Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to pay our respects to a thing many of us once enjoyed called childhood. A California elementary school has decided to ban tag and other games involving physical contact because a handful of children were playing too roughly. (Insert blank stare.) If you happen to have fond memories of relishing popular playground games at school, you'll be disheartened to learn there's a chance your children might not get the same opportunity -- if we continue down this path.
Gold Ridge Elementary in Folsom, California, is making headlines for its one-size-fits-all solution to rough play involving four students in the fourth and fifth grades, the Sacramento Bee reports. Apparently, there have been incidents involving pushing and even injuries during recess, which prompted Principal David Frankel to ban physical contact -- including tag and touch football.
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Though Principal Frankel contacted the parents of the four children, alerting them to the warnings their kids received -- and possible disciplinary action, like going to the principal's office and missing out on recess for a day, or an interdisciplinary conference involving parents, teachers, and the principal -- he still decided that everyone else, even kids who weren't involved in incidents of pushing or being too aggressive, can no longer enjoy play with physical contact during recess.
Sooo, because four kids, in an entire elementary school, were too rough, the entire school can no longer play certain games? How does this make sense?
Freeze tag? Don't do it. Regular tag? You better not. Red Rover? Think about it and see what happens.
Kids better shut all of that sh*t down before the fun police administration really gets angry.
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While I certainly don't see anything wrong with wanting to ensure the safety of children, it seems a little backwards to punish the majority of students who aren't pushing and being rough just because certain individuals might act like they're a participant in the Hunger Games.
All jokes aside, a part of me dies thinking about the next generation and how much fun they're going to miss out on because of our desire to enclose them in some safety bubble. With the way things are going, we might as well say screw play activities altogether (we wouldn't want a child to trip and scrape his or her knee while skipping to PE or recess) and just hand them nonviolent video games in exchange for physical contact.
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I can't help but feel there was a missed teachable moment here. Perhaps it was a chance for the roughhousers to lose privileges and not the entire school? But, who knows ... maybe I'm wrong and this new wave of banning things because of a few incidents is the way to go. I'm really looking forward to my kids' growing up and going to school with all these rules. (Insert sarcasm.)