schools banning kids games during recess

20 10 2006

Some schools are now banning kids’ games during recess, including tag, touch football, dodgeball, etc.  Here’s an excerpt from an article on this :

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.

We want to keep kids safe, of course, and we don’t want more lawsuits against schools, but is this really necessary?  I remember being a kid, playing games during recess, and I don’t recall any serious injuries.  Although, back then, if you got hurt, you just dealt with it.  It was part of the growing process — you learn to move on after getting hurt.  Accidents happen, and you have to accept that.  And if someone was intentionally hurting someone, that’s where you get the teachers or supervisors involved.

I realize there’s both sides to this argument, and there’s valid points on both sides.  But I’m afraid our regulation is being over-protective.  We should also consider the long-term effects of this.  Recess is a time for kids to release a lot of their energy, which is important; and it’s fun to them, which makes school more exciting, and that’s important, too; and perhaps there are some life lessons that kids learn from experiences on the playground, from dealing with their peers in a free environment.  I think kids need to learn to be a little bit “tough”.

Consider how society has changed in the past few years in regards to people getting offended easily…  It’s not a good thing.  These days more and more adults are acting like children, getting easily hurt and offended then crying out to the government in a lawsuit for millions of dollars and/or to have freedoms stripped away.  That kind of behavior is really hurting our country.  I’m afraid that if we raise our children with this kind of environment, society will be even worse in this regard when they become adults.

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