Bubble Children

I know I'm probably going to get spanked for this one... but this is just ridiculous.

Mass. Elementary School Bans Tag
ATTLEBORO, Mass. - 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.

While there is no districtwide ban on contact sports during recess, local rules have been cropping up. Several school administrators around Attleboro, a city of about 45,000 residents, took aim at dodgeball a few years ago, saying it was exclusionary and dangerous.

Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Spokane, Wash., also recently banned tag during recess. A suburban Charleston, S.C., school outlawed all unsupervised contact sports.

"I think that it's unfortunate that kids' lives are micromanaged and there are social skills they'll never develop on their own," said Debbie Laferriere, who has two children at Willett, about 40 miles south of Boston. "Playing tag is just part of being a kid."

Another Willett parent, Celeste D'Elia, said her son feels safer because of the rule. "I've witnessed enough near collisions," she said.
Okay, I completely understand why the school did this. In these overly litigious times, schools need to protect themselves, particularly when they don't exactly have extra money lying around to cover lawsuits.

That said: Jesus, can we just let kids have a little fucking fun?

The playgrounds I used to enjoy when I was young don't exist anymore. Swings have seatbelts now, for chrissakes. Remember those merry-go-round things that you used to spin on until you thought the centrifugal force was going to pop your arms right out of the sockets? Good luck finding one now. The playground surface near my old apartment was padded.

I'm not saying that parents shouldn't protect their children. I'm not saying that some games and playground equipment can't be dangerous. But, geez, isn't this overprotective "shield our kids from everything" mindset a little bit silly? I was particularly struck by the quote at the end of the article. Now, I'm sure she feels safer because of the rule, but something tells me she just might be putting words in her kid's mouth.

I don't know... I might be overreacting, but I read stories like this and just shake my head. I'm glad my parents didn't treat me like a fragile eggshell.

(Oh boy! Cross-posts! Iron helps us play!)

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