Friday, August 31, 2007

Banning Tag? No Wonder Kids Are Obese

This is so idiotic -
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal of the Discovery Canyon Campus school.

Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other, she said.

Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban but most parents and children didn't object.

In 2005, two elementary schools in the nearby Falcon School District did away with tag and similar games in favor of alternatives with less physical contact. School officials said the move encouraged more students to play games and helped reduce playground squabbles.
Does anyone remember what recess is supposed to be about?

Recess is a general term for a period of time in which a group of people are temporarily dismissed from their duties. According to Wiki it is:
typically ten to thirty minutes, in elementary school where students are allowed to leave the school's interior to enter its adjacent outdoor playground, where they can play on such recreational equipment as seesaws and swing sets, or engage in activities such as basketball or four square. Although no formal education exists during recess (this fact being touted most often by the children themselves), sociologists and psychologists consider recess an integral portion of child development, to teach them the importance of social skills and physical education.
It also helps the kids blow off steam and have some fun. Most sports games are based on the idea that you have to chase after someone or something. Games are supposed to include some element of conflict. Conflict, and learning to deal with it, are also an educational experiences. I'd say many kids in the past learned to deal with conflict in the playground. Perhaps by banning tag all together these adults are being a bit over protective - or maybe this is really more about the school's liability.

The simple solution to the problem of kids complaining of being harassed or chased against their will, is to speak to the perpetrators and maybe even punish them - not to ban games for everyone.

They've banned cupcakes and cell phones and ipods, sledding, and now tag. Maybe we need to put a ban on banning things.

Oh well, as my daughter would say, "The fun-suckers have struck again."
(Fun-suckers are people who suck the fun out of everything)

Maybe the kids can play a nice quiet game of cards or mah-jong during recess.


Lisa Giebitz said...

I read this yesterday and thought, "You've got to be kidding me."

I bet most parents and kids haven't objected because they don't know. Or at least they didn't until this article, heh.

Instead of banning activities that may cause conflict, perhaps the school should invest in teaching some conflict resolution? At least that's a useful life-skill.

Blueberry said...

The parents probably don't complain because many of them were most likely raised in that public school. They were taught to obey the public school authorities. Even if several didn't like it and are upset about it, most won't speak up.

I found that when my kids were in school and I did speak up about something, they told me I was the only one to complain and put on this show of being dumbfounded.

The Giver world may be coming to a town near you:-)

No Apology said...

The school officials see their job as keeping the lid on things, avoiding controversy, side-steping issues, and in general denying the parents the right to participate. The net result is that almost any opportunity to turn a situation into a learning experience is squelched.

They get to keep control of our children - but remember, their job is not to educate, but rather to indoctrinate the little guys into becoming socialist personalities, who will not challenge the authorities. When parents roll over and play dead on issues like this, the children see this. It's a win/win for the socialist agenda.

Julie@Shanan Trail said...

I wanted to share my experience. My daughter is very minimally developmentally delayed because of prenatal exposure to alcohol. When she was in the sixth grade, the family of a boy in her class filed a restraining order against her. In their complaint:
* She chased and harassed this boy against his will during recess and the playground monitors wouldn't intervene. Yes... she was playing tag.
* She brought a camera to school and took a photo of this boy without his permission (actually she took photos of all of her classmates during a field trip)
* She called this boy and asked her friends to call this boy to ask him if he liked her (3 calls ~ I kid you not... not even in the middle of the night!)

His parents said in court that my daughter's behavior made the boy uncomfortable and anxious. They stated that they had called the school. The family never attempted to contact me. The first time I knew there was a problem was when a sheriff showed up at my door. My daughter's behaviors were seen as violating our state's anti-stalking law. The judge approved a restraining order, but did include a waiver that my child could attend school. My daughter's IEP changed so that she was required to do recess at a different time from her peers. The school district hired a full-time paraprofessional whose sole purpose was to make sure my daughter didn't violate the terms of her restraining order. This boy told his friends about the restraining order and my daughter was harassed and bullied. I completed the contract I had teaching nursing at a community college and we are now a full-time homeschooling family.

Judy Aron said...

Wow Julie, That is some story.

I just saw a flyer about bullying, and it said not to contact the bully's parents but to seek the authorities to deal with the situation.

So now it looks like bullying (or even what seems like bullying) is between the law and the kids and not between parents to settle the matter. (Like it used to be).

We are criminalizing play, and instances like your daughter's actions which could have been more easily solved with a frank discussion between parties, are now becoming harshly punishable by legal means.

That is truly a shame.

I am sorry this happened to you and your family, but glad to hear you are homeschooling.