

Did you know there is a regulation as to HOW MANY bugs/mice/feces can be in food? How healthy can this actually be. That is right because now we have salmonella, e-coli, or other 'nasties' to worry about.

Everything the government touches turns to crap. The only exception is our military which is second to none.

Roald wrote:
I don't exactly see how that helped the conversation.[/i]


Just pointing out the government doesn't have a clue. The girl should have the right if she is qualified.
I have no right to tell you how to raise your kids...so why should the government have the right?
Roald
Vardin wrote:

A. Before the government got involved we didn't have so many foul mouth brats running the streets as we do today. Another parent could discipline a kid that was out of line before the government stepped in and called it "abuse" they are one of the reasons so many kids are little monsters now a days.

B. Oddly my grandparents use to eat raw burger when they were 20 with no risk at all for salmonella, e-coli, or other 'nasties' back when there was little butcher shops.

Then the government told us how much safer a big company was and slowly the little businesses got shut down.

Did you know there is a regulation as to HOW MANY bugs/mice/feces can be in food?


Everything the government touches turns to crap. The only exception is our military which is second to none.
A. These foul mouth brats have always been there, and it's the duty of their parents to raise them in a good way not of other people. And I think it's a good idea that the government punishes people who give 'annoying' children a good spanking.

B. I don't think there is any law (at least not in my country) that prohibits the eating of raw food at home, so I don't see your problem here.
And I perfectly understand why the government regulates how many bugs/mice/... can be in our food, this just prevents merchants from selling poor food.
Bikerman
Vardin wrote:
A. Before the government got involved we didn't have so many foul mouth brats running the streets as we do today. Another parent could discipline a kid that was out of line before the government stepped in and called it "abuse" they are one of the reasons so many kids are little monsters now a days. They are preventing parents from being parents. In some states you can't LEGALLY spank your child anymore.
Selective memory syndrome at its most obvious.
Please tell me exactly when you think children were not 'foul mouthed'. My memory only extends about 40 years and I cannot remember any such time - perhaps your memory extends further and I have missed something. Perhaps you don't remember the teen violence of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s? I do.
You seem to have some rose-tinted view that the past was better. It wasn't.
Quote:
B. Oddly my grandparents use to eat raw burger when they were 20 with no risk at all for salmonella, e-coli, or other 'nasties' back when there was little butcher shops.
More selective memory syndrome. The reason that your grandparents didn't die is down to something we call 'luck'. The bugs were around during 'their' day, just as they are now. The difference is that we now know much more about food hygiene and can diagnose food poisoning much quicker.
http://shm.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/12/2/293
Quote:
Did you know there is a regulation as to HOW MANY bugs/mice/feces can be in food? How healthy can this actually be.
Very healthy. I don't particularly want mouse droppings in my food, do you? If you go back 50 years then mouse droppings and other contaminants were common in foodstuffs. Nowadays we have stricter rules, and you should be grateful.
Afaceinthematrix
Bikerman wrote:
Well, I say that in such a case (the three month trip), if the parents left the daughter unsupervised during that period, then the state would be DUTY BOUND to step in. I don't know on what grounds you would disagree - child protection legislation is pretty clear in most countries. You seem to be saying that the state does indeed have a duty to provide adequate education, but you don't agree that it has a duty of care to minors (though you 'understand' - whatever that means).....



Quote:
You seem to be saying that the state does indeed have a duty to provide adequate education


I believe that education is one of the responsibilities of the government and that public (not private, not home-schooling) education must be compulsory through the age of 18 (or when a person completes their k-12 education - which sometimes happens at age 17).

That's why I would agree that the courts need to step in during this situation and stop this from happening because this child will miss school.

If she's embarking on a mini-trip during the summer, she will not be missing school. However... there is also child protection legislation in many countries, like you said. If there's this legislation, then the state must stop the trip from happening if they're to follow their own rules. That's why I said I would understand the state stepping in. I understand because they're just trying to follow the law (and a good law at that).

Now... Do I agree with the law in this case? I'm not entirely sure. I definitely believe in some type of child protection legislation, but I am unsure about what kind of legislation I agree with. Therefore I am unable to make a decision, yet.

When I was a teenager, I would go off, by myself, to do some fishing, climbing, hiking, etc. by myself (or with other friends my age) without an adult. Was I able to handle it? Yes. Was it legal? I do not know. Should I have been allowed to do it? Yes. I think so. I was able to, and on several occasions I had to, handle myself in those types of situations better than many adults.

So where are the limits? I do not really know. I haven't fully developed my ideas about this because I do not have children of my own to worry about. Now, I did say that I would disagree if the government stepped in if she was going on a mini trip around the country over the summer holidays. Perhaps I was misleading in my diction. I didn't literally mean around the country (the country would have to be an island). I meant around, as in, near. There's far less danger in being around, or near, the country than 1000's of kilometers away in the middle of the oceans. You can do plenty of sailing without ever losing sight of land. When I was 18, I went on a sailboat for a week and did hundreds of miles of sailing without ever losing sight of land for very long.

I also said over the summer holidays. I didn't say the entire summer holidays. I just meant some time over the holidays. I said mini-trip because I meant short. If her parents knew she had extensive sailing experience, would they be wrong to allow her to go out for a week (or maybe that's still overkill, let's shorten it to a weekend - of course then it wouldn't need to be over the holidays, but my original thoughts were a week)? It would be illegal, yes. But would it be wrong? I do not know. I really haven't thought this out much.

Quote:
Imagine the court-room scene. A young mother is being prosecuted for neglect because she left her children (12 and 7) 'home-alone' for a week while she went on holiday with a friend. (This is not a hypothetical, by the way). The defence lawyer immediately moves 'no case to answer' on the grounds that the state has already sanctioned (either implicitly or explicitly) such behaviour - in fact a much more dangerous example of such behaviour.


A similar situation actually almost happened to me when I was younger (except it wasn't as bad of a situation).
Bikerman
Fair enough. You obviously need to think this through a bit more - no problem. I had to think my own way through this when doing my teacher training. There is no single 'right' answer.
Yes, I certainly had much more freedom as a child than kids today enjoy. During summer we were effectively left to ourselves all day. Nowadays that would be considered odd, if not dangerous, by many. Certainly I think kids need 'space' and I'm not suggesting that we have the balance perfect.
I do, however, think that this particular case is clear-cut.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

Yes, I certainly had much more freedom as a child than kids today enjoy. During summer we were effectively left to ourselves all day. Nowadays that would be considered odd, if not dangerous, by many. Certainly I think kids need 'space' and I'm not suggesting that we have the balance perfect.

So we have a trend...
Where will that stop?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

Yes, I certainly had much more freedom as a child than kids today enjoy. During summer we were effectively left to ourselves all day. Nowadays that would be considered odd, if not dangerous, by many. Certainly I think kids need 'space' and I'm not suggesting that we have the balance perfect.

So we have a trend...
Where will that stop?

I really don't know. What I do know is that I wish kids had the same freedom I did as a child. What I also know is that it isn't possible any more. It isn't increased political meddling, it is a completely different environment. Society changes and I'm too old to have any solutions, and to wise to think we can turn back the clock. It is up to the next generations to sort out the problem - if indeed they perceive it as a problem, which is not at all certain.
My considered opinion is that societies evolve in a manner which is far too chaotic* to plan. The best one can do is apply your own ethics to the situation you find yourself in.

* And I mean that in the technical sense of the word - a non-linear dynamic system with coupled feedback parameters.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

Yes, I certainly had much more freedom as a child than kids today enjoy. During summer we were effectively left to ourselves all day. Nowadays that would be considered odd, if not dangerous, by many. Certainly I think kids need 'space' and I'm not suggesting that we have the balance perfect.

So we have a trend...
Where will that stop?

I really don't know. What I do know is that I wish kids had the same freedom I did as a child. What I also know is that it isn't possible any more. It isn't increased political meddling, it is a completely different environment. Society changes and I'm too old to have any solutions, and to wise to think we can turn back the clock. It is up to the next generations to sort out the problem - if indeed they perceive it as a problem, which is not at all certain.
My considered opinion is that societies evolve in a manner which is far too chaotic* to plan. The best one can do is apply your own ethics to the situation you find yourself in.

* And I mean that in the technical sense of the word - a non-linear dynamic system with coupled feedback parameters.
I don't agree with this. During "older" times, women tended to stay at home more, and children were much more restricted under their supervision. Including the amount of time they spent on TV etc. We also did not have the Internet at home, nor as much influence by the media through TV including all the Geographic Channels and explorer experiences. Not to mention Computer Games. Children are lapping that up pursuing dreams along with Harry Potter, Mulan and quite a number of very adventurous and capable child heroes. Children get to stay home on their own and have much more freedom when their parents are not around. In a way they get to fight for themselves, and develop an independence through enforced responsibility to take care of themselves and their siblings. They seem to be growing up much faster as a consequence as well as enjoy more freedom and take stronger positions about their own lives.

I am almost certain there are many other Laura Dekkers in the world, planning and dreaming as she is with lots of help from the Internet, discussion groups, How To Websites etc. I found another article that is quite interesting about how determined and independent Laura Dekker is:

Quote:
The public debate about whether Laura should be allowed to undertake such an arduous journey hinges partly on the girl’s motives. The intention seems to be to break a world record rather than any thirst for adventure.

Little more than a week ago the 17-year-old British sailor Mike Perham completed his round-the-world trip. It took him nine months. Laura turns 14 next month. If her trip takes two years she will be 16 — and she will eclipse Mike’s record. However, if the court insists that she stay in school until 15, then the record may well stay with the British teenager.

Her parents initially set up obstacles, telling her that they would consider approving the trip if she charted and organised it herself. When she did that, her father demanded proof that she could sail alone through busy shipping lanes — so she sailed to Lowestoft, where social workers demanded that her father come and collect her.

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/sailing/article6823984.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093
truespeed
Quote:
The intention seems to be to break a world record rather than any thirst for adventure


I think that is the bottom line with this particular case,if she was 16,would she still want to make the trip,well probably not,because there would be no record,and no fame.

I am sure if she flicks through the Guinness book of records, there are easier ways of getting into the book.
deanhills
truespeed wrote:
I am sure if she flicks through the Guinness book of records, there are easier ways of getting into the book.
Well possibly since she has been doing this most of her life it has become competitive but competitive relative to this sport. Who knows! The media may have reports that are not always accurate either. One thing is for certain however, all of it has to be enormously stressful on her and her divorced parents. She must be pretty determined to have continued as long as she has, including surviving being held in detention in the UK. Up to the point that her father had to join her, she had to deal with it completely on her own. None of it apparently deterred her.
Bikerman
Quote:
I don't agree with this. During "older" times, women tended to stay at home more, and children were much more restricted under their supervision
It is not simply a matter of opinion. I don't normally make unsubstantiated claims, as you should know. Neither did I do so in this case.
There has been quite a bit of research in various countries which support my view.
For example
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_world_story_skin/1167461
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2007/10/24/children-over-protected-from-risk-91466-19998173/
http://www.canadianliving.com/family/kids/overprotected_kids_how_to_let_kids_take_risks.php
truespeed
Quote:
The public debate about whether Laura should be allowed to undertake such an arduous journey hinges partly on the girl’s motives. The intention seems to be to break a world record rather than any thirst for adventure.

Little more than a week ago the 17-year-old British sailor Mike Perham completed his round-the-world trip. It took him nine months. Laura turns 14 next month. If her trip takes two years she will be 16 — and she will eclipse Mike’s record. However, if the court insists that she stay in school until 15, then the record may well stay with the British teenager.

Her parents initially set up obstacles, telling her that they would consider approving the trip if she charted and organised it herself. When she did that, her father demanded proof that she could sail alone through busy shipping lanes — so she sailed to Lowestoft, where social workers demanded that her father come and collect her.


Why if it only took him 9 months,will it take her an estimated 2 years?

If it can be done in 9 months,surely she can wait till shes 16 and still break the record.
Bikerman
I suspect it would take her much longer than 9 months because, if reports are to be believed, she plans to sail no longer than 3 weeks between stops. This would limit her choice of course (ps - later addition when I spotted the interesting double meaning. My intended meaning is that it would limit her choice as to the course she could choose), and the stop-overs would be added to the time.
truespeed
Are the stop overs and chosen course,her way of placating the authorities as to her well being during the trip? If she was 16,surely she wouldn't have this handicap,then she could complete the trip via the quickest course. Unless of course she doesn't consider herself a good enough sailor to stray too far away from land.
Bikerman
Yes, if she was 16 then she could choose her course. Yes, I suspect this is to placate the authorities.

To be honest I think we have now exhausted this thread. Unless there are any new points to be made then I intend to close it.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
she plans to sail no longer than 3 weeks between stops.

So...
What if the parents met her at each stop, and gave her home-schooling while stopped, with plenty of homework for the trip to the next stop...

What would be your objection then?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
To be honest I think we have now exhausted this thread. Unless there are any new points to be made then I intend to close it.
The Utrecht Court will be making a decision, hopefully during October. Would it not be wise to keep the thread alive until at least then, as that would be of interest to the thread?
Hogwarts
13 is probably too young, especially considering a 16 year old trying to achieve the same feat manages to crash into a 63,000-tonne cargo ship.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
To be honest I think we have now exhausted this thread. Unless there are any new points to be made then I intend to close it.
The Utrecht Court will be making a decision, hopefully during October. Would it not be wise to keep the thread alive until at least then, as that would be of interest to the thread?
Fair point. OK, I'll keep it live until after the court decision.
sum12nv
no 13 is not too young to sail solo around the world if i were 13 and i knew how to sail solo i would do it.
deanhills
Looks as though another school girl, Jessica Watson, from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia is very close to starting a solo journey around the world. She is sixteen years old.

http://www.jessicawatson.com.au/the-latest-news

CNN interview with her why she would want to do it:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SPORT/04/22/young.solo.sailors/index.html?eref=edition

This is a news story about her temporary setback:
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,26048108-2702,00.html?from=public_rss

Would appear that she has many supporters standing behind her.
Bikerman
I see no issue with that.
16 is regarded by many countries as the 'age of license' (not to be confused with the 'age of majority'), and, as such, I would think it reasonable for a competent 16 years old to 'have a crack'. This presents no major legal issues.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
This presents no major legal issues.

What about your major legal issue of attending public school?

And while a 16 year old probably is more mature, experienced, and reliable than a 13 year old, it's only a matter of degree. How much do they really learn in 3 years? Couldn't parents still be prosecuted for neglecting a 16 year old?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
This presents no major legal issues.

What about your major legal issue of attending public school?
I may be being thick here, but I really don't understand that at all...
Quote:
And while a 16 year old probably is more mature, experienced, and reliable than a 13 year old, it's only a matter of degree. How much do they really learn in 3 years? Couldn't parents still be prosecuted for neglecting a 16 year old?
Yes they could, but the point is that society confers certain rights at 16. The right to marry, join the armed forces and so on.
http://www.kitzone.org.uk/rights16.html
The parents are still partially responsible until the age of majority, but I think it is reasonable that, at age 16, someone be allowed to attempt this trip.
Of course ALL age-based legislation is arbitrary to some extent. Of course different children become mature at different rates. The best we can do as societies is arrive at a reasonable figure. I think we have it about right, though it may change, and probably will change, in the future.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
This presents no major legal issues.

What about your major legal issue of attending public school?
I may be being thick here, but I really don't understand that at all...

An objection you voiced earlier was that this 13 year old would not be attending school (as is mandatory) during the trip.
Would not a 16 year old also miss school on the trip, and aren't the two bound by the exact same rules? Or does mandatory schooling end before 16 in the UK?
jmi256
Not to change subjects, but what do you think about the story below? Should the parents be prosecuted for their actions? If a 13-year-old girl is considered too young to make decisions for herself, a 12-year-old would also be considered too young, right? But it seems the school district is intent on supporting and endorsing his/her decision.

Quote:

Boy, 12, turns into girl

A BOY aged 12 turned up at school as a GIRL - after changing sex during the summer holidays.


Teachers called an emergency assembly to order fellow pupils to treat him as female.
The lad, whose parents have changed his name to a girl's by deed poll, arrived in a dress with long hair in ribboned pigtails. He is preparing for sex-swap surgery.

Angry parents told yesterday how their kids were left tearful and confused after school staff announced the boy pupil was now a girl.

They said the head teacher should have informed them in advance of the "sex change" so they could prepare their sons and daughters and inform them about gender issues.
They added that the school's failure to do so had left the boy to suffer cruel taunts and bullying.

One mum said: "They behaved appallingly by throwing this hand grenade into the room and then leaving the inevitable questions about it for unprepared parents.

"Maybe we could have explained sexual politics and encouraged our kids to be more sensitive if we'd had a chance to be involved."

Over the summer holidays his parents changed his name to a female one by deed poll. He is preparing to undergo hormone treatment and surgery - and could become the world's youngest sex-swap patient in the coming years.

The Sun knows his identity but will not reveal it. His mother told us last night: "We are committed to ensuring the very best for our child. We are working with other agencies to ensure our child's welfare is protected."

The 1,000-pupil school, in southern England, has given the lad a separate toilet and changing room in the sports hall.

It is understood he hoped his transformation would go unnoticed as he was starting secondary education and children stepping up from other primary schools would not recognise him.

But his former classmates at primary level DID spot the difference - and quickly spread the word.

The boy, who for years has told pals he yearns to be a girl, had to endure spiteful jibes and was asked by some kids: "Are you gay?"

Teachers stepped in with the emergency assembly, at which pupils were threatened with tough disciplinary action if they failed to treat him as a girl or use his new name. Some bewildered youngsters burst into tears.

The mum, whose daughter was a classmate of the lad at primary school, said: "She told me the pupil is already a target for bullying.

"And what has really upset the parents is that the school didn't see fit to send us a letter first so we could explain it to our children in our own way.

"Parents surely have a right to know when their children are being confronted with such sensitive issues as gender realignment at such a young age.

"They were simply told, 'You may notice one pupil is not present in this assembly - that is because the pupil is now a girl.'

"Kids are by nature immature and insensitive. It is not fair either for the child who is undergoing this change. The girl, as she now is, will go through hell because of how this has been handled."

The lad was absent from school yesterday because of the taunts.

His family, who live on a council estate, have received threats and are under police protection.
It is understood the head at his primary school insisted he was treated as a boy - and used male toilets - despite his frequent "girlie" behaviour.

He wore a bikini instead of trunks at swimming lessons, dried himself on Barbie towels, rode a pink scooter to school and wore pink ribbons in his hair.

But a source at the secondary school, who referred to the pupil in both genders, said: "His parents have accepted he has now chosen to be a girl, and that's how he will be. She has not come into school since the assembly. There were things that went on in the community which have been extremely upsetting for the family.

"It was a knock-on effect from what was said in school. So they can't let her come in for her own safety. We have no idea exactly when she will be coming back, but she WILL be back."

Transgender counsellor David Hawley last night paid tribute to the pupil's "strength of character".

He said: "It is very unusual for a child of that age to be that clear about what they want to do. She has had a lot of support from her parents. So I imagine she was comfortable with herself before going to school and now she is discovering it can be a nasty world, which is hard at that age."

Psychotherapist James Caspian said the child would not be allowed hormone treatment in the UK until passing puberty. Meanwhile he and the other kids would have to cope with the shockwaves caused by the switch.

Mr Caspian said: "These children are old enough to have picked up a lot of taboos from society."
German Kim Petras - born Tim - became the world's youngest transsexual at 16 earlier this year.

Source = http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2643393/Boy-12-turns-into-girl.html
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
This presents no major legal issues.

What about your major legal issue of attending public school?
I may be being thick here, but I really don't understand that at all...

An objection you voiced earlier was that this 13 year old would not be attending school (as is mandatory) during the trip.
Would not a 16 year old also miss school on the trip, and aren't the two bound by the exact same rules? Or does mandatory schooling end before 16 in the UK?
It ends at 16, so I see no issue.
Bikerman
jmi256 wrote:
Not to change subjects, but what do you think about the story below? Should the parents be prosecuted for their actions? If a 13-year-old girl is considered too young to make decisions for herself, a 12-year-old would also be considered too young, right? But it seems the school district is intent on supporting and endorsing his/her decision.

This is WAY more complex as an issue.
a) The child in this case is not seeking to 'bypass' existing legislation (to the best of my knowledge).
b) I'm presuming that there has been a high level of medical and psychological involvement here. You don't get gender-reassignment therapy on a whim.
c) I don't really think that I care too much about the reactions of parents of other children. The decision was one for the child, the parents, the medical professionals and the school.
d) This was printed in the SUN. We have previously had the MAIL quoted. That is bad enough. The SUN is a rag which prints pretty much any garbage. I wouldn't trust ANY article in that particular publication.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
This presents no major legal issues.

What about your major legal issue of attending public school?
I may be being thick here, but I really don't understand that at all...

An objection you voiced earlier was that this 13 year old would not be attending school (as is mandatory) during the trip.
Would not a 16 year old also miss school on the trip, and aren't the two bound by the exact same rules? Or does mandatory schooling end before 16 in the UK?
It ends at 16, so I see no issue.

Oh. Well, while we still have a disagreement, that clears up the misunderstanding. Mandatory school in the US ends at (approximately) 18.
deanhills
Maybe Australia is a good place to be:
Quote:
A police spokeswoman said as long as Ms Watson had a valid licence and her boat met safety regulations, they could not intervene.

I found an article in which state government officers were looking for ways to stop Jessica from doing her solo trip, and could not find any. The quote is from the following article:
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26057334-421,00.html

Quote:
A spokeswoman for Child Safety Minister Phil Reeves said yesterday there was no trigger for intervention because child protection laws had been written to protect children who were either being abused or neglected rather than taking solo sailing trips, The Courier-Mail reports.

"It's a complex matter for us," she said. "The girl is 16. She and her parents feel she is able to do this. This ... may divide community views. Some people may see this young person as an achiever and a hero and others may think the parents should not allow her to go."
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

Quote:
they could not intervene.


Three cheers for limitation of government powers!
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:

Quote:
they could not intervene.


Three cheers for limitation of government powers!
Well, exactly the same would apply in most countries. I suppose in the US (depending on the state) then the age might have been set at 18. Do you really see a principled difference, or just a difference in detail?
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Do you really see a principled difference, or just a difference in detail?

I don't think any government should be telling a parent what's best for their children unless the child has been demonstrably permanently harmed by the parent(s).

Sure, you might reduce child suffering a little by interfering more than that... But remember "give me freedom or give me death"? ... Don't take away my freedom, even if it's supposed to save my life.
Bikerman
Well, as I said previously, your views here are based on an ideal which is far from reality and arguably impossible. That doesn't mean that they are invalid - I've argued similar cases - but it does mean that they are more suited to the philosophy forum Smile
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
Well, as I said previously, your views here are based on an ideal which is far from reality and arguably impossible. That doesn't mean that they are invalid - I've argued similar cases - but it does mean that they are more suited to the philosophy forum Smile

Actually, I mean in this world, right now, it is better to suffer than to have the government take away your freedom in order to prevent that suffering.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
Well, as I said previously, your views here are based on an ideal which is far from reality and arguably impossible. That doesn't mean that they are invalid - I've argued similar cases - but it does mean that they are more suited to the philosophy forum Smile

Actually, I mean in this world, right now, it is better to suffer than to have the government take away your freedom in order to prevent that suffering.
Hmm, I disagree, and I certainly wouldn't base any child protection legislation on that premise.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
, I disagree

That particular disagreement is probably our most fundamental difference.
deanhills
Update: Laura Dekker is still completely undeterred to do her solo round the world sailing journey. Dutch courts blocked her journey in October of last year, following which she withdrew all her savings (5000US) and travelled to St. Martin in the Dutch Antilles with the object to buy a yacht and do the journey regardless. However officers of the Child Welfare Office in Utrecht located her there, and brought her back to the Netherlands. They wished to put her in foster care, but she was finally placed with her father again.

She is now doing something similar to Jessica Watson, methodically planning for her journey, and probably hoping to get support from everyone before she can get permission to launch. Perhaps Jessica Watson's successful trip may help her.
http://www.lauradekker.nl/English/Sponsoring.html

[MOD - URL replaced - the sponsor link does not solicit money directly - my mistake -Bikerman.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
she withdrew all her savings (5000US) and travelled to St. Martin in the Dutch Antilles with the object to buy a yacht and do the journey regardless.

^.^ I hope next time she gets away and manages to defy the government.
Quote:

[MOD - URL removed since it was clearly soliciting donations - Bikerman]

What's wrong with soliciting donations for a cause?
After all, USD $5,000 seems a bit small to be financing a trip around the world.
Bikerman
If you want to solicit money then do it on your own website. These forums are not intended to be used for that sort of thing. My principle objection would be that it is aiding and abetting a (possibly) criminal act - given that the court has twice ruled that she must not undertake the trip.
Who are you to oppose the ruling of a court in another country? Do you know all the circumstances? Or have you just read a few newspaper snippets and decided that she must be the heroine of the piece?
It seems to me that the courts will have looked at this in some detail.

PS - sorry - I only just remembered this posting when a new one appeared and I checked back. I should make it clear that the link did NOT solicit money since there was no direct appeal, and that it was my mistake for not checking Smile
menino
Yes, Jessica Watson is the 16 year old who is sailing around the world, and right about now, she is in South Africa.
I don't think anyone is too young to travel around the world, but what is important is the skills required to maintain and sustain yourself while you do it. Its just that younger people don't have as much expertise.

I belive the 12 year old trying to go around the world is prepped up since he was 9 years old, right?
If so, and he has the will and determination and the skills required to "MAN" the boat, I belive he can, and it will teach him a lot for years to come.
paul_indo
I first had my own boat and sailed solo at 2 years old.
My father was a yacht designer and builder so he built me a small yacht I was tethered to the shore untill I learnt to handle it well enough.
I sailed regularly untill I was 16, since then only occasiaonaly so I have a little experience as a young sailor.

The issue, I believe, is complex. Even adults have died in this sort of attempt and there are never any gaurantees of what the ocean will throw at you.

I remember one Easter weekend I was about 11 or 12 and I went out to some islands with my father and the family. It turned into a major cyclone and boats were being sunk and the coastguard was swamped with emergency calls and yet I loved every second, BUT I had my dad to make the decisions and his physical stregnth.
Many adults failed to cope with the situatuion, I, if alone, would probably have failed also. My brother and mum were chucking their guts up the whole time and so would many people in those conditions.
You can not imagine the power of the ocean if you have never been at it's mercy. As a sailor, surfer or maybe a fisherman or the like.

That said I believe it is her and her families right to decide if she is capable of the physicaL and mental endurance required.

I would say 13 is too young, but they must make their own decision and live with the consequences either good or bad.

Modern technology has made this much easier but it will never be EASY.
deanhills
menino wrote:
Yes, Jessica Watson is the 16 year old who is sailing around the world, and right about now, she is in South Africa.
I thought she was back in Sydney, Australia? She has just completed her journey around the world solo last weekend, which I think is a major accomplishment for her. It was almost like a two-step challenge, and one is not quite sure which is the greater one. The challenge of actually getting permission from the authorities for her to launch her solo trip, or the actual navigation around the world on her own. Amazing the support she received from her parents. Probably a real life coaching experience for her:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100515/ap_on_re_as/as_australia_young_sailor
Below is a photo of her reuniting with her parents just after her arrival back in Sydney after her journey around the world:
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

Who are you to oppose the ruling of a court in another country? Do you know all the circumstances? Or have you just read a few newspaper snippets and decided that she must be the heroine of the piece?
It seems to me that the courts will have looked at this in some detail.

Sad
Why did my reply to this disappear?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

Who are you to oppose the ruling of a court in another country? Do you know all the circumstances? Or have you just read a few newspaper snippets and decided that she must be the heroine of the piece?
It seems to me that the courts will have looked at this in some detail.

Sad
Why did my reply to this disappear?
Did it? Oh br4ghajh! (encoded swearing). The only thing I can think of is something I've done before in error but always caught...have I clicked edit instead of quote? Is the posting completely gone or included in one of mine?

I certainly would not have removed it without reason and if I had (which i didn't) then I would let you know as a matter of routine. But I could have cocked-up that damn edit button (the mods have an extra edit button and my brain is slow to adapt to the change...Sad
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
she withdrew all her savings (5000US) and travelled to St. Martin in the Dutch Antilles with the object to buy a yacht and do the journey regardless.

^.^ I hope next time she gets away and manages to defy the government.
Definitely. But just imagine how gutsy that must have been. Most teenagers would have been completely devastated and depressed after all of the court and media uproar experiences, needing psychological counselling, yet she seems to be dealing with these adversities completely in the action mode, not at all deviated from her focus on her objective. To me that is a great sign. If she were to come across emergencies on a solo trip around the world, she would be dealing with those emergencies head on in the action mode.

ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

Who are you to oppose the ruling of a court in another country? Do you know all the circumstances? Or have you just read a few newspaper snippets and decided that she must be the heroine of the piece?
It seems to me that the courts will have looked at this in some detail.

Sad Why did my reply to this disappear?
Hope you can remember what you wrote, as would love to read your reply. Can you remember what it was?
silverdown
If it was not breaking the law or going agasint her parents wishes i do not see a problem. Eveidently the goverment where she is at has nothing better to do then pick on a kid......

I say go for it, however make sure she knows the risks, how to read a map.....oh and to use a radio!!!!... and i get fishing lessions too cuz in the middle of a ocean/sea I do not thoing she can order a pizza nor go to the local market seeing that it's right UNDER the boat Smile
SonLight
If I understand this properly, the father is in favor of the girl's request, but the mother (who has equal parental rights) is opposed. I admire the girl's tenacity, and maybe she can convince her mother in the next year or two. However, as long as the two parents are divided, I think the only realistic choice is to forbid the trip.

As soon as she gets her mother's permission, I think the courts ought to favor her trip. The issue of her education is a legitimate one that must be satisfied. I think that with her level of motivation, it need not be done by saying that she must spend x hours for y months in studies over the next two years though. A much more flexible arrangement could be worked out and still insure that she would be well prepared to enter college at or within a year of the time she would ordinarily do so.
deanhills
SonLight wrote:
If I understand this properly, the father is in favor of the girl's request, but the mother (who has equal parental rights) is opposed. I admire the girl's tenacity, and maybe she can convince her mother in the next year or two. However, as long as the two parents are divided, I think the only realistic choice is to forbid the trip.

As soon as she gets her mother's permission, I think the courts ought to favor her trip. The issue of her education is a legitimate one that must be satisfied. I think that with her level of motivation, it need not be done by saying that she must spend x hours for y months in studies over the next two years though. A much more flexible arrangement could be worked out and still insure that she would be well prepared to enter college at or within a year of the time she would ordinarily do so.
I get a feeling that there was a breakdown of a relationship between her and her mother before the whole saga started. She was in the custody of her father, which is strange, considering that the mother usually gets custody of younger children. The mother is not really opposed in a strict sense. She thinks her daughter is very capable, however, she is concerned that she may be too young. Laura Dekker is still working on doing the trip solo however, trying to meet the conditions that the court imposed on her for sailing solo. One of the ideas that had been under consideration was to make her trip into a Reality TV show, so that it would not be completely solo. Not sure whether that is still a consideration. She has apparently received all kinds of media offers.
ocalhoun
Now, back from the dead, here's my reply:

Bikerman wrote:

Who are you to oppose the ruling of a court in another country?


In general, when there's a disagreement between 'the little guy' and a government, I'm siding with the little guy.
This is especially true when 'the little guy' isn't infringing on the rights of others.

There are cases where the government is right and 'the little guy' is wrong, but when there's doubt, always err on the side of too much freedom, rather than too little.
Quote:
Do you know all the circumstances? Or have you just read a few newspaper snippets and decided that she must be the heroine of the piece?

No, I don't know all the circumstances, who can? (besides the parents and the child themselves...)
Quote:

It seems to me that the courts will have looked at this in some detail.

I'm sure they did, but I think they still made a decision based on flawed moral and political grounds, despite their in-depth inquiry.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
I'm sure they did, but I think they still made a decision based on flawed moral and political grounds, despite their in-depth inquiry.
Exactly, and the court decision only banned her for eight months, and set positive conditions such as taking a first-aid course, as well as a few others that would make it safer if she were to be allowed to sail in 8 months's time. She is still hoping to sail on 1 July. And is obviously working on meeting those conditions, as I imagine there would have to be further deliberations with the court until she is given final permission to sail.
Quote:
Laura's lawyer Peter de Lange praised Wednesday's decision for clarifying that if Laura meets certain conditions — which were not made public — she will be given permission to depart on her trip next summer.

"It's not, 'Do your best and we'll see,' anymore," he said.

"It's, 'If you do your best, then it's going to happen, and we'll see to it that it does.'"

Child Welfare Authority spokesman Jan Dirk Sprokkereef said he was satisfied that Laura's father Dick will co-operate with the agency in the future.

"It was necessary to talk it through at this hearing, with the judges there," Sprokkereef said. "There's still a chance that the sea journey will go through."

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/12/23/dekker-custody.html?ref=rss
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Now, back from the dead, here's my reply:

Bikerman wrote:

Who are you to oppose the ruling of a court in another country?


In general, when there's a disagreement between 'the little guy' and a government, I'm siding with the little guy. This is especially true when 'the little guy' isn't infringing on the rights of others.
The 'little guy' is setting precedent and therefore potentially responsible from this point onwards for how similar cases are handled. That, however, is not the point I was making. The point is that most Americans tend to get a bit upset when someone asserts that their legal system is corrupt and/or unreliable. I've seen many examples on these forums and I've shared the feeling on many occasions that the system is flawed but no more so than in any other country I can think of.
There is some implicit assumption, in this whole thread, that the courts have taken a stance, and that stance is either wrong or right depending on your view of individual rights. The more explicit result is that the courts are portrayed as taking a 'statist' line - supporting the rights of entities as superior to those of the individual. Has anyone actually produced the court ruling?
Quote:
There are cases where the government is right and 'the little guy' is wrong, but when there's doubt, always err on the side of too much freedom, rather than too little.
No, much better to collect sufficient facts to form a reasonable opinion...that is nearly always more than national media can supply, unless it gets picked-up as a 'special interest' story, and even then you often get a rather partial story.
Quote:
No, I don't know all the circumstances, who can? (besides the parents and the child themselves...)
But it is surely possible to look into a few basic questions - such as 'what did the court actually say'?
Quote:
...but I think they still made a decision based on flawed moral and political grounds, despite their in-depth inquiry.
And those principles are presumably around the right of the individual trumping the right(s) of the state? Or do you want to add the condition that no other entities could be damaged by the action? Why not frame this principle explicitly, so I don't mischaracterise it unwittingly?
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
The point is that most Americans tend to get a bit upset when someone asserts that their legal system is corrupt and/or unreliable. I've seen many examples on these forums and I've shared the feeling on many occasions that the system is flawed but no more so than in any other country I can think of.
Can you quote examples? I've seen it completely different in that there is no one in the world more critical of their legal system than Americans themselves.

Bikerman wrote:
There is some implicit assumption, in this whole thread, that the courts have taken a stance, and that stance is either wrong or right depending on your view of individual rights. The more explicit result is that the courts are portrayed as taking a 'statist' line - supporting the rights of entities as superior to those of the individual. Has anyone actually produced the court ruling?
If you are asking what the court ruling is, there were three court rulings. There was the first one in last August just after Laura Dekker had sailed her yacht solo to the UK. Her dad says he wanted his daughter to taste what it really was like, in an attempt to discourage her. Just the opposite happened. However, she then got caught in the UK and her dad had to fetch her, following a court case in the Netherlands in August when Laura was put in the custody of the Child Services Authority in the Netherlands, with the purpose of investigating whether she can undertake a journey like this on her own.

Laura then had to go through a batch of psychological tests, which she passed. But then the Child Services Authority drew up a long list of additional conditions that she had to meet to make the journey safer and prepare her better, which the court then made into a ruling in October. The conditions were not made public, other than being revealed in bits and pieces as she accomplished them later. The October ruling also put Laura in the Child Services Authority custody. Laura and her father were very upset with the ruling, especially because she had passed the psychological tests, and they felt all the other conditions had been petty. This then led to a break down in a relationship between the Child Services Authority and her father.

Following the above Laura Dekker decided to take matters into her own hands, and left the Netherlands. She travelled to Paris where she got a New Zealand Passport, as she has dual citizenship, withdrew her savings of 5000US dollars, and then flew to St. Martin to buy a yacht. Someone spotted her there, pointed her out to the police, and she was then brought back to the Netherlands, where a third court hearing took place in the third week of December which turned out in her favour. She was put back into the custody of her father. The court however attached a condition to the custody ruling that her father had to cooperate with the Child Services Authority, which he seems to have been doing since then. The latter organization is now happy for her to continue with working on meeting all the conditions that have been set for her to qualify for permission to sail. However, if her father should break the agreement, the court ruled that the Child Services Authority may ask the court to have custody of her again.

Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
There are cases where the government is right and 'the little guy' is wrong, but when there's doubt, always err on the side of too much freedom, rather than too little.
No, much better to collect sufficient facts to form a reasonable opinion...that is nearly always more than national media can supply, unless it gets picked-up as a 'special interest' story, and even then you often get a rather partial story.
It is a generally known fact that Laura has partially made it, as she passed the psychological tests, but there is a list of other conditions that she still has to pass. One for example has to do with the size of the yacht. It had to be a larger one, than the one she formerly owned as that would be safer. That was then why she went out to purchase a new larger yacht. And similar like conditions to prepare her more thoroughly for the journey such as a course in First Aid. In fact, between the Court and the Child Services Authority, the answer is a basic "yes" provided x,y,z conditions are met. Initially Laura and her father were outraged at the conditions, but then after her trip to St. Martin and during the last court hearing made their peace. And now Laura Dekker is working to meet those conditions so that she can set sail on 1 July.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
If you are asking what the court ruling is, there were three court rulings. There was the first one in last August just after Laura Dekker had sailed her yacht solo to the UK. Her dad says he wanted his daughter to taste what it really was like, in an attempt to discourage her. Just the opposite happened. However, she then got caught in the UK and her dad had to fetch her, following a court case in the Netherlands in August when Laura was put in the custody of the Child Services Authority in the Netherlands, with the purpose of investigating whether she can undertake a journey like this on her own.
Well, this is completely different to the account I have seen. My account says that her father applies for 2 years leave from school for her. The request is refused and the local authorities are concerned, so they call the Child Protection Agency. The CPA decide it would be "irresponsible for such a young girl to make a two-year solo trip around the world" and they therefore petition the family court. The family court agree that this is a matter for concern and put her in joint custody between parents and CPA so that she cannot just sail with parents permission. They order a review in 2 months time. This is the first ruling in August 2009. Laura is happy with the ruling, and her father most definitely wants her to go.
It was reported on the BBC like this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8226196.stm
As far as the UK trip goes, that was in May, well before the August hearing, not following it.
Quote:
Laura then had to go through a batch of psychological tests, which she passed. But then the Child Services Authority drew up a long list of additional conditions that she had to meet to make the journey safer and prepare her better, which the court then made into a ruling in October. The conditions were not made public, other than being revealed in bits and pieces as she accomplished them later. The October ruling also put Laura in the Child Services Authority custody. Laura and her father were very upset with the ruling, especially because she had passed the psychological tests, and they felt all the other conditions had been petty. This then led to a break down in a relationship between the Child Services Authority and her father.
Following the above Laura Dekker decided to take matters into her own hands, and left the Netherlands. She travelled to Paris where she got a New Zealand Passport, as she has dual citizenship, withdrew her savings of 5000US dollars, and then flew to St. Martin to buy a yacht. Someone spotted her there, pointed her out to the police, and she was then brought back to the Netherlands,
Whereas the account I have seen is that the court meets again in two moths as promised. (October 2009).
It is satisfied that she is psychologically fit and physically fit but has concerns about her missing schooling for such a long period and her overall safety in the attempt. They therefore rule that no sailing must take place before July 2010, when school term finishes. She is made over to the custody of the CPA - actually a local authority agency - (before she was 'half' in their custody), but left in the day-to-day care of her father. She is reported to be 'disappointed that the courts do not have faith'.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/30/laura-dekker-teenage-sailor-court
Despite the court ruling Dekker sets off as planned in December and leaves a note for her father. Her parents report her missing to the police. She is eventually taken into custody in the dutch Antilees islands a couple of days later.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6963204.ece
Quote:
where a third court hearing took place in the third week of December which turned out in her favour. She was put back into the custody of her father. The court however attached a condition to the custody ruling that her father had to cooperate with the Child Services Authority, which he seems to have been doing since then.
Whereas I have the CPA petitioning the child courts to have Laura put in care of close relatives because they are concerned that she will disregard the injunction and try again. The court decides that she remains in the custody of her father (where she already was) and set down a set of conditions which she must keep in return for which they promise to reconsider the matter after the school term finishes.
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2009/12/sail_girl_laura_dekker_can_sta.php
These conditions are things like
a) She must take a course in first-aid
b) She must get some inter-country sailing practice before the big attempt
c) She must undergo a sea-survival course

Quite a few pretty important differences there I think....in fact almost an entirely different history.
deanhills
@Bikerman. I don't think they are large differences. But thanks for your contributions and the corrections. You obviously took a lot of trouble, and that is much appreciated. You have added a lot of new information that I was unaware off. Her responses after the October ruling were subjective, we probably will never know what she felt like, probably rebellious, and who knows, maybe her father helped her to leave the country. Her father turned it into being depressed, in her defense during the December court hearing. Seems however that everyone was on the same page after the December hearing, except the mother who had been hoping to be included in the custody arrangements and got to be excluded.

I read various blogs and in one I learned that the conditions were not all publicly available. There were a number of conditions she had to follow. Including the one about having a larger yacht. They all seem to be quite reasonable conditions. And the perception that the court refused her to sail, a wrong one. She can sail at the end of the school year provided she can meet certain conditions. At one time she suggested moving to New Zealand to escape the Dutch legal system, but I can't think how she would be able to get a fairer treatment by any other Government.
pscompanies
It seems fairly clear-cut to me.
We insist, in our various societies, that a child be educated and 'looked after'.
In this case the child wishes to put herself in the position where neither will happen. The parents consent to this. The state takes issue. The state is correct.
Are the parents going to provide the education for this minor for 2 years? Why should she be excepted from the 'rule' which applies to other citizens?
Are the parents going to fund the rescue mission and deal with the political fall-out if she is seriously injured or killed?
If they are serious then emigrate to a country which doesn't have those requirements and she can do what the hell she likes. If they simply want an exception for their daughter - screw them.
deanhills
pscompanies wrote:
It seems fairly clear-cut to me.
We insist, in our various societies, that a child be educated and 'looked after'.
In this case the child wishes to put herself in the position where neither will happen. The parents consent to this. The state takes issue. The state is correct.
Are the parents going to provide the education for this minor for 2 years? Why should she be excepted from the 'rule' which applies to other citizens?
Are the parents going to fund the rescue mission and deal with the political fall-out if she is seriously injured or killed?
If they are serious then emigrate to a country which doesn't have those requirements and she can do what the hell she likes. If they simply want an exception for their daughter - screw them.
I don't think it is as absolute and as bad as you make it out to be. At one stage it looked as though no one could come to an agreement but after working through a lot of hurdles, it looks as though Laura may be able to sail after all, provided she meets certain conditions. It is not really as easy to emigrate to another country, as of course all countries have rules and regulations, and they may be tougher on someone who could not deal with the laws of the country they are emigrating from, than someone of their own country, who worked through the court system.
Bikerman
Hang on - I thought I had cleared this up.
She has never been told she cannot sail on the journey. From the moment it went to the family court she has been treated very well indeed. The court acted reasonable, some would say leniently, at every hearing.
She was simply told to wait until school finishes in summer for a further decision. She chose to ignore that and go anyway and I'm quite surprised that the family court judge was magnanimous and generous enough to ignore that and leave the original offer open.
Jamestf347
I think both of the subjects you guys are describing are of two entirely different matters.

Brittney Spears went "around the world" at a young age, however she was not alone. If she was lost, she could ask for help, call for help, etc.

If you are a young girl at sea by yourself, there is many things that can go wrong. What if the boat you are on malfunctions and the engine does not work (assuming it has an engine). Or what if the boat tips, what if you get extremely ill, etc. Theirs many things that can go wrong while on a long boat trip by yourself.

I'm not saying I think it was wrong for her to go on a trip alone around the world, I'm just pointing out the two situations are entirely different.

I personally do not think she should be stopped because of her age, and more of how confident she feels, and how mature she is mentally.

One 13 yr old can be extremely different from another. One may be capable of it, and others may not.

I think it is a good idea she is trying to do this. It probably isn't the safest, but if she feels confident she can do it, then I say let her.

About the government, the government can sometimes seem like they are doing the wrong thing, however them having the power can be a good thing, or a bad. In this situation, I'd have to disagree with what they are doing. However, they do infact have a very valid reason for doing what they are doing. The girl is putting her life at extreme danger, which is why the government is stepping in. If the girl did end up getting injured or even died, it would look extremely bad on the governments part for not stepping in. But now that they have stepped in, they won't have to worry about that situation every occurring.

I'm not really taking any side here, but the government did do what they should have done. Even though I think it would be great if the girl could do it, and I would actually encourage her to do so, the government also did the correct thing. The government just doesn't want to look like someone who could have stopped a bad injury/death but didn't.



She could ask for help... give her a radio...
Bikerman
So, you say some are mature enough and others not?
Does that mean you let the girl decide? What if she is not mature and wants to go anyway? Do you stop her?
What happens when all the rest of the girls in her class complain that she is having two years off school and they want the same?
When the parents sue you for reckless endangerment of a minor child, do you plead guilty or not guilty?
(No use saying the parents agreed - people change their minds pretty quickly with the prospect of large pots of money).
deanhills
Looks as though Laura has been given the green light for taking off on her round the world journey. She is due to take off in two weeks time. The court has returned her to her parents for guardianship and both her parents support her journey:
Quote:
Laura Dekker said she was thrilled to hear of the Middelburg's family court's decision to lift a guardianship order imposed on Dekker last year after she said she wanted to set sail when she was still just 13.

"I was so happy I almost jumped into the water," Dekker told reporters at the harbour where her yacht is moored alongside the boat where she lives with her father.

Presiding Judge S Kuypers said the decision and responsibility for Laura now "lies with her parents."

"It is up to them to decide whether Laura can set off on her sail trip," he said.

Dekker's plan ignited a worldwide debate on how far parents should go in supporting or encouraging their children's improbable dreams. Both of Laura's parents, who are separated, now say they support her attempt, though her mother initially had come out against it.

Her father on Tuesday brushed off criticism that he was pushing Dekker to do the trip as "nonsense."

"It was Laura's plan from the very beginning," Dick Dekker said. "I just support her in it."

Dekker, speaking in both Dutch and English, told reporters she would set off within two weeks for her starting point in Portugal, where she would test her two-masted yacht before embarking on the voyage.

Source: NZ Herald Online
I was fortunate last night to view an interview with her on a Dutch/Flemmish Channel BVN, and was completely bowled over with her maturity in responding very forthright to all the questions asked. She showed depth of technical knowledge with regard to hazards that she is deliberately avoiding with regard to the routing of her journey. I for one wish her well. And hopefully can follow some of her journey for the next number of weeks through access to this Dutch Channel.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
So, you say some are mature enough and others not?

Of course.
Quote:

Does that mean you let the girl decide?

As a minor, her parents have the ultimate decision.
Quote:
What if she is not mature and wants to go anyway? Do you stop her?

No. Let her parents stop her, but take no action without their consent unless it is a surety that she will come to harm from it. Allowing a child to take risks should not be illegal.
Quote:

What happens when all the rest of the girls in her class complain that she is having two years off school and they want the same?

Let them, given parents' approval.
I think public school should be provided for free and strongly encouraged, but NOT mandatory.
Quote:

When the parents sue you for reckless endangerment of a minor child, do you plead guilty or not guilty?

Not guilty. Since I left all the decisions to them, the responsibility for endangerment is clearly theirs.
Quote:

(No use saying the parents agreed - people change their minds pretty quickly with the prospect of large pots of money).

?
What's that part mean?
That the parents would later change their story to say they said no, but the state let the girl go anyway?
If you are seriously worried about this possibility, have the parents sign a permission slip or other written record of their agreement.
deanhills
So looks as though Laura Dekker has started her journey. She is already 56 days on the go and waiting in San Canary for the Hurricane season to pass before crossing the Atlantic. Below is a link to her Blog about her Journey.

The English Version of her Blog is heavily edited and not completely accurate, however does give all the information.

The Dutch Version is more accurate and sincere, in her own words.

She was going to have MasMedia film her on a 7 day 24-hour basis but she seems to have terminated that arrangement. I always thought that would be some form of security for her, but maybe she prefers to really go it alone so that she can really claim that she did it on her own.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
So looks as though Laura Dekker has started her journey.


No matter if she succeeds or fails, it's a win for freedom either way.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
So looks as though Laura Dekker has started her journey.


No matter if she succeeds or fails, it's a win for freedom either way.
ABSOLUTELY! Good photo too Smile Am most pleased with her progress, and wishing her lots of courage for her Atlantic cross over. I just get the feeling however that she is the type of personality that does not need much of emotional support, she is completely objective focussed and driven.
deanhills
Aha ..... almost forgot about Laura Dekker and noticed that she finally completed her solo sailing journey around the world (with some stops) at age 16. Here are links to her blog and also a more chronological description of her trip and the hassles with getting the necessary permissions from everyone - in Wikipedia. Thought her last blog post was amazingly well written. Wonder whether she has a ghost writer, if not, then that is definitely material for a book one day.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Dekker
Laura Dekker Blog: http://www.lauradekker.nl/Basis.aspx?Tid=5019&Lid=13&Lit=VIEW

Must say she looks completely different to what she looked like at age 13 when all of this started. This is a current photo of hers:


This is one that was circulated at age 13:
mm365
Very Happy ,Yes ,I think so..
deanhills
Aha ..... my old Laura Dekker thread resurrected. Looks as though Laura is still sailing.

http://www.lauradekker.nl/Basis.aspx?Tid=2&Lid=12&Lit=VIEW

This is an interesting visitor she found four days ago:
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
she finally completed her solo sailing journey around the world


To all the overprotective naysayers out there, I say, HA HA! She did it and survived just fine.

To all the people saying it would be an unpardonable interruption in her education, I say, Now she's already accomplished more with her life than most people ever will. Who cares?
rodexa
In my opinion she is too young to sail alone around the world.
D'Artagnan
13 is too young to drive anything besides a bike, boats and ships included
deanhills
I will never be able to stereotype age. I've just seen too many teens who are way more mature than most adults. Including knowing exactly what they want, and planning things right to their minutest details. I think some of them deserve to vote as well. As they may be much more qualified in terms of knowledge and maturity of views on politics than millions of others who are allowed to vote just because they are citizens of the country and not more than that.
SonLight
deanhills wrote:
I will never be able to stereotype age. I've just seen too many teens who are way more mature than most adults. Including knowing exactly what they want, and planning things right to their minutest details. I think some of them deserve to vote as well. As they may be much more qualified in terms of knowledge and maturity of views on politics than millions of others who are allowed to vote just because they are citizens of the country and not more than that.


Standard age limits are necessary in order to reduce the uncertainty of who should be allowed to do what. For driving or voting, for example, I think the standard limits are acceptable. Some things, such as charting an independent educational path or sailing around the world, should allow exceptions to the usual age limits, but only when there is sufficient evidence that the exception is warranted.

In Laura's case, she had many people to convince before she could sail. I don't think being out of school was ever a big issue, although she presumably did have to show both ability to study independently and that she had family support to assist her. As far as the sailing, she apparently convinced her father early on that she could do it. As long as her mother was opposed it would have been questionable for her to proceed. Apparently the courts got involved because her father had primary custody but her mother wanted veto power. She subsequently convinced her mother, then the courts, that she was mature enough to go. She did rebel once and tried proceeding without permission, which seems to have added some requirements but she was treated quite well considering she violated the agreement.

Laura was not able to sail as early as she wanted to. There was some thought that a major motivation was to set a record for the youngest to perform such a feat. If that was the case, it would be a negative factor. Whether she was delayed primarily because of the difficulty of convincing everyone quickly or because she actually needed the time to be ready is speculative. In the event she achieved her goal of sailing around the world but not the record for being the youngest. Regardless of how important the record was to her, I'm sure she would have liked to achieve it.
deanhills
SonLight wrote:
Laura was not able to sail as early as she wanted to. There was some thought that a major motivation was to set a record for the youngest to perform such a feat. If that was the case, it would be a negative factor. Whether she was delayed primarily because of the difficulty of convincing everyone quickly or because she actually needed the time to be ready is speculative. In the event she achieved her goal of sailing around the world but not the record for being the youngest. Regardless of how important the record was to her, I'm sure she would have liked to achieve it.
She definitely was ready to sail at the time when she and her father had decided to sail. She didn't need the time to get ready when the court set all kinds of conditions of what she needed to do in order to sail. In the end it was a compromise, during which period she had lost a lot of time. Laura is an entirely different personality than your average kid at the age when she wanted to set out to sail. The fact that she fought so hard and never gave up until she got what she wanted is a good sign of that. I'd imagine quite a large percentage of teens in her position would have given up at the beginning of the battle. All of the court battles, the interviews with "experts" and taking all of the close introspection of others must have been hell on earth. I don't think in the end she sailed around the world as she had intended to. But she did make it. She got to do what she most loved to do. It didn't just remain a dream. She's living it. I can only wonder how many other kids have had dreams and were ready and prepared to realize those dreams and then got to be told by society they cannot because society knows best for them.
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