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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » School bans tag, other chase games

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Author Topic: School bans tag, other chase games
javelin
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Source

quote:
Tag, you're out!

Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable.

Recess is "a time when accidents can happen," said Willett Elementary School Principal Gaylene Heppe, who approved the ban.

While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up. Several school administrators around Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous. (Watch how second-grader Kelsey interpreted the rule -- 1:30)

Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Spokane, Washington, also recently banned tag during recess. A suburban Charleston, South Carolina, school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

"I think that it's unfortunate that kids' lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they'll never develop on their own," said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett, about 40 miles south of Boston. "Playing tag is just part of being a kid."

Another Willett parent, Celeste D'Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said.

This is truly ridiculous. And, in my opinion, is all about people being unable to take responsibility for themselves. GRRR.
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Colin JM0397
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Can we hold the school liable when, in their 20's, the former students are grossly fat and dying from diabetes and heart failure? There's liability in everything.

However, it's hardly the blame of the school - they are just reacting to the legal climate we've all allowed to continue.

Anyone for a nice chocolate tort reform?

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ssci
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Our county has outlawed swingsets on school property for similar reasons. Sad.
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hobsen
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Unsupervised recess strikes me as a bad idea in itself. Last winter a friend had her ten year old son robbed by a classmate who held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him. In every large group of students a few will be criminally inclined, emotionally disturbed or suicidal. A school which leaves a couple of hundred of them alone with no adults around deserves to get blamed if something happens. And if an adult is present, a school can let students play tag and touch football without being accused of neglecting their safety, even if some freak accident occurs.

[ October 18, 2006, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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Richard Dey
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Actually, Attleborough banned contact sports in grammar schools some time ago; most towns around here have similar bans. The problem is that the town gets sued -- and tearjerky juries get out the hankies and give them any amount of money that they, chosen from the county for jury duty, won't have to pay for. It's our own fault.

Afterschool pickup games, sledding, skating, jumping rope, all kinds of mindless stuff has been banned from school properties before and after school.

[Eek!] and the only really dangerous stuff is school prayer and touchy-feely history courses! Ooops! Even the touchy-feely courses have been banned now, I suppose.

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javelin
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I don't think I've ever heard of unsupervised recess. This article, btw, isn't saying that recess was unsupervised, but instead that the game of tag (and any other contact sport) has to be specifically supervised now.
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Richard Dey
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N.B.:

I just grabbed a kid walking up the hill, and weighed his school bag. He weighs 108 lb. His school bag weighed and take-home sports equipment (you take it home these days) weighed 54 lb on my bathroom scales.

Is my math bad or is that just half his own weight ???

And they're worried about tag because then the junk food they get for lunch (he had 1 slice of pizza, 2 pkg'd cookies, and a tonic) won't stick to his ribs?

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KnightEnder
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Yeah Rich, they have to take everything with them everywhere they go because they can't have lockers (here anyway). I guess you could hide a gun in a locker but not in backpack?

KE

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hobsen
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That weight is indeed ridiculous. But since a school with which I am familiar just found a loaded gun in a locker, I guess it still has lockers. That must be a local option.
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DonaldD
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hobsen, you guys have gun lockers in school? The US is just the coolest place in the world. [Wink]
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pickled shuttlecock
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Since when was pizza junk food? [Mad]
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LoverOfJoy
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probably since they stopped making those 4-food-groups posters.
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hobsen
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Very funny, DonaldD.
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kenmeer livermaile
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"Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Spokane, Washington, also recently banned tag during recess."

Yeesh. My boy started 7th grade this year and just in time? Last year as a 6th-grader, his favorite game with his best friend was 'Staying Alive', whereinm they would deliberately try to intercept a dodgeball in other kids' game, but just narrowly miss being hit.

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KnightEnder
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My boys played a game called "Smear the queer". It's the game we used to call "Kill the man with the ball" or "Rugby". I don't guess the kids are catching on to the politically correct thing?

KE

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0Megabyte
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Not really, KE. Back in high school (last year and on back endlessly...) I heard such slurs all the time.

Hell, I hear them at home, too. (my brother: That's gay! You queer! etc.)

Now, if he was saying stuff like "what a queer event we've got over there..." it'd be okay. Instead, "that's gay" seems... well, a bit queer, actually.

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Richard Dey
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Well, that's another good reason for private schools. No more debutante slouches [Big Grin] .

In my day it was de rigueuer for girls to carry their books two-armed under their whateverthosethingsare, and the boys had to carry them one-handed on their hips.

I wonder if the rules in prisons these days are as strict as they used to be at the Gamaliel Bradford High School [Roll Eyes] .

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scifibum
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Ugh. No tag. No touch football.

Let's just wrap them all in bubble wrap and forbid any kind of physical contact already. And then we can sue the bubble wrap manufacturer when they get a rash.

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TommySama
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"I just grabbed a kid walking up the hill..."

Am I really the only one that found this odd?


"Yeah Rich, they have to take everything with them everywhere they go because they can't have lockers (here anyway). I guess you could hide a gun in a locker but not in backpack?"

Or like, in your pocket? At the junior high connected to my high school, the kids can't have backpacks for that reason. In my high school, we can't wear jackets in the school because of guns (I live in MN, it was like 40 degrees today, not bad, but it's early in the winter.)


"That weight is indeed ridiculous. But since a school with which I am familiar just found a loaded gun in a locker, I guess it still has lockers. That must be a local option."

Good point. At my school, two weeks ago, they caught a kid who was bringing a gun to school, but he was hiding it in his pants pocket. Should schools ban pants too?

I don't think you can stop school shootings by banning bags or lockers - or even pants. If you do, some f*c*ing loser kid will come into school with a bunch of guns and kill people before some ugly, moron teacher tells them they can't have the bag.

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Jesse
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Tommy?

It's Richard. I can see this man standing in his front yard, bathroom scale under his arm, offering to weigh kids.

This is mostly evidence that even local government runs rampant if people don't get involved. Federalization and local control don't mean much if the voters aren't willing to act.

These officials were appointed by representatives elected by the people. Administrators aren't in the Evil Teachers Unions, and the voters can elect a School Board that will bounce them right out on their ears.

I hope they do.

[ October 19, 2006, 06:16 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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IrishTD
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An article in response to the banning of tag....

From cnnsi.com.

quote:
In the growing American realm of NO CHILD SHALL BE LEFT BEHIND IN THIS REAL WORLD comes word that more schools have banned ... if you can believe this: tag.

Heaven forbid that any American child shall be called "IT."

Yes, school districts as diverse as Cheyenne, Wyo.; Spokane, Wash.; Charleston, S.C.; Santa Monica, Calif., and Attleboro, Mass. ,have decreed that the game children have been playing, well, forever and ever and ever, is too dangerous to either the physical health or the mental well-being of our little 21st-century darlings.

This, of course, comes on the heels of the attempts to ban dodge ball, another movement which has enjoyed great success in taking the spontaneous fun out of growing up.

Then too, recess itself is now often eaten up by having children stay at their desks and practice for state-mandated multiple-choice tests.

But ... tag. Ban tag? What's next? Not letting kids sell lemonade because they don't have a commercial license?

In the immortal words of an elementary school principal in Attleboro, recess is "a time when accidents can happen." What a revelation. Why, a little boy or girl might actually even scruff a knee or scrape an elbow. Hey, boo-boos happen when you're a child having fun.

But a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University finds tag so baleful an experience for kids that he has placed it in the "Physical Education Hall of Shame."

All this at a time when we have an absolute epidemic of childhood obesity in this country. But for goodness sake, don't let kids play games at recess. They might bump into each other. They also might burn up a few calories. Would you rather have your child running around or sitting on his fat rear end playing video games?

But, for the pompous protectors of our youth, it's not just that somebody playing tag may have to put a Band-Aid on. It's a debilitating emotional experience, as well. Educators refer to tag as an "elimination game," which means it can be upsetting if you get put out. Musical chairs is another evil to be proscribed. The trouble is that the kids who are the slowest and the least athletic are likely to be the losers.

Duh. Nobody's good at everything. All life is a pecking order, and you might as well find out where it is you peck. In music class, I was the one who was only allowed to play the triangle because I was so unrhythmic. Hey, I sucked it up and got on with it.

I hate to say it, but that's the way it works in every phase of life. Please, I'm not trying to be Darwinian, but sparing children from their deficiencies is delusional.

There are a lot of us who think kids would be a whole lot better off if adults would just butt out and let children be children and play children's games. I'll bet you this, too. I'll bet you the spoil sports who are trying to eliminate tag were the ones who were themselves always "IT" at recess.

I'm Frank Deford, and I approve this message, because somebody has to call the grown-ups who ban tag: enemies of childhood.

Linky
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LinuxFreakus
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Yeah I saw this story on the news the other day. I guess there are a lot of schools banning tag now. It is stupid. I thought recess was supposed to be for playing... what are the kids actually *allowed* to do now?
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philnotfil
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Lawsuits are expensive, schools can't afford them, so they try to limit behaviors that result in them.

A school down here had to close down a part of the playground because the kids would misuse it and three of them got broken arms.

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