From the file of “The World’s Gone Mad”, comes a story today about a school in Toronto that has banned all hard balls. Yup, balls. If not for the fact that this kind of thing has become so common, I’d be gobsmacked. Sadly, it only makes me want to have a drink. We’re doomed I tell you. DOOMED.
I think the schools should really just get it over with and ban fun. I mean, why tiptoe around it? It’s clearly where they are going. I’ve heard stories of tag banned, King of the castle, mini hockey sticks, Red Rover and now well, at least at one school for sure, soccer, basketball, and football. I remember a discussion with my daughter last year that ended with her in tears.
Me: “What did you do today at recess?”
Me: “C’mon, you must have done something. Did you play tag?”
Her: “We’re not allowed because someone might get hurt”
Me: *stunned silence*
Her: “We’re not allowed to do ANYTHING! It’s stupid,stupid,stupid. We just stand there!!” Storms off to her room(she gets the drama from me).
While I’m sure there was some dramatic license there, I don’t doubt the fact that at least on that day, they were not allowed to play tag. If nothing else, my daughter is a rule follower (she did not get this from me). Drive by any school at recess time and what do you see? Way too many kids just standing there. Are we not fighting an obesity epidemic? Shouldn’t we be encouraging these kids to get their little butts moving?
Then of course there’s the trading cards, the silly bands and the marbles. Frankly, nothing irritates me more than when things like this are banned. These are great ways for kids to learn the power of negotiation, trading and fairness. You know, life skills through play. Sure, there will always be the kid who will take advantage, but again, another great teachable moment lost in a sea of political correctness. Instead, though, we ban them outright. Is it because it takes too much effort? Some would argue that school is strictly for learning and teachers have little time for this “silliness”. Maybe. But I think, play and all the lessons that come along with it are important too.
Raise your hand if you’ve banned hard balls at home? Do you forbid your kids from playing tag? This is what really perplexes me. Individually we wouldn’t think of doing any of these things, but collectively we become brain dead. What’s the answer? Maybe waivers are. I’ll gladly sign one releasing the school of any liability if they’ll just let my kids be kids. You?