Based on the possibility of someone getting hurt, overzealous public school administrators are once again depriving students of something generations have enjoyed. Educators across the country have already banned virtually all activities that involve any contact whatsoever, with tag becoming the latest victim at one New Hampshire elementary school.
As the name implies, children playing the game try to tag other participants with their hands. According to officials at Charlotte Avenue Elementary School, even this level of contact violates the school’s recess policy.
While principal Patricia Beaulieu agrees students should have an outlet through which to run and play, she said they must do so “in a safe way.”
Many parents, however, don’t understand what is so unsafe about the seemingly innocuous game.
Calling the ban “ridiculous,” one parent said all students suffer because administrators are being overcautious.
“They say the kids are overly aggressive,” Bill Chisholm said, noting a solution would be to “take the overly aggressive kids out of the game.”
He criticized the school for trying to remove any aspect of risk, noting “there isn’t a single childhood activity that any kid could participate in that doesn’t have the risk of injury.”
Perfectly characterizing the unfortunate state of public education, Chisholm noted that “we’re just to this point where if one person anywhere has an injury or if one person anywhere is offended, everyone has to stop.”
Beaulieu, however, contends the school’s decision “always goes back to safety.” She noted students are allowed to play basketball, soccer, and other games, though — each of which unquestionably carry some risk of potential injury.
Instead of instituting common sense policies that would keep children safe while giving them the opportunity to play popular recess games, administrators routinely choose to simply cancel any activity they feel might present an issue. As a result, the next generation is implicitly learning to look for the hidden danger in any situation rather than seeing potential opportunity.
–Western Journalism staff writer
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