Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » N.Y. Lawsuit Kicks Dodgeball Into Court (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: N.Y. Lawsuit Kicks Dodgeball Into Court
Molonel
Member
Member # 1667

 - posted      Profile for Molonel   Email Molonel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=519&e=45&u=/ap/20041120/ap_on_re_us/dodgeball_on_trial

N.Y. Lawsuit Kicks Dodgeball Into Court
By MICHAEL GORMLEY, Associated Press Writer

ALBANY, N.Y. - The high-energy school yard game of dodgeball is getting kicked around a New York courtroom, where questions are being raised about whether it's just too dangerous for young children to play.

This week, a New York state Appellate Division panel refused to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a school wronged a 7-year-old girl who broke her elbow while playing dodgeball.

State and national education officials say what makes the case unique is that the lawsuit doesn't fault the school for poor supervision — but for allowing children that young to play at all.

The new challenge comes as the game is flourishing as a trendy adult activity; the obsession was the comic focus of a movie starring Ben Stiller.

But the game is also being targeted as unfair, exclusionary, and warlike for school-age youngsters. Some schools in Maine, Maryland, New York, Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts and Utah have banned dodgeball or its variations, including war ball, monster ball and kill ball.

"Dodgeball is not an appropriate activity for K-12 school physical education programs," according to The National Association for Sport and Physical Education, a nonprofit professional organization of 20,000 physical education teachers, professors, coaches, athletic directors and trainers. Dodgeball provides "limited opportunities for everyone in the class, especially the slower, less agile students who need the activity the most."

New York's case began in the fall of 2001. Seven-year-old Heather Lindaman was playing a variation of dodgeball in gym class on a hardwood court. The version included several balls and no safety or protection zone to run from the thrown balls.

Heather became tangled with another child and fell, breaking her elbow. Her lawyer, Philip Johnson, said the injury required surgery and there is a continuing concern her injured arm might not grow as long as her other arm because a growth plate may have been affected.

The New York appellate judges upheld a lower court ruling that the school district's request for summary dismissal of the case, without trial, should be denied. They said there is an argument to be heard about whether this version of dodgeball "was particularly dangerous for younger children."

The judges found some merit in the family's expert witness, Steve Bernheim, a recreational and educational safety authority. The judges wrote: "While there are no established standards of age appropriateness for dodgeball, it is recognized as a potentially dangerous activity and has been banned by several school districts in New York and elsewhere."

The appellate panel said while schools can't be "insurers of the safety of their students, they are under a duty to exercise the same degree of care as would a reasonably prudent parent."

The girl is now active and healthy, argued the school district's attorney, Keith O'Hara, and Johnson agreed. The family has not said how much it seeks in its lawsuit, Johnson said.

"This seems to be a new area," O'Hara said. "It kind of makes you think, `What's next?'"

More schools are likely to be asking the same thing.

The New York State School Boards Association is analyzing Thursday's court decision and preparing an article for its members governing districts statewide.

"Districts get sued all the time over these issues and the courts throw them out, usually in favor of the districts," said the association's Barbara Bradley. "But in this particular instance, the court has focused on whether this (game) is appropriate ... that's what seems unusual."

The Vestal Central School District now must decide whether to again appeal to have the suit dismissed or prepare for trial. No decision has been made, O'Hara said.

Posts: 182 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Buy Hasbro Stock now. (makers of the NERF balls)
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Haggis
Member
Member # 2114

 - posted      Profile for Haggis   Email Haggis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm just glad I grew up in the 70's, when you could play dodge ball and toys fired small plastic pellets that could get caught in your windpipe. That was fun.

Isn't childhood the best time to get hurt? You're not that massive, so your own weight is much less likely to kill you, and it makes you aware of consequenses (after my third concussion at the ripe old age of nine, I started to ask myself "is this safe?" before doing something stupid).

Maybe I'm feeling especially ornery today, so I'm pretty much pro-dodgeball and pro-Darwin award. Nerfing childhood sucks.

Posts: 1771 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adam Lassek
Member
Member # 1514

 - posted      Profile for Adam Lassek   Email Adam Lassek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If every little fun activity like dodgeball is put on trial like this, the only victim will be childhood.
Posts: 554 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I loved my lawn darts. You know, those steel tipped missiles that you could throw 100 yards and they would sink into the Earth, or anything else downrange.

Other favorite toys on the banned or near banned list:

Cap guns
Metal construction trucks
Clackers
Stretch Armstrong

Okay, Stretch was never banned. If you don't know Stretch, check out this amusing tale...

http://www.retrocrush.com/archive2/stretch/

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bradford
Member
Member # 733

 - posted      Profile for Bradford   Email Bradford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I actually did a paper on the banning of dodge ball and how people being over protective are ruining childhood.
Posts: 128 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ben5
Member
Member # 1488

 - posted      Profile for ben5     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The lawyers will be the death of having a fun childhood.
Posts: 138 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How many people who constantly whinge 'bout lawyers have also been known to state (without a hint of irony): "Guns don't kill people: people kill people"?
Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Weezah
Member
Member # 2003

 - posted      Profile for Weezah   Email Weezah   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Litigation will be the death of everything.
Posts: 64 | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Donald:

The gun can't entice people into killing the same way a class-action lawyer can invite people into a lawsuit. Guns don't ask you to call them if you've been hurt on the job, or in an accident.

Unless you are suggesting that lawyers are inanimate objects... on second thought, maybe I agree with you.

Also recognize that when people gripe about lawyers, they are rarely talking about patent attourneys, district attourneys, judges, estate lawyers, tax lawyers. They are talking about frivolous injury lawyers.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Frivolous injury, sure...

but, is it really frivolous to expect our children to go to school and come back safely?

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adam Lassek
Member
Member # 1514

 - posted      Profile for Adam Lassek   Email Adam Lassek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Evarard, come on. Are you seriously trying to say that dodgeball is a threat to children's safety? [Roll Eyes]
Posts: 554 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In the end, it's the people hiring the lawyers who must take responsibility. Was the lawyer persuasive? Maybe so. But the lawyer doesn't make the final decision. Just like eating fast food - ooh, they made it look so yummy, I just couldn't control myself - it's McDonald's fault!

And although the question might seem rhetorical, I am actually interested in getting an answer...

Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is a seven year old child with a broken elbow. Would that be a frivolous injury to YOUR child?
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Naldiin
Member
Member # 1840

 - posted      Profile for Naldiin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Weezah:
Litigation will be the death of everything.

I never enjoyed Dodgeball. I was always the odd kid out, and when we played dodgeball, the goal for the kids was never for one team to beat the other, but to run right up next to the people you didn't like, and hit them with the ball as hard as you possibly could.

If I trusted Gym teachers to regulate their dodgeball games well enough so that you didn't have some poor unpopular kid being pelted with the ball nonstop, 'pegged' at every turn, then I think it'd be ok.

But after serving my time in the public education system, I have no such trust of gym teachers. Can dodgeball.

Posts: 239 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Zyne:

I can't think of a single game I played as a kid where I might not have broken an elbow. It included climbing trees, dodgeball, baseball, tag, duck-duck-goose....

I'm not suggesting that it isn't sad that the kid got tangled up with another kid and hurt herself. I'm sure it was very traumatic for her. I'm sure that the injury wasn't trivial, as you seem to think I suggested.

But there's no fault here for the school, anymore than the parent would be at fault for child abuse if her siblings were playing dodgeball in the yard at home.

During the course of my childhood:

Kickball - tripped over the ball, knee, 4 stitches
Ice sliding - tripped over a rough patch, chin 2 stitches
Baseball - struck in the nose, no stitches, broken glasses

The list goes on. Should my Mom have sued somebody over these? I don't think so. She didn't think so. In each case, I was attending an organized activity under the supervision of other adults.

Lawsuits threaten all of these activities. Since there is no way to have a physical activity which is perfectly safe, it clearly will lead to the removal of all physical activities from the lives of children. Kids play, kids get hurt, parents sue, kids don't get to play anymore.

I think kids should play, therefore I'm against frivolous lawsuits.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Haggis
Member
Member # 2114

 - posted      Profile for Haggis   Email Haggis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm of the mind that the more kids engage in physical activities, the more likely they are to get hurt. I'm for exercise. I'm for kids finding out what their limits are. And I don't think that banning dodgeball is going to produce a drastic reduction in kids' injuries. Kids can hurt themselves just fine on their own.

If we wanted to make sure they were safe we could dress them up in enormous nerf suits or potentially put them into plastic bubbles. Life has risks. Kids have to learn that. Dodgeball isn't the problem.

Yes, we value life and safety, but only to a point. We could greatly reduce the number of traffic fatalities by reducing the speed limit to 25 mph everywhere. I don't see people calling for reducing the speed limits to save lives. Why? Because there is risk in everything we do. And we know that.

Growing up I had concussions, broke bones, had stitches, was stung by bees and wasps. And it was great. Kids play. Kids get hurt. It's not fun when it happens, but I wouldn't trade my childhood for a safe, post-dodgeball, liability-based world.

Posts: 1771 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This child is *seven* and has a *broken elbow.* Children do not break bones like adults do, they are made to bounce out of trees with a scrape or two and continue on their merry ways. You can't compare a few stitches with a broken elbow.

Given the injuries, and the potential for warping the game into school-sanctioned bullying, as Naldiin just pointed out, there's just no need for dodgeball in the public schools.

Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The problem is, I don't think, and many people don't think, that dodgeball is an activity schools should make mandatory, and apparently, gym teachers mostly agree.

""Dodgeball is not an appropriate activity for K-12 school physical education programs," according to The National Association for Sport and Physical Education, a nonprofit professional organization of 20,000 physical education teachers, professors, coaches, athletic directors and trainers. Dodgeball provides "limited opportunities for everyone in the class, especially the slower, less agile students who need the activity the most.""

I think that is a HIGHLY relevant portion of the article.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you don't want dodgeball in the schools, tell the Phys Ed teacher, the Principal, and the School Board. Leave the courts out of it. Write your kid a note saying they can't play.

The article says "Lawsuit...", that's the only part I'm addressing. It may well be a useless activity more appropriate to recess than the curriculum. There may be a compelling case for removing it and replacing it with something else. But don't use the court for it.

And I'm sorry, but any game you play that involves running on a hard surface leaves the opportunity for this type of injury. It wasn't the ball thrown by a 7-year-old that broke bones. You can add to the list : basketball, indoor soccer, badminton...

And that's one of the problems using the courts. Once they make a ruling that schools are liable for this type of injury, it is liable to be far more broad than a change of policy to remove dodgeball would have been.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"If you don't want dodgeball in the schools, tell the Phys Ed teacher, the Principal, and the School Board. Leave the courts out of it."

What if the parents already had? It wasn't mentioned in the article, but hypothetically, what if the parents had written the principal or the school board saying dodgeball is an inappropriate activity for school time?

" There may be a compelling case for removing it and replacing it with something else. But don't use the court for it."

Oftentimes, the courts are the last resort of the voiceless. Again, hypothetically, if the kid's parents don't carry any weight in the school for whatever reason (and there are many reasons that a concerned parent might not have a voice that is heard), then the only way they may be able to address the problem is with a lawsuit. Lawsuits get people's attention.

"And I'm sorry, but any game you play that involves running on a hard surface leaves the opportunity for this type of injury. It wasn't the ball thrown by a 7-year-old that broke bones. You can add to the list : basketball, indoor soccer, badminton..."

Opportunity, yes. Which is more probable, though? That a kid gets hurt playing a game where the object is to do violence to someone else, or a game where violence is against the rules?

"And that's one of the problems using the courts. Once they make a ruling that schools are liable for this type of injury, it is liable to be far more broad than a change of policy to remove dodgeball would have been."

Yes, and its unlikely that this case will actually come down to a ruling, and if it does, its likely to favor the school. However, in either case, its likely the school will rethink its gym curriculum to involve fewer games where the object is violence, and which lends itself to bullying.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Haggis
Member
Member # 2114

 - posted      Profile for Haggis   Email Haggis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For those folks who are against playing dodgeball, what are some sports that are acceptable? What are some games that kids can have fun playing that have no potential for turning into school sponsored bullying? What games don't have limited opportunities to the "slower, less agile kids"? What games played on a hardwood floor eliminate the chance of breaking an elbow?
Posts: 1771 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Everard:

A lot of hypotheticals. It's impossible for me to comment other than to say, IF the parents objected and they were ignored, they had the option to explicitly tell the school that their kids were not to participate in the activity. THEN you can have your lawsuit if the they throw the kid on the court. And, I'd be looking to vote for new board members. It is an elected position, after all. Run on your anti-dodgeball platform.

"Opportunity, yes. Which is more probable, though? That a kid gets hurt playing a game where the object is to do violence to someone else, or a game where violence is against the rules?"

You're kidding right? Have you ever seen 10 kids playing basketball? I think I see where this is all coming from now. It's not about safety, its about teaching kids "violence".

Well, when I was a kid I could tell the difference between dodgeball, king of the mountain, and a fistfight, and I was usually on the losing end of each. Not that I was in more than three real fights the whole time I was growing up. After the last one, I took some karate classes. Even being bullied teaches you something.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
DonaldD
Member
Member # 1052

 - posted      Profile for DonaldD   Email DonaldD   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Oftentimes, the courts are the last resort of the voiceless" - I almost choked on my tortilla chips: I may have been a social misfit as a youth (some would argue, still) but on the dodgebal courts I ruled.

I know it's not what you meant, Ev, but the irony was delicious!

Posts: 10751 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Everard
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"You're kidding right? Have you ever seen 10 kids playing basketball? I think I see where this is all coming from now. It's not about safety, its about teaching kids "violence"."

Its a combination. When someone gets hurt playing a game, thats one thing. When someone gets hurt being bullied, thats something else, and the school should be responsible.

"The appellate panel said while schools can't be "insurers of the safety of their students, they are under a duty to exercise the same degree of care as would a reasonably prudent parent.""

I think its a legitimate question to ask whether a reasonably prudent parent would let 20 kids play dodgeball on a hardwood floor. As much fun as dodgeball can be, its also a lot more chaotic then most of the activities I engaged in during gym classes. And when 7 year olds are involved in chaotic games, someone eventually gets hurt.

"Not that I was in more than three real fights the whole time I was growing up. After the last one, I took some karate classes. Even being bullied teaches you something."

Yes, bullying can teach you something. But bullying is not something the schools should be sponsoring, as, mostly, bullying harms more then benefits.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that the anti-dodgeball reasons we laypeople have raised--violence/bullying, injury, and its relative uselessness as physical activity--combined with the opinion of the experts that dodgeball isn't an appropriate part of the K-12 cirriculum provide strong proof that the school either did actually know or should have known that this sport is unduly hazardous for young children, and that they were so indifferent to this hazard that no appeal from the parents short of filing suit would be effective.

There's a time to play nicely and deferentially, but when the Powers in charge of your child have closed their eyes to the danger she's in, it's no longer that time.

Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Oftentimes, the courts are the last resort of the voiceless" - I almost choked on my tortilla chips: I may have been a social misfit as a youth (some would argue, still) but on the dodgebal courts I ruled.
[Smile] That's fantastic. Like some kind of medieval joust to determine who's in the right. If each of the 12 jurors can strike the defendant with their ball...

BTW, if dodgeball and kickball (dodgeball with baserunning) get banned, what are they going to do with all those big red government surplus playground balls? And I suppose snowball fights are out, too.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another thought. Why not take the bullies who win at dodgeball, and have them play against the winners from 3 grades up? That would be a good way to teach you that there is always a bigger bully, and one of them might be the brother of the kid you're picking on.
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
scifibum
Member
Member # 945

 - posted      Profile for scifibum   Email scifibum   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I saw LOTS of injuries from basketball and baseball. Never saw one from dodgeball. The balls might hurt a little but they don't really injure people like coming down the wrong way on an ankle or arm can. I really don't think it's dangerous. The girl in this case tangled with another kid, it had nothing to do with the particular sport. The same thing could happen from playing tag out on the grounds.

I'm concerned that holding a school liable for an injury during phys ed is the beginning of the end of P.E. If people don't like dodgeball, I'm certain they could prevent their kids from playing it without suing. If we start holding schools liable for the injuries during games/sports, then there won't be any. Anything involving a lot of movement is going to break somebody's bone eventually, I think we can just live with a reasonable amount of risk.

My worst school injury came from a swing. I walked too close behind one and got clocked in the jaw (it was a big metal swing that you pumped with your arms). I loved those swings. Still do. [Smile]

Now, my little brother got a compound fracture of the femur from a 10 year old friend who ran him over with an ATV. A gas powered ATV, which he was driving around without adult supervision - since his parents let him. My parents could easily have sued the kid's parents, and would probably have won. Those people were negligent. But my parents didn't sue, and that kid learned his lesson anyway, and so did the parents. It worked out OK even though it really sucked for my little brother and everybody.

And someone is suing because of a tangle that resulted in a fall. Not even because a ball knocked somebody over...Sheesh.

Posts: 6847 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pete at Home
Member
Member # 429

 - posted      Profile for Pete at Home   Email Pete at Home   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
These days, there would probably be a lawsuit just over the *name* that the students and teachers called dodgeball in my school, back in the 1980s. Hell, I'd file it myself as IIED, if a gay client came to me with a complaint over a school whose teachers organized a game of "smear the queer."

Amazing how things change in just 20 years, eh? Did they call it that in the US as well?

Posts: 44193 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Paladine
Member
Member # 1932

 - posted      Profile for Paladine   Email Paladine   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I never cease to be astonished at the ability of the Left to work itself into a huff over the most ridiculous of issues. An anti-dodgeball movement? Have people *really* become this ridiculously wimpy?!

I've always been a big, slow, lumbering hulk. This was as true when I was a little kid as it is now. Despite this, I never felt put upon when the class would play dodgeball. Sure, I'd be an easy target, but that just meant I got to sit down for awhile.

The activity that made me feel bad (insofar as any did) was being required to run the mile (or a fraction thereof at a younger age). I was always among the last to finish, and most of the remainder of the class would usually watch with a bit of contempt as I huffed and puffed for another few minutes after they'd completed the run.

According to this logic, fat kids shouldn't have to run in gym class. Physical activity in a school context is *inherently* competitive, because youngsters judge their abilities against those of their peers. Even something ostensibly non-competitive ("Do 25 push-ups") will become an exercize in competition as kids rush to finish and look with a scornful eye upon that kid who finishes last.

And what if a child pulls a muscle? Shouldn't the school be able to reasonably forsee that a child hurrying to complete push-ups might be overly hasty and injure himself? I think so. If you don't, put another exercize in there, the dreaded squat-thrust perhaps. Skinned knees and first broken bones are a part of childhood.

They're a little painful and a little icky, but the older generations would say that they build character, and they're right. It's a right of passage. That's how kids learn that they're not invincible, that's how they learn to deal with pain and adversity. That's how they learn perserverence.

Is it kind of traumatic? Sure, I guess it is. But then again, so is life. And what is the role of a school if not to help in preparing children for life? You learn more in school than who killed whom, what the sum of 5 and 4 is, how to spell, and what the capital of your home state is.

You learn not to run in the hallways by running in the hallway and falling on your face. You learn to tie your shoelaces by falling on your face. Come to think of it, early in life, there's nothing like falling for learning. Maybe that's true later too, as I'm in the process of finding out.

But anyway, keep dodgeball in school. As for whoever made logical, legal arguments against it...bugger off. At least as important as how to spell "gnaw" for next week's test is the knowledge that you're gonna fall down in life, that knees can skin and bones can break, and that at some point or another you're going to be the worst at something and that's okay.

Posts: 3235 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Serotonin'sGone
Member
Member # 1219

 - posted      Profile for Serotonin'sGone   Email Serotonin'sGone   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looking back on it, I'm a bit surprised basketball wasn't banned at my school. We had a kid break his neck and another kick off entirely in just a few months. And yet no one was sued. Surprising in this day I guess.

Anyway, dodgeball was my favorite game in elementary school and I'd hate to see it go. I recognize the need to strike a balance between living in a bubble cage and being fed to the wolves, but banning dodgeball leans a bit too close to the bubble cage for my taste.

Paladine--how eactly is this an issue "of the left?" Can we leave the great schism out?

[derail] I believe the desire to immediately categorize all events as either motivated by the right or the left has greatly contributed to the perceived polarization in American politics. I say perceived because I do not believe it really exists to nearly the extent to which it is played up. [/derail]

[ November 23, 2004, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: Serotonin'sGone ]

Posts: 1117 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gaoics79
Member
Member # 969

 - posted      Profile for Gaoics79   Email Gaoics79   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I think that the anti-dodgeball reasons we laypeople have raised--violence/bullying, injury, and its relative uselessness as physical activity--combined with the opinion of the experts that dodgeball isn't an appropriate part of the K-12 cirriculum provide strong proof that the school either did actually know or should have known that this sport is unduly hazardous for young children, and that they were so indifferent to this hazard that no appeal from the parents short of filing suit would be effective.

There's a time to play nicely and deferentially, but when the Powers in charge of your child have closed their eyes to the danger she's in, it's no longer that time."

In all my years in elementary school and high school, as well as my years in camp as a camper, and then as a camp counsellor, in thousands of games of dodgeball, I have never once witnessed any serious injury as a result of this game. So at least from my point of view, it's very hard to perceive this "danger" that you are talking about. As for violence and bullying, again, never seen such a thing in my life on a dodgeball court.

Dodgeball was my favorite game in high school, for one reason: everyone could participate. If you were good at throwing, then great, but even if you were a weakling, if you were good at dodging, then you could do well also. The skills involved were simple, and did not require any training or talent. Most kids, including the unathletic ones like me loved it. One thing I noticed was that all the kids that were zombies during the harder team sports (basketball, hockey, etc...) suddenly came to life when we played dodgeball. It was the ultimate egalitarian sport. Games like basketball, by contrast, have a high learning curve. When we played basketball, kids like me (despite being the tallest kid in the class) just sat around and followed the ball, never participating, because there was no way I could ever get the ball in the basket; I just didn't have the skill. The kids on the basketball team dominated, and I just shuffled around from one end of the court to the other, like a zombie. I find gym so boring for this reason that I just didn't bother bringing my uniform anymore, and I just sat out most of the time. I got a D, but I didn't care. If we had played more dodgeball, you better believe I would have participated a heck of alot more.

"This child is *seven* and has a *broken elbow.* Children do not break bones like adults do, they are made to bounce out of trees with a scrape or two and continue on their merry ways. You can't compare a few stitches with a broken elbow."

I broke my arm when I fell off my bike when I was 12. I'll bet there are about 1,000,000 bike related injuries for every dodgeball related injury. You wanna ban bikes too? The injury was serious, but the lawsuit IS frivolous. What people are too stupid to understand is that accidents happen, and it is not always someone's fault. But no one wants to recognize that, because then no one would get paid. Since the moronic parents couldn't find any negligence in how the child was supervised, they're concocting this new excuse to blame someone for the accident. They are dispicable.

[ November 23, 2004, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

Posts: 7629 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Slander Monkey
Member
Member # 1999

 - posted      Profile for Slander Monkey   Email Slander Monkey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"I broke my arm when I fell off my bike when I was 12. I'll bet there are about 1,000,000 bike related injuries for every dodgeball related injury. You wanna ban bikes too? The injury was serious, but the lawsuit IS frivolous. What people are too stupid to understand is that accidents happen, and it is not always someone's fault. But no one wants to recognize that, because then no one would get paid. Since the moronic parents couldn't find any negligence in how the child was supervised, they're concocting this new excuse to blame someone for the accident. They are dispicable."

I think that one thing about these types of lawsuits that is valuable is the constant reevaluation of the "safety of things." I think that parents should have a reasonable expectation that when they send their kids to school that they will get them back undamaged at the end of the day. This is not to say that everything that is potentially dangerous must be banned -- I think dodgeball is pretty close to the edge of acceptable, though I personally like it a lot -- along with many other dangerous sports and activities. I'm just saying that erring on the side of caution is appropriate for school-time activities, and parents are probably right for thinking that this is how schools should conduct themselves -- school is not exactly a voluntary activity after all.

Back to the "safety of things:" I remember in elementary school that one of my friends went face first into a pole holding up a basketball hoop. It did a lot of damage... I didn't and don't think it was anyone's fault, but I realized recently, when I started noticing that most basketball hoop poles are now padded, that simple, sensible improvements in safety would probably not come without at least a little fear of litigation -- and you can't really have the fear without the litigation, so I think we have to take the good with the bad on these types of suits -- though I'm not convinced that this one is all bad.

Posts: 258 | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfJoy
Member
Member # 157

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfJoy   Email LoverOfJoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
you can't really have the fear without the litigation
So before litigation became popular, there were no improvements in safety? I would hope that most people would try to make things safe out of genuine concern. If someone got seriously hurt, I'd hope people would re-evaluate regardless of litigation. Personally, I think the re-evaluation of speed limits usually happens without fear of litigation.

Concerned citizens push to lower the speed limit around sharp curves in the road, not because they are worried about getting sued, but rather, worried that their kid might get hit or their mailbox may get driven into.

There may be times when litigation is required, but I think people resort to it far too quickly sometimes.

Going to city council or a PTA meeting might get faster action at much less cost. And if enough parents feel okay with dodgeball, it may just allow particular parents to opt out of they want while allowing the others to still enjoy it.

Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Slander Monkey
Member
Member # 1999

 - posted      Profile for Slander Monkey   Email Slander Monkey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
So before litigation became popular, there were no improvements in safety? I would hope that most people would try to make things safe out of genuine concern. If someone got seriously hurt, I'd hope people would re-evaluate regardless of litigation. Personally, I think the re-evaluation of speed limits usually happens without fear of litigation.
Not exactly my point... but I wasn't exactly clear either. I think that school administrators and people in general are concerned about safety, and will try to make things safe -- particularly obvious things, e.g. no open manholes on school grounds, no bare live wires, no convicted serial child molester janitors, etc. However, I think that without some external force (like litigation or fear of litigation) we can't expect individual schools to go the distance and fully protect a child's safety -- not because they wouldn't want to, but because they wouldn't have to. Thinking about potential dangers -- such as an unpadded basketball hoop, or sharp scissors -- is a sure thing for someone who is worried about a lawsuit, but maybe not so much for someone who is not worried about a lawsuit -- I mean after all the danger of these things typically becomes obvious only after something bad happens, right? Besides, might litigation also lead to some standardization in safety practices -- across districts, states, the whole country -- as a simple way to improve safety and avoid litigation?

quote:
Going to city council or a PTA meeting might get faster action at much less cost. And if enough parents feel okay with dodgeball, it may just allow particular parents to opt out of they want while allowing the others to still enjoy it.
I agree to your specific comment, but to the more general case of improving safety I surprisingly came to the opposite conclusion -- this may be one area where lawyers and lawsuits make things more efficient. How? Well, basically if the responsibility of ensuring school safety falls on the parents, then they must constantly monitor all aspects of the running of a school to ensure that things are safe -- and this must happen in every community, in every school year in and year out. On the other hand, the fear of litigation effectively puts the responsibility and motivation in the hands of the school administrators, where it probably should be, and in doing so essentially provides a feedback system to ensure that schools maintain a safe environment for students without the need for constant parent intervention.
Posts: 258 | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, let's do it this way. Permission slips. Each parent can acknowledge what the school is doing and give permission or not. That way, the school won't be held liable.

Wooops! I've stumbled on another problem in the legal system. You can sign a paper that says, "There is a danger of injury while performing any athletic activity, and I give my permission for my son/daughter to participate." And, as far as I can tell, it don't mean squat. Worthless. People sign waivers, and then sue anyway.

I first learned about this in high school, where we had an alternative to dangerous dodgeball games. We'd do four monthly activities, all day. Canoeing, Rock climbing, Ropes course, and Orienteering. They cancelled the program in my final year, not because anyone had sued them, but because the insurance got too high and could no longer be justified.

And as a result, a lot fewer kids are going to know the fun of canoeing down a lazy river or scrabbling over the top of a 30' rock pile.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LoverOfJoy
Member
Member # 157

 - posted      Profile for LoverOfJoy   Email LoverOfJoy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can see where you're coming from. However, I think that if the superintendant (or some other administrator) is elected, his reelection should be sufficient motivation.

If someone gets hurt, the parents can put pressure on the administrator to fix it. If it is egregious enough, he may lose his job regardless. Perhaps in the most severe case of negligence, a lawsuit is warranted.

But I would think that fear of losing your job should be sufficient in most cases to make a push for greater safety. If someone sees major areas of improvement that most parents would agree are needed, then someone can run for office on those positions. This keeps the responsibility on BOTH the parents and the administrators.

So, candidate X, what is your position on dodgeball in schools?

Posts: 3639 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Zyne
Member
Member # 117

 - posted      Profile for Zyne   Email Zyne   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When you're dealing with a school district, justifying the cost of any improvement becomes a big issue. Anti-tax, anti-public school activists are going to respond to the installation of purely preventative safety measures by asking how the cost of ensuring safety against the "perfectly obvious" hazard is a waste of "their" taxpayer dollars, etc. Nasty evil trial lawyers, on the other hand, are an insta-boogey man, worth spending money to ward off.
Posts: 4003 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"perfectly obvious" hazards like, horror of horrors, an unpadded basketball pole? Yeah, I sure would object to spending $1000 buying pads for all the basketball hoops. Doesn't really have to do with being anti-tax or anti-public school.

My solution is "don't run into the pole". Lawsuits mean that you have to pad the whole environment. I still remember rollerskating in a gymnasium that had a radiator up against one wall. Most of us were smart enough to give it a wide berth. One kid thought he'd be clever, and broke his leg going too close.

As far as I know, there was never any lawsuit, we all got to keep skating there, and all of us - especially the kid - learned a valuable lesson. Stay away from the iron radiator. Now, this doesn't mean that safety wasn't under consideration. Kids who went too fast or were reckless were thrown out on a regular basis. Any kid who ran into another kid was banned for a while (I think until the people running the place forgot about him/her).

I think lawsuits, in their current application, push schools and everyone else to the point where you have to anticipate bizarre causes of injury, usually due in part to the actions of the individual getting hurt.

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1