In my mind, there are few things cuter than two kindergartners embracing in a flurry of squeals, excited because they haven't seen each other in 12 whole hours! But one school district just doesn't see kids giving each other hugs on the playground the way I do. They've banned kindergartners from touching each other at recess.
No hugs. No "tag you're it." No. Touching. Period.
Break the rules, and the 5-year-olds at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary will land their hind ends in the principal's office and lose time off recess. For touching one another.
The whole cuckoo for cocoa puffs rule comes after the administrators at Coghlan say they've noticed a number of "playground injuries that have come from games and other forms of hands-on play."
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Fair enough, but you know what happens when my kid gets hurt while doing something? I teach her the RIGHT way to do it. See? Problem solved.
Telling kids not to hit one another makes sense. Even telling them not to roughhouse makes sense. Telling them not to touch?
That's just plain bonkers!
Adults touch! It's part of life. We shake hands with our colleagues at work. We hug our friends. Depending on the relationship, we often do more. Just yesterday I playfully "kicked" a friend's husband to get his attention.
When we tell kids they can't touch one another, we're telling them we don't think they should learn about a basic part of human interactions. We're treating them like they're too dumb to follow simple rules.
Here's the thing about kids: they're not stupid. By school age, they can process simplistic concepts of right from wrong. Hitting: wrong. Gentle tag on the shoulder: right.
Instead of punishing kids for being human, how about we go back to the old way of punishing kids who actually do something wrong?
What is the dumbest school rule you've come across?
Image via rachaelvoorhees/Flickr