I’m not usually one to get outraged over stories of public school officials’ silliness – suspending kids over plastic knives or banning hugs; that sort of thing. I understand that these officials are sometimes guilty of an excess of caution out of fear that something will go wrong and they’ll get blamed (an all too likely scenario, I think).
But a recent story out of Nashua, New Hampshire has me going, “You have got to be kidding me!” Charlotte Avenue Elementary School has banned tag on its playgrounds. Yes, the beloved childhood game is verboten. Apparently, tag (TAG!!!) is too dangerous for little tykes to indulge in. The main threats: kids who tag too forcefully, and the threat of children running around, not looking where they are going and…dun dun DUN….running into other kids.
Look, I get it – none of us want our kids to get hurt. You drop little Tyler off in the morning; you don’t want a call at 10:45 a.m. telling you to come pick him up and informing you that he may have sprained his wrist. That’s enough to ruin anyone’s day. But here’s the truth: kids get hurt. Kids are supposed to run around. That’s like, part of the job description. If they don’t tire themselves during the day, you have to deal with them bouncing off the walls at 7:30 p.m. when you just want them to be quiet, gosh darnit.
Plus, we really have gone too far with this coddling thing. Most “forceful tags” and kids running into each other have zero negative health effects. At most, “injuries” are relegated to minor bruises, bumps, scrapes and cuts, in about 99.999% of cases. Which are totally normal. It’s sort of like the immune system. I mean, not entirely; you can’t build up an immunity to getting hurt (more’s the pity), but on some level, at least, I think it’s not just desirable but necessary for children to learn that they can fall down, get up and dust themselves off and be FINE.
What say you? Do you think the school is being reasonably cautious or have they gone too far?
Jennie has contributed to Imperfect Women since its inception in 2009. She writes about politics, celebrity news, and anything else that catches her interest.