Remember the good old days we spent as kids on the playground playing tag, making daisy chains, and turning cartwheels with our friends? Yeah, well, those days are dead. As implausible and absurd as it sounds, a primary school has actually decided to ban cartwheels because they’re a threat to kids’ safety.
Officials at Old Priory Junior Academy in the UK said the move came after several students suffered minor back and wrist injuries while attempting cartwheels and handstands during recess. The school felt like it was becoming a problem, so they figured the best course of action was just to ban all gymnastic activity entirely before someone else got hurt.
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Parents at the school are understandably annoyed, calling the move “ridiculous” and “silly.” One parent even said, “It’s health and safety gone mad. Kids should be able to do what they want on the playground as long as they don’t hurt anyone else.”
I can understand the desire to keep kids from participating in dangerous activities, but when you start banning anything that could potentially cause harm, where does it end? If the kids can’t do cartwheels, perhaps they’ll start playing kickball and there will be an increase in bumped heads and skinned knees. Maybe they’ll start playing on the monkey bars and we’ll see an increase in falls. It’s impossible to ban everything that might cause an injury. You’d almost have to ban recess entirely.
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Kids are going to get hurt. It’s just a fact of life. You can keep them from doing things that are obviously and extremely dangerous, but you can’t safeguard their every move, nor should you. Kids learn through doing and playing. Limiting their activities to only the “safe” stuff isn’t doing them any favors.
Schools have a huge responsibility in looking out for the health and wellbeing of their students, but they also have a responsibility to help parents mold their kids into independent, well-adjusted people. That means they need to try things, test their limits, face consequences, and have the freedom to get hurt and make mistakes.
Kids deal with enough helicoptering in their everyday lives. They don’t need to be hovered over while they’re at school.
What silly things have been banned at your kids' school?
About the Author: Ashley Austrew is a freelance writer who loves tacos, Target, and screen time. Her work has appeared on Mommyish, Scary Mommy, Modern Day Moms, and more. You can read more on her website or follow her on Twitter.
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