Brazil has come up with a novel way to fight crime – employ Batman.  They are right in thinking something needs to be done.  Brazil has the highest rate of murders committed by youths in the world, almost 8000 more per year than the country in second place – Columbia.  It has the fifth highest number of people in jail. 

However, the route Brazil has chosen to fight crime is novel.  The city of Taubate has hired former soldier, Andre Luiz Pinheiro, to patrol the streets of the city dressed as Batman.  Rather than fighting real life crime though, Batman will play a more indirect role in the fight between good and evil through a social and educational crime prevention project which visits schools and targets children from the city.  The programme includes bringing children the inspirational story of the virtuous hero, Batman.

Brazil obviously considers that educating children on the difference between good and evil is necessary, and that is what the aim of the new programme is.  Do children in Brazil really not know?  Is it something we know innately as humans, or do we need good parents to teach us the difference?  I always find it fascinating that children are drawn to play games between ‘goodies’ and ‘badies’ – obviously making a clear distinction between the two.  However, as in Batman, in the case of boys especially, this normally involves some conflict with the ‘baddies’ which some parents don’t like. 

My husband and I were watching a documentary last night about captured airmen during the Second World War who stood bravely before firing squads in concentration camps to uphold their values and fight against the evil of the Nazis.  Do we make children like that anymore?  What produces that sort of moral fibre in our children?  Hopefully Batman does in Brazil and the ‘goodies’ win in the end!

After practising law for the last four years, most recently as a junior barrister, Shannon Buckley has decided to complete the graduate diploma in secondary education this year to become...